While We Wait

Patience concept.I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not patient when it comes to waiting. I have a lot of work to do in this area. I was telling someone the other day that I’d rather take the long way around then to sit in a traffic jam that would let me arrive in a shorter time. I obviously don’t have to commute into Atlanta every day. I don’t like to way very long for my food when I go to restaurant either. I really need to be more patient, but quite frankly, I’m afraid to pray for patience!

Paul in his letter to Titus gets right to the point in several areas. He gives straight talk in several areas of growth. I came across the three little words tucked in the middle of a sentence. These three words spoke into my heart about what I can while being patient. Check this out…

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works. (Titus 2:11-14 CSB)

While I wait, I can pursue God’s heart.

While I wait, I can live a sensible way.

While I wait, I can live in a godly way.

While I wait, I can love others like Jesus loves.

While I wait, I can serve others.

While I wait, I can teach with my life.

Waiting is really a part of my life. I often must wait for people to connect for an appointment. I must wait on the lender to get the buyer ready to close on the loan. I must wait on the closing attorney to get the title work complete so that the seller can sell and the buyer can buy. I must wait on the appraiser, surveyor…. the list could go on and on. I’m learning that waiting is simply part of living.

I smiled when I thought of Brad Paisley’s song from a few years back called: Waiting On A Woman.

I’m waiting on the Lord today. I’ve got plenty to do while I wait.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Season Of Standing Down

Casual man sitting and thinking on a sunny day in the cityI remember very clearly when the Lord gave me permission to “sit down” (aka “stand down”) from a particular ministry that I had been part of for many years. In my early years as a student pastor, I had left my first ministry in frustration. I look back and realize that I ran from a struggle rather than face it. I was immature and quite frankly a bit stupid. I was trying to follow the Lord, but I’m pretty sure I was calling the shots. I’ve since had the opportunity to apologize to most everyone involved in that situation. So one of the valuable lessons I learned as a leader was to be a follower of God before I tried to be a leader of anyone. The Lord will always lead me IF I will listen and trust His leadership. I’ve learned to stay put when the Lord says stay put. I’ve also learned to move when He says move.

The prophet Samuel, who is now deceased, had anointed David king of Israel and David is fleeing for his life from Saul. David is hanging out with the Philistine king Achish. David is standing down and laying low waiting on the Lord’s timing. The Philistines and the Israelites are about to go to war. David could be coming to a crossroads of decision. Check this out…

2 As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. 3 The commanders of the Philistines asked, ‘What about these Hebrews?’

6 So Achish called David and said to him, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased for you to serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you. 7 Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.’

11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to go back to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel. (1 Samuel 29:2-3, 6-7, 11 NIV)

I find it hard to imagine the frustration of David’s situation. He has his family with him, but he’s separated from his brothers and their families. He can’t just come in for the holidays because Saul is threatening his life. He is a leader who is in a season of standing down. He is still leading the men who are with him. It’s clear to him that the Lord is still in charge.

When I go through seasons of “sitting down”, I know that the Lord is still working in me and building in me. It’s not always comfortable waiting on the Lord, but I believe He rewards patience while He works. While David was with the Philistines, God was preparing the way for David to become King of Israel. It’s almost as if the Lord was hiding David. I must remember that while I’m waiting on the Lord, He’s not standing down or sitting down. He is multi-tasking behind the scenes to set up where He wants me and what He wants me to do. My role is to trust in Him and wait. I will move when He says move. I’m grateful for God’s call upon my life and I’m thankful for the way He has built my heart. I’m cultivating His Presence in me even as I write these words. I would rather be a nobody with the Lord’s Presence in me, than somebody without His Presence in me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Patience & Discipline

Patience concept.These two words don’t always seem to go together, but they might just be related to one another. I have personally struggled with patience in many areas of my life. I want what I want and I want it now. I’ve learned that what is a crisis in my view does not constitute a crisis for the other person. There are times when I’m waiting on the services of others I have to simply be patient.

I also struggle with discipline in many areas too. One area of discipline that is obvious to just about everyone who knows me is eating. I love good food – I really just love food in general. I can eat all sorts of varieties and the problem comes with the quantities. If I find something I really like, I enjoy lots of it instead of just enough. I’m also learning to eat healthy and wise and not so much “fried food”. (This is really hard because fried food is a staple of southern food!)

Saul was 30 years old when he became king of Israel. I’m not sure how old he was when this certain incident happened. The tensions between the Philistines and Israel were at an all time high. Jonathan, Saul’s son had already had a skirmish with them. Evidently Saul was told to wait 7 days for Samuel to come and lead them in the time of sacrifice and offering. I’m assuming this was a time of worship and heart preparation for battle. Saul waited for the 7 days and decided to take matters into his own hands. I think his impatience was directly related to the fear of his men and maybe his own fear. He starts acting in the role of priest in Samuel’s absence. As he is finishing up, Samuel shows up. Check this out…

13 ‘You have done a foolish thing,’ Samuel said. ‘You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.’ (1 Samuel 13:13-14 NIV)

Because of Saul’s impatience and lack of discipline, his future was not as bright as it once was. He was chosen by the Lord to lead His people. He struggled with patience and discipline and it cost Saul his legacy of leadership.

I needed to be “smacked around” a bit by this. I am learning patience and discipline as I walk through life. I’m learning that waiting is sometimes a process of refinement. There are times that waiting can offer such clarity and purpose to a situation. These two are connected in my view, because it takes great discipline to be patient and not get in a hurry and make a foolish mistake or error in judgment. I am really working on letting the Lord speak into my life and give me wisdom to lead and serve. I don’t want to step outside His plan or get ahead of Him trying to serve my own agenda. I want to be in the middle of His timing and feel His nudge in the right direction at the just the right time. This is considerably easier said than done. Situations arise and great pressure is applied, but patience and discipline require me to try to stay cool in every situation and let His plan unfold.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Wait

Busy business person juggles time clockTo me this word means patience. It means staying where I’m at until something else happens. I have to confess; I’m pretty bad at waiting. I’m not a patient shopper, although I’m improving on this one. I hate traffic jams. I’m not real patient when the Lord tells me to wait either. He has a plan and I’m in it. I must learn to operate in His realm of time instead of demanding everything happen when I want it to happen. Check this out….

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

    and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord

    more than watchmen wait for the morning,

    more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,

    for with the Lord is unfailing love

    and with him is full redemption. (Psalm 130:5-7 NIV)

 

As I read the Word of God, I’m learning more about His heart and His timing and for me. I don’t always understand His timing, but I trust Him. I’m putting my hope for the future in His hands. I put my hope for eternity in His hands. I also trust Him to guide my steps in business. I need His Wisdom and discernment in all areas of my life.

I worked as a security guard while in college and I worked the night shift. I remember how long the nights seem and how hard it was at times to make it to the quitting time. I will wait upon the Lord and He will not disappoint me. He is always “spot on” with His timing. Waiting on Him is my part.

Pressing On!
Dwayne