We are a nation of quitters. Nowadays, when the going gets tough, the tough are hard to find. Our society is “so advanced” that we no longer know what it means to delay gratification. We literally have all of our desires “at our fingertips.” Yet, while we glut our desires with ease, our souls are shriveling away.
Still, God remains determined to bring His people to maturity. A few weeks ago, I preached a Sunday evening message entitled “Hold Your Horses” from Isaiah 30:15-18 and Isaiah 36:1-20.
God’s people were in trouble (again) because they refused to allow God to solve their problems. He told them in verses 15-16:
For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
But you would not, And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”—
Therefore you shall flee!
And, “We will ride on swift horses”—
Therefore, those who pursue you shall be swift!
God told Israel to trust Him and not in what they could see. We typically think we can solve all of our problems without the Lord’s help, and He is frequently willing to let us try in order to show us the futility of our actions. “In quietness and confidence (in God) shall be our strength,” trusting in His time & His plan. Yet, because we refuse God sometimes gives us over to futility to show us the error of our ways. He sometimes allows our spiritual enemies to overtake us so that we will learn a lesson. God wants you to trust Him with your problems. As a result, when you do not know what to do, the BEST thing you can do is DO NOT DO ANYTHING. Sometimes you just have to “Stand still (wait) and let God move” (as the Isaacs sing). The worst thing you can do is to run off looking for help in people, places, or things rather than God.
Of course, our pride, our fleshly minds, and the devil himself will seek to get you to look anywhere else but in God for your deliverance. In Isaiah 36 the king of Assyria sent his messenger to tell Israel to not trust in God. He said:
“Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria (king of Israel)! Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” Do not listen to Hezekiah… Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
In the same way, Satan loves to scare people to death. He always tries to rob God of His glory in the lives of His people by telling us, “don’t wait on the Lord; He can’t fix what you are going through. You’ve got to get relief from this NOW; your problems are so great that the WORST thing you can do is to wait on God.” However, that is exactly the BEST thing you can do! You need to hand all of your problems to God. Isaiah 30:18 states:
Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
In America we rarely have to wait for ANYTHING. If we’re lost, we can just consult our smart phones (cell phones) to tell us how to get back on the right road. If we want to purchase something, the internet makes it possible for us to never leave the comforts of home. Yet, God does not work that way, and He is trying to develop in His people a maturity level that most of us really don’t want. Therefore, sometimes God waits on us to realize that it is really a blessing for us to wait for Him.
Pastor Chuck Swindoll states: “God never forgets anything He promises–Never. God’s agenda continues to unfold right on schedule, even when there is not a shred of evidence that He remembers. Even when the most extreme events transpire and ‘life just doesn’t seem fair,’ God is there, carrying out His providential plan exactly as He pre-arranged it. He keeps His word.”
Sometimes you need to “Hold Your Horses” in order to see Him move powerfully in your life. What is He asking you to wait for?
Maybe a better question is what are you running from?
You will be blessed if you will wait!