This week’s Fast Wednesday is dedicated, in memory, to Diane Johnson. Diane is a woman who ranks very high as having the most spiritual impact on my life…she has gone home to be with the Lord as of 08/13/04…its was a Friday, the 13th, a dark day for us but oh what a glorious day for her to be with her Lord where she went to “Dance with her Father.”
There were well over twenty of us women, from the ages of teenagers to ninety year old, Mother Mozelle Brown, who created our own ministry: SWAT (Sisters With a Testimony). We would spend hours together discussing the Lord, praying, discovering, developing and working on our spiritual gifts, and just having a HIGH time in the Lord. She would tell us things like there is “no promise in compromise”…if you compromised, you would probably miss what God was promising you etc.
What a season we had together, and, I cannot, still today, stop thanking and praising God for the season, the sisters, and the experience of growing in my personal relationship with God and them. I am not where I need to be but I sure am not where I was before I encountered “Sister Diane Johnson” and my SWAT sisters! Sister Gwen Jordan would tell us “suck it up and grow up.” Sister Phyllis Mayes shared a “hand washing” ceremony with us teaching us to be servants, and the list goes on, and on, and on…thank you Father!
Our topic for today is “Waiting. (Defined as: Pause, Not to do something until something happens and To remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon). This all implies that “While we actively wait, God actively works.”
How Great Thou Art, Billy Preston, Instrumental
How Great Thou Art, George Nooks (Gospel Reggae)
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Attached is a picture where I have been learning how to wait on God in a new way…its from the cemetery where my sister is buried. I am not posting it to be morbid or anything. Actually, its to encourage others. I am certain some of you all know that parks and cemeteries influenced each other in their early beginnings especially those designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in America. Definitely in NYC, families would pack up a picnic lunch, etc. when they were going to visit their loved ones graves because it was an all day trip and they made sure to take a meal, etc. and made it an event. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0503/feature2/assignment1.html
I found an excellent study on the subject of “waiting” by Pastor Charles Stanley…so I copied and pasted it below. I hope you are as blessed by it as I was this week, I pasted the closing and prayer up front, in case you cannot get to the bottom of the study quickly or easily today or this week…
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley’s Life Principles Bible, 2008.
A seed planted in the ground needs time to grow. Digging it up too soon might kill the plant or at least ruin its chances of producing quality fruit. Similarly, the process of spiritual maturation can’t be rushed. It takes time. Even when nothing appears to be happening, allow God to set the pace for your life. Obey Him, and He will honor you in due season.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of blessing if I wait on Your timing, and for the assurance that by doing so, I will never miss out. Teach me to stay focused on You rather than circumstances or the opinions of people around me. Help me trust that all my needs will be met, and all my questions will be sufficiently answered, as I submit to You. Amen.
Wait on the Lord
Most people don’t like to wait. We hate traffic jams, checkout lines, and other delays. And our consumer culture fosters the idea that we cannot only have what we want, but we can also have it right now.
Spiritually speaking, however, we learn some of life’s greatest lessons through delayed gratification. The Lord promises to reward those who submit to His timing. God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Life Principle #14).
What are the spiritual rewards of waiting?
- We discover God’s will and purpose in the things that most concern us.
Lamentations 3:25 says, “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” From this verse, what do you think it means to “wait on the Lord”?
God does not tease His children or string them along. Right now, as we wait, He is working all things together for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28).
Why did the apostles turn to the Lord in prayer in Acts 1:24-26?
In your opinion, is it ever appropriate to make a decision without consulting the Lord?
If so, how do you decide what choices to pray about and which to handle on your own?
Lot’s decision may have indicated his misplaced priorities—that he let greed motivate him instead of wisdom.
- We receive supernatural energy and strength.
Trying to manipulate circumstances drains our energy. Actively waiting on God is energizing. When we allow Him to strengthen us for the tasks we’re called to do, we can experience supernatural energy.
Read Isaiah 40:20-31. What does this passage promise to the person who waits on the Lord?
Describe a time when you waited on God and felt physically or spiritually renewed.
- We win battles.
When we rush God’s plans or do things our own way, we end up defeated. But waiting on Him will ensure our victory and keep us from foolish and precipitous acts. Proverbs 20:22 says, “Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the LORD, and He will save you.”
The disciples were encouraged and excited after the resurrection of Christ. Why did Jesus tell them to wait before sharing the gospel with the world? (Acts 1:8)
What was the fruit of their obedience? (See Acts 2, especially vv. 41-47.)
Have you ever felt ready to act, and yet sensed God wanted you to wait? If so, describe your response and the outcome.
- We see the fulfillment of our faith.
The Lord says, “Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame” (Isa. 49:23).
In the end, we’ll never be embarrassed if we choose to wait on God. It’s always the wise thing to do. When others encourage us to forge ahead, we need to remember the Lord’s plans and timing are always best. He knows our strengths, weaknesses, and preferences better than anyone else—even better than we know ourselves. And only He can predict the future.
Don’t let circumstances tempt you to take matters into your own hands. God has a purpose for all you experience. Ultimately, you will be honored—whether during your life or after it ends—if you remain faithful to Him 1 Cor. 4:5).
What unfair suffering did Joseph experience (Gen. 37:24; 39:1, 20)?
What was Joseph’s final position in Egypt (Gen. 41:39-40)?
When you look back on your life, can you see how times of suffering prepared you to serve God or minister to others? Explain.
- We see the Father working on our behalf.
Isaiah spoke of a God “who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him” (Isa. 64:4). What a wonderful promise! While we actively wait, He actively works. Think of this: Every single day, we have the greatest Mediator working on our behalf.
Although waiting can be one of the more difficult things in the Christian life, it is not wasted time. During periods of waiting, God teaches us lessons we couldn’t otherwise learn. In such a season, He sifts our motives, strengthens our faith, and may even change our circumstances. His purpose is to keep us in step with Him as He prepares us to receive the answers we need to hear.
Ephesians 1:11 says that the Father “works all things after the counsel of His will.” What are you currently waiting on God for? What do you see Him doing in your life as you wait?
Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Ellis
Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!
The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press: https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com/