On the previous blog post, we have already talked about getting into God’s Word, but now what? Joshua 1:8 says,
“You shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.”
It is not enough just to fill up on God’s Word. You must meditate on it, spend time with it, and act upon it. Then, wait on God. Wait patiently. Wait hopefully. Wait expectantly. As you do, divine strength will come your way.
Isaiah chapter 40 starts with prophecies about John the Baptist, and then there are prophecies about Jesus. It continues on to talk about God’s mighty power over nations and the people of the world and even over the created universe.
Then we come to Isaiah 40:28, which asks the question,
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
God gives power to the weak. To those who have no might, He increases their strength. How does He do that? Read on to Isaiah 40:30–31,
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
When you wait on the Lord, you will be renewed. The word renew means to exchange. You will exchange your weakness for His strength. It means to wait expectantly, looking for God to act. Strength is imparted while we wait. I love the fact that he talked about taking up “wings like eagles.” It is a great analogy. I have spent a lot of time out on the water, and there are seagulls everywhere. I think sometimes that seagulls must have a brain about the size of a grain of sand. They are so greedy and will fight each other over the tiniest of scraps. They just squawk and fight, and squawk and fight.
Seagulls also follow pelicans around as they dive on schools of bait fish. As soon as a pelican hits the water, there are like three or four seagulls on it trying to steal the fish right out of the pelican’s beak! Of all the times I’ve seen that happen, there is one thing I have never seen—and that is a seagull trying to take a fish from an eagle.
There are at least two pairs of eagles living on Catalina Island that I know of, and they perch high upon the cliffs of Catalina. You can be anchored out in the little bay, and if you whistle, the eagles will immediately look around. If you take a fish and throw it, an eagle will leave its perch and come around to grab that fish with its talons. Yet, even when there are seagulls all around, the seagulls leave the eagles alone. That eagle will take its fish up to the perch and eat it. It is the picture of majesty. The picture of strength.
The idea is that if you will wait on God, all the little things that are harassing you and troubling your mind—squawking at you and distracting you—they will fall away as you rise above them. God’s strength comes to you as you wait.
Now, you’ve done what you know to do. You’ve prayed the promise. You’ve acted upon it to the best of your ability. The only thing left is to wait and let God be God. As you wait, He will strengthen you. Rest in these verses from Psalm 27:13–14,
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!
G. Campbell Morgan made these statements about waiting on God,
Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means first activity under command. Second, readiness for any new command that may come. Third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.
Years ago I had a friend who was being sued by a business partner, and it had really thrown him for a loop. He just didn’t see it coming. He had never been sued before, and it turns out that a third party involved in the business had actually manipulated things and set this whole thing up to leave out this friend of mine. Someone else had lied, and deceived, and caused this whole thing to happen—and he didn’t see it coming. He was pretty devastated. His character was being besmirched. It threatened to empty his bank account and assassinate his character publicly. It really shocked him, but this is what he did. He told me that he had a hammock out in the backyard.
Every night, after the family went to bed, I went out in that hammock for an hour and I waited on God every night. I prayed for a little while as I lay in the hammock. I said, ‘God, give me wisdom. I’m just waiting on You. Show me what to do.’ I waited for an hour. I did it one night, then two nights, then three nights. I did it four nights, just laying in the hammock, waiting on God, listening, praying a little bit, and listening more. Five nights. Six nights. On the seventh night, God gave me direction. I knew what to do.
Some time later, he met with the guy who was suing him. It was the first time they had actually even spoken since all this started happening, so there was a battery of attorneys on each side. They are sitting across a table from each other, and the first thing my friend said was, “Listen, I just want you to know I am so sorry that this happened. I didn’t see it coming. We never wanted this to happen. Will you please forgive me?” He said the man almost broke down weeping. Before he could say anything else, the guy said, “That is all I ever wanted. I just wanted things to be right.” They shook hands, and the thing was done in 10 minutes.
My friend told me the attorneys on both sides were very upset. They were getting paid by the hour and were thinking this was just the initial meeting and that they were going to hammer things out and go to a second meeting, a third meeting, and on and on. He said, “They were all upset, but I was elated.” His story reminds me of the importance of staying the course and waiting on God. My friend shared about the quietness and confidence that took ahold of him, and he knew God was going to take care of things. It was an unexplainable peace that replaced the panic he was feeling, and it all came while he was waiting on God.
Friend, you too will know God’s strength if you will wait.
Find a space in or around your house where you can be quiet and wait on God. Or take a prayer walk outside and acknowledge Him, talk to Him, then get quiet and listen. Try to spend time in your quiet place each day. Don’t have an agenda. Just sit, reflect, and listen. Be open and receptive to God’s guidance because He’s there with you—and when you wait, He will speak. Then you can act in confidence.
Whether you are in need of spiritual strength, emotional strength, material strength, or physical strength, God has it, and it can be taken hold of. That’s what our Taking Hold of God’s Strength reading plan will help you do, through four simple steps that lead you into God’s ever-present and never-ending strength.
Maybe you are in the midst of a crisis right now. Maybe you are feeling heartbroken, perplexed, or facing unjust accusations. Whatever season you are in, know that God has strength for you.
This is step 3 from our Taking Hold of God’s Strength reading plan. Sign up for a short series of emails, and discover 4 steps that are crucial to understanding God’s strength for you—and how to find joy in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Do you want answers delivered right to your inbox?
Sign up to receive FREE daily devotionals and updates from Bayless.