A great scripture to hold onto when you’re looking for God to do something in your life is found in Isaiah chapter forty. At the end of the chapter he says: “The LORD is the God who lives forever! He created all the faraway places on earth. He does not get tired and weary…Young men get tired and need to rest…But those who trust in the LORD will become strong again – like eagles that grow new feathers. They will run and not get weak. They will walk and not get tired.”
It’s a very well-known scripture. I’ve heard elders in the church sing the King James Version:
They that wait
Upon the LORD
Isaiah 40:31 is a great verse to stand on when you’re feeling down and weak. I highly recommend memorizing this scripture and encouraging yourself with it regularly as you pursue what God has put on your heart.
Be careful, though!
Make sure you know what God means when He says “waiting on” Him. It’s very easy to get a dream or vision or idea from God and then just sit on it and “wait” for God to do something about it.
The reason God had the prophet write this is because His people had begun to live like He wasn’t God or, more accurately, like they did not know that He was God. They were in a bad situation and let doubt creep into their hearts. They began to live their lives like they weren’t His because they began to believe that He was not theirs. We can see this by how much reminding the prophet does from verse nine to twenty-nine. He was telling God’s people that there was good, true words for them to hold on to so that they could live like they were God’s people. He ends by saying that strength is given to those who are waiting on God, but what does that mean exactly?
The contextual meaning of this passage is that God’s people needed to be reminded of God in their lives and that genuinely trusting would elevate their lives above their circumstances. He was telling them that even though their situation was weighing heavy on them, if they trusted in God they would feel as weightless as an eagle soaring through the sky. They would be able to endure the journey of life better than strong, young men endure training for sports or battle.
The applicable meaning, though, is often preached erroneously.
Many people think that “waiting on the LORD” means you need to go sit on the couch and wait for God to do something. Many say they’re “waiting for God’s timing” on something or in some situation, but that’s not what the Bible teaches. You’ll see people take “waiting” to mean, do nothing. That’s not what God was saying in this scripture. Acting like you’re waiting on God by doing nothing is really just wasting time.
Like the Apostle Paul told Timothy: be sure you interpret the Word of Truth correctly.
When Isaiah wrote this, he was dealing with the way that the people needed to live while time was passing by. God had made a promise, and they were waiting for it to be fulfilled. But there were things that should have been done while they were waiting. God wanted His people to live for Him in spite of their captivity. He wanted them to live right in spite of all the wrong around them. This did not mean that they were to do nothing and stand around letting time pass.
Just the opposite. He was telling them to start acting right so that they could rise above their situation and soar like an eagle.
The applicable meaning is the same. Waiting on the LORD does not mean a lack of activity. He actually gave them examples of things to do while waiting: fly, run, and walk. None of these things is sitting and “waiting”.
God’s definition of waiting is trusting.
Trusting that He hasn’t forgot about you.
Trusting that He is going to come through for you.
Trust effects how you act.
You act like He hasn’t forgot about you.
You live like He is going to come through for you.
God’s definition of waiting is acting.
For the people Isaiah was writing to, it had to do with enduring the Babylonian captivity. They’re cousins who were taken over by the Assyrians did not come back. They did not endure, and they were lost. God was telling His people as they endured shame and exile in Babylon, “Trust Me! Wait for me! Don’t give up! You’ll be strong and will be able to live your life higher than everyone around you.”
That’s what He’s saying to us today.
It didn’t mean lack of activity then, and it does not mean it now.
He did not say that people were waiting on the LORD were waiting for Him to walk their path or run their race for them. He said that those who wait on the LORD would spread their wings and fly.
Waiting on the LORD means you’re doing everything you can right where you are now in spite of how it may seem like God has forgotten about you. In spite of how you might think that He did not come through for you, you trust what He said.
Your life rises to a different level when you trust Him in spite of what it may look like or feel like to your natural senses.
That’s what the word “supernatural” means: nature-on-another-level.
If you want to live your life above the circumstances that are against you, you need to rise up like an eagle and live the Risen Life.
If you want to live your life on a new level, you need to trust God no matter what. God promised you a satisfying, healthy life with joyful days and peaceful nights. If you trust Him to come through on those promises, act like it.
Whatever darkness may be opposing you, get in front of a mirror and make a decision to trust God anyway and then act like it. Do this in every part of your life, and your life will rise to a new level. When you live your life trusting God, you will live the Risen Life.