Most every believer understands that, at times, we will be called upon to “wait on the LORD.” At some point in our journey, we will have to wait on Him to move in one situation or another; sometimes on our behalf and sometimes on behalf of others. During the process it is expected of us to exhibit perseverance and patience as we look unto God to show us the next step. This notion is amplified for us in the account of Israel’s wanderings through the wilderness. Regardless of what they wanted or preferred, their every step was determined by God’s Will. Whether it was two days, a month or a year, they camped when He said to camp and they moved when He moved.
It could be that some of the prolonged stationary times were His way of seeing whether or not they could be content to wait upon Him — to see whether they trusted His Wisdom or were inclined to take matters into their own hands. In truth, there were several occasions when they chose the latter and that decision cost them dearly. So through their missteps we learn that, when it comes to following God, patience really is a virtue. Furthermore, to act presumptuously and without His approval is potentially deadly. You see, it was during these “waiting” periods, that some decided they could no longer endure the status quo, and so, they began to murmur and complain — they grew restless.
Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “restless” is מרוד marud, stemming from the root word that means, “to revolt, to rebel; to refuse to be governed by authority.” Think about that for a moment; in Hebrew, restlessness is connected to rebellion. I realize that we all grow restless from time to time, and in some cases, that can actually be a good thing. But within the context of waiting on the LORD to show us His Will, restlessness that prompts disobedience undermines God’s purpose — not good. Taking matters into our own hands when He is trying to teach us about being content and enduring hardship is essentially rebellion against God. Rebellion against God’s Will, such as was demonstrated by Israel in the wilderness, leads to destruction and desolation.
Thus we are reminded that, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
That is not just a poetic way of saying He is our everything, it actually defines how we should consider living life — i.e. when He says to wait, we wait; when He says to move, we move. Life’s major decisions should never be made solely because of what we want or prefer but always according to His plan and will. It may take a few mistakes to realize the wisdom in waiting on God, but if we are truly striving to follow Him with all of our heart, we must learn to trust Him with all of our life. I’ll put it in terms inspired by a certain un-named insurance agency — “You’re in good hands with Almighty God.”
We can be confident that He will never lead us into something that is not in our best interest, although He will definitely lead us into situations that will stretch our faith and ability to trust. He will never make us wait so long that we miss the opportunity to walk into our purpose but He will definitely make us wait for the proper season to step into that purpose. So in those waiting times, let us learn to resist restlessness and let us surrender to the rest and shalom that comes with knowing that our Heavenly Father has everything in Hand.
Blessings and Shalom,
Bill & Beth