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Waiting and Listening

During times of waiting on God, there is a “white space.” That’s when nothing seems to be happening—at least nothing visible.

You could easily tell yourself at the time, “I’m waiting in vain. Nothing’s going to change.” That’s precisely what the Adversary wants you to think: “Waiting on God is a waste.”

Don’t you believe it!

When the Enemy’s message slips into your mind, you need to kick it out. Reject it. Call it the lie that it is. As Paul wrote, “we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). See how practical that is? Every thought.

During those times when doubt and discouragement creep into our waiting periods, the Lord provides us with strong counsel to remember from the pages of Isaiah:

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. . . .
For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10, 13)

It’s those kinds of thoughts that can strengthen you while you are waiting, praying, and fasting.

This may be one of those “white spaces” in your own life and ministry. Maybe it’s time for you to pray and fast and to call upon a few close friends to fast and pray with you. (Sometimes the best individuals for this are those outside your church.) Maybe it’s time for you to say, “I can’t find the path to walk in this unpredictable situation. So I’m going to wait . . . I’m not going to rush . . . and in the meantime, I’m going to give it to God. I’m going to listen with a sensitive ear and watch the Lord’s leading with a sensitive eye.”

In my four-and-a-half decades of pastoral ministry, I have had many, many occasions to wait on God. I still do today. Sometimes it drives me nuts! But honestly, I would have it no other way.

It requires a sensitive eye to watch the movement of God in your life. All He may do is turn your attention in another direction. But that may be all you need. As you wait and watch, also listen to Him with a sensitive ear in the pages of Holy Scripture. Pore over a favorite passage in His Word.

Quietly give attention to His presence, and He will give you direction when it’s time.

—Chuck

Comments

Thanks for your encouraging Chuck, your post falls perfectly right in my life as I am wating on God in the silence. Today I was so discouraged that I almost gave up on hoping for the promess to come. Waiting time can be extremely painful and, in the process, you might even think that no promess at all would have been better off. Instead of giving up on emotions I decided to leave it to God and asked him to speak to my heart and comfort me. I opened the radio on a Christian station and the teacher was speaking on faith saying that we have stand fast even when the promess og God seems impossible. I come back home and see your post. This is our God!

Thanks again for your heart, God is using your ministry so often to help me along the way.

Bro.Chuck
As always some awesome advice and perfect timing for me. It seems like I have the "White Space" often and like you it drives me nuts,as a young pastor I am glad to here this is normal.

Thanks Bro. Swindoll

Pas. Chuck,
Thanks for this post. As i read it today, i was encouraged. I am in my "White Space" of life. It's very frustrating. But I am learning from you to stay patient and listen to his directions. It was encouraging to read that it drives even you crazy. Thanks for being transparent.

Thank you once again.

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to read through your posts and daily blogs for the last couple of weeks. I had a just a little while to take a break and catch up today. I felt like a car that was runing on prayers and fumes. Your words spiritually filled up that tank that was running on empty. The compassion, love, and encouragement... along with the ablilty to laugh at our short comings lifted my heart off the bottom and back where it should be. Thanks for helping to fill my joy bucket full!

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