1/19/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Wait Management” – Part 2 

Van Walton, Director of Spanish Ministry, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Habakkuk 2:1, “I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint.” (NLT)

 

Devotion:

Benjamin Franklin is famous for his comment about death and taxes in which he states what we cannot avoid. I agree, but I also believe there is a third experience we all share – waiting. Wait is a major issue for everyone at some point in life. How do you manage your wait?

 

Yesterday we became acquainted with King Hezekiah and learned that his example as a master wait trainer could be a lesson to us. His experiences with time trials remind us to worship and praise God when we find ourselves in the waiting room.

 

2 Kings 18 clearly lists four steps the King took while his life was placed on hold:

1)       He did what was right in God’s eyes by opening the doors to the temple after years of neglect. He brought his nation back to the worship of God.

2)       He tore down the idols.

3)       He trusted in God.

4)       He leaned on the Lord.

 

After returning to the heart of worship, King Hezekiah removed all idols. I remember a particularly difficult time trial. My son was trying out for the basketball team. He poured his heart and soul into the workouts, coming home every day excited about the possibility of making the team. We waited for days for the moment the team would be announced, nearly driving ourselves crazy. Unfortunately, we focused on our idol – the fact that playing on the team took a higher priority than God’s will. Benjamin didn’t make the team that year!  I spent several weeks evaluating my heart’s desires as they compared with God’s commands. 

 

After Hezekiah reinstated worship and removed obstacles that would get in the way of following after the Lord, he began a practice of trusting in God for provision.  Remember he was at war and Jerusalem was surrounded by enemy soldiers while Hezekiah watched from the ramparts. He must have wondered how his subjects were going to survive a long siege. A community cordoned off from food and water eventually surrenders. Hezekiah could not let this happen. “This same Hezekiah closed the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.” (2 Chronicles 32:30, ESV) He directed a team of men to divert the waters from the Gihon spring by means of a tunnel 581 yards long. The digging took place simultaneously at each end, at the spring and inside the city walls. Eventually the tunnel met. As a result, Jerusalem had a water supply even during a time of enemy siege. Hezekiah was not distracted by heavy waits. He used the time to dig deep for God’s provision.  When forced to wait, I soon find out that God is always available to me. Sometimes I have to make an effort to dig deep into His Word in order to find the provision I need to survive. 

 

Finally, we learn how the king waited and gained strength. “And he took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised it up to the towers, and the other wall without…  (2 Chronicles 32:5, ASV) Turning to my heavenly Father for protection is yet another step I need to take while training in the waiting room.  Answers to my particular circumstances may not come easy or fast, but with God as my strong tower and mighty fortress, I can wait until that time that He chooses for the wait to come to an end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Thanks to God, His Word and His mighty acts performed through obedient men and women of old, I now know the direction to take when faced with time trials. I worship God, remove any idols in my life, trust in Him for my provision, and lean on Him for protection. I have learned that each waiting trial becomes an opportunity to build my faith. The more I train with “waits”, the stronger I grow. My personal weaknesses become God's strength in me.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Lord, I am weary with waiting. I want to know that I have a job, the provision my family needs to survive. I struggle in the late hours of the night worrying about my child’s future. There are too many broken relationships in my life. As a result, chaos and discomfort reign. How long will I have to wait for those I love to forgive one another? Father, give me strength to endure and help me manage my wait.

 

Application Steps: 

Set aside some time to consider if you have some misplaced priorities in your life. Could it be that they are your idols?

 

Make a list of potential idols, confessing to God and asking Him to help you understand your sin. Ask God to help you remove all idols from your life.

 

Reflection Points:         

When was the last time you dug deep into God’s Word seeking direction for your life as you waited?

 

Waiting is a battle. Frustration and fear, agony and anxiety are the enemy of a wait trainer. Have you surrounded yourself by God’s power, turning to the Holy Spirit daily for protection?

 

Have you recently memorized applicable Scripture and used it as a tool against your enemy?  While waiting, memorize verses that speak to your circumstance.       

 

Power Verses: 

Psalm 37:34, “ Wait for the Lord, and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the Land; when the wicked are cut off you will see it.” (NASB)

 

Micah 7:7, “As for me, I look to the LORD for his help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.” (NLT)

 

Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_becomingAWoman.htm

 

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whoHoldsKey.htm

 

Because (audio CD), by Gwen Smith

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_because.htm