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Waiting Successfully

Do you have things you've been praying about for some time, and you're still waiting—they're still not resolved?

I use the words still not resolved rather than still not answered, because the moment we pray something that lines up with the heart and will of the Father, He sets an answer in motion—even if we don't SEE the answer manifested immediately (1 John 5:14,15).

This is a season where I've had to WAIT for several answers to prayer: answers that feel urgent to me. Let me be honest. I haven't always waited very well, or waited very successfully.

I've had a physical issue since February — sluggish adrenal glands that create heart palpitations, and it's all connected with how my body fails to process histamines well. The same issue has created sinus infections and more.

I've been praying for healing personally, and I've been receiving prayer for healing on a regular basis from other believers. In the past months I headed to a Naturopath and now I'm on a super strict diet and taking a bunch of supplements.

I KNOW God is my Healer. I KNOW it's His will to heal me. I love the Scriptures that say, "Jesus healed all who came to Him." That's my Jesus!

But I'm still waiting.

And sometimes, because it's a trait of my old nature, I begin to blame God and accuse Him of not hearing me; of not caring; of being distant. I've even been tempted to feel He's punishing me, even though my spirit KNOWS there is NO MORE PUNISHMENT. Jesus took our punishment on the cross (Isaiah 53:5). But my emotions, in moments of weakness, go toward old habits.

So, I've had to look at the reality. That I need to learn how to WAIT SUCCESSFULLY.

What's the difference between successful waiting and unsuccessful waiting? Let me paint a picture...

Unsuccessful waiting:

Complaining bitterly, with blame and accusation against the heart of God.

Believing God is distant & uncaring

Allowing fear or unbelief to dominate our thinking

Assuming there is no hope because God's (seemingly) not doing anything

Successful waiting:

1. Pouring out our complaint to the Lord (as David did in Psalm 142), but without blaming or accusing God.

Two New Testament scriptures talk about our FREEDOM in COMING HONESTLY to GOD:

Scripture #1: And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s (sanctuary) because of the blood of Jesus. Heb 10:19. (NLT)

That word boldly in the Greek is, "with all outspokenness, bluntness, and frankness of speech." Wow. We can be honestly straightforward with God!

Scripture #2: (Jesus speaking) I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Luke 11:8 (NIV)

Shameless audacity (dictionary) is to risk boldly; or, rude or disrespectful behavior. Wow again. Jesus didn't censure the woman in this parable who came knocking on her neighbor's door at midnight for bread: he used her as an example of persistence before God in prayer, and He encourages us to ASK, SEEK, KNOCK BOLDLY for what we need from God.

2. Permission to tell God all we're feeling, even anger, mistrust, unbelief, fears...but not with a heart of blame. Instead, admit our emotions and ask for God's help in giving them to Him. Hand them over, one by one...let Him take them, and invite Him to come near. Ask Him to reveal truth to our hearts.

3. Come to God and agree that He has heard every prayer and the timing is His. He's in charge, He's able, and willing, and He's GOOD. We continue to pray and seek, not from hopelessness, but from truth. We may not feel hopeful, but we know the Scriptures that our heart has embraced in the past, about God's faithful character. Remind ourselves of Scriptures that speak of God's love and His power, and of His goodness to heal in the gospels. Chew on these, meditate on these. Meditate on what God HAS done for us; on past answered prayers.

4. Let others pray for us and encourage us. At one point this week I was feeling particularly negative about my situation. Rusty came alongside and spoke strong encouragement, without judgment of my weakness or unbelief. He prayed for me with a real encouraging heart attitude. That was what I needed to rise up out of a funk and begin to perceive heaven's truth again. Let people pray for you when you can't fight for yourself, just as you've prayed for others when they couldn't fight for themselves.

5. Child-training while waiting. God showed me this morning that in this time of waiting, He's child-training me.

Heb 12:6 - ...because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

The word "discipline" is rendered child-training in the Greek. No, God doesn't use sickness to discipline us. I don't believe that for a second. But while I'm waiting for the answer to my prayers, He is using this time to show me my attitudes; to teach me thankfulness and rejoicing instead of blame and accusation; to enable surrender to His goodness; to build faith that won't give up.

I am learning to wait successfully.

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