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Waiting On God

Alan Parker


Alan Parker

Professor of missions and evangelism and director of Pierson Institute of Evangelism at Southern Adventist University



  • July 19, 2008
    10:00 AM
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hi everyone in your life well well do me a favor I dislike to have the right at this stage I want to find somebody seated next to you just wish them a happy Sabbath and thank you for being yesterday some of you are wishing a little more enthusiastically than we should this letter before we begin let's pray together and pray that God will be with us finally got we want to thank you for being here we want to thank you for this group of people who gathered for great music for the opportunity we've had to just spend time in your presence and we pray now that as we open your words that your Holy Spirit will be present and that we will experience a blessing we ask this in Jesus name amen now you know that Sierra is a strange accent while I'm up here that's because I was born in Zimbabwe having always about rias are right and I spent some time in southern Africa so that anytime you don't understand what I'm saying you just you just lift up your hands and you does that help in Jesus and download what do there how do you like waiting anyone yell like waiting I do not do a visit to the patient and writer but I did not like waiting yelling when the light turns red I have to control myself are you following me you're just just can't take a deep breath when I get into the fast lane and seventy besides there on a Sunday afternoon drive and I'm just about to lay my hand on your end and on my lawn remember that on the back of my car it's his Bible universe .com this I do not like waiting and I'm sure this times when each of us have been a little frustrated with delays I just the one time I went to an urgent care facility that is not made correctly at least doctors have it right is called a lot a waiting room a chance to catch up on a nineteen eighty three Reader's Digest and saw it all and I look at the Bible I have discovered certain things and and one thing that's very clear as you go through the Bible is that the Bible says that God likes waiting and I just cannot throw out a couple of takes here at the beginning before we go into today's story Lamentations three was twenty six Lamentations chapter three and was twenty six now of course the final lamentations focus and easiest way to find that of Jeremiah and the right after Jeremiah got to find lamentations and what you have is twenty five to begin before we get to was twenty six Lamentations three and was twenty five the Lord is good onto them that wait for him to the salt that seek at them Lamentations three was twenty six it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the law as I've gone through the Bible I discovered time after time the Bible says that we have to wait it says you want to have a Messiah you have to wait four thousand yes and it comes down to the end of time and it says we have to wait again another takes Psalm twenty seven was fourteen a few books back Psalm twenty seven was fourteen and again it tells us that we have to wait Psalm twenty seven and verse fourteen is this went on the law it be of good courage and he will do what strengthen your hot ways he repeats I say on the lot and psychiatric Bible there is this command to whites and I know some of us are challenged with waiting there are some who've been waiting for the right person to come along and eighty waiting and waiting that had a few false starts and is still finding that that person is that and then there are others who been waiting for the right missionary opportunity be waiting of waiting I just never seems to come giving some who been waiting for this studies to be finished how many you and that category all right your wedding one day I not have to work and study I can just like you does work a lot longer and so there's this waiting this Sunday yeah I get all who are about to get married and that he waiting for months for this day that's got to come tomorrow and anyway I went as a guy come in this weekend my wife spoke to Tim and Sonny just a little while ago and she's when the runaway hit she says they sound really excited I said honey to getting married this but I been waiting for this day and so when we got the Bible we find that God does ask us to whites define delay creeps into our lives so we can attempt to story in Genesis chapter twelve Genesis chapter twelve and we find some principles for waiting Genesis chapter twelve and reading and boasts one Genesis is the first book of the Bible I'm waiting for you to get back to twelve is one analog said unto Abraham get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father 's house unto a land that I will show the first two and I will make a be a great nation and I will bless thee and make thy name great and that Shelby I blessing I have found that the reason why we went is because God has given us a promissory volume he widely liked because we have a promise that we hang on to why do we wait to open up Christmas her up with a price because we believe that that that wrapping is a promise that something good is waiting for us why do we wait for certain things like why do we wait on sexuality because we believe that God has something better waiting for us is he waiting is based on the promise of something better are you were following me so yeah we have Abraham Abraham at this stage been promised that he will be a great nation what an incredible promise this is his prosperity will be known throughout the world he will be a blessing to all nations he will bless he will have a name a nation named after him he has these incredible promises that are given to him by God and he can hold on he can enjoy anything he can go through anything because he has this promise amen and so when we have the promise of something better why would we trade it for anything less this becomes the core of Abraham 's existence not keep Genesis open we got to go over to Hebrews chapter twelve the other into the Bible Hebrews chapter twelve sorry Hebrews Chapter 11 Hebrews Chapter 11 and was eighth by faith Abraham when he was called Hebrews eleven was a by faith Abraham when he was called God into the place which you should ask it would see foreign inheritance he did what all beta anyway not not knowing whether he went by faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country most in for you looked for a city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God what was Abraham ready waiting for what is he waiting for he was waiting for I heavenly country at heavenly city he had his eyes focused on the prison but on the future and one of the reasons why found it difficult for us to wait is because we're all microwave generation we wanted now it used to be that we were happy to wait for a two minute noodles but now what we have instant noodles right the staple of every single student and so we are waiting we were anticipating something but we find that it takes too long because our focus is on the present where a generation that when we want to detainment we simply have to flick a switch when we want to have fast food we just have to drive around the corner and get it in five minutes if we want to satisfy we want to create sexual expectations it's just a flick of amount similar right there and so we do the shortcuts because we live in the present instead of having out expectation on the future are you following me out generation since the one that lives for the present instead we find in the Bible that we called to wait on the future go with me to second Corinthians chapter four second Corinthians chapter four just a few books back from where we were second Corinthians chapter four and right near the end of that chapter was sixteen for it says for which cause we faint not sick grandkids over sixty but though our outward man perish yet the inward man is renewed day by day we are able to white folks because we believe that we have something better for it says for our light affliction would Torre moment works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we look not at the things which are what seen but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are temporary but the things which are not seen are eternal what God is asking us to do folks is he's asking us to place all hope our vision on his reality and non- amounts are you following he's asking for us to say look I know right now right now you'll focus on what you need to focus on the loneliness your focus on your career you focus on your opportunities but he says I have something better in mind for you if you're willing to do what to wait for episode God gives Abraham a promise and he says you need to weights not it was an experiment and you probably know of it done at Stanford University with four -year-olds I have a four year also this is very relevant to me they put a marshmallow in front of the four -year-olds and then they had a camera on and they had a teacher in the room and the end the teacher said to the student if you're willing to wait yeah I'm going to go alas and when I come back you'll get not one marshmallow but to and so the teacher disappeared for about fifteen minutes and the cameras focus on the kit and Mrs. four -year-old kid with the mozzarella sitting on a plate in front of it added the kids start school I mean you can see the little wheels turning marshmallow now all two marshmallows later and so some of the kids couldn't help themselves they grabbed the pot smell and eight at and as soon as the teacher came back inside she so sorry you lost a second marshmallow but some kids were able to sit and whites and they were waiting when the teacher came back in the kid got two marshmallows now what it was a trace those kids over there in about fifteen years to see how those kids would do those who were the one marshmallow kits they were able to focus in school they were able to solve conflict and by the time they got to the SAT scores they ended up two hundred points higher than the one muscular kids those who are able to wait for their marshmallow with two hundred is a key point is that how it works as it is a key item I came from a British system we different so they were able to do so much better and after fifteen years there was so much better than those who couldn't wait and what is the principle involved here it's the principle of delayed gratification those kids that unload how to delay gratification do much better in life and those who are wanting to get it right now they don't do as well the Cemex is everyone and so what we need to do is we need to say all we looking for something that ought while we try to get it now my best illustration of this was when I went to a banquet when I was in college they are the banquet was taking forever you know when the food never arise and so we were seated at a table and they kept bringing out just what wide roles and so gently these cheap white rolls and we started getting those white roles as we were hungry and it took like an hour for the food to come and eventually they brought out the spell Lucius food I mean just absolutely steaming vegetarian buffet it was incredible and I put it down in front of us and guess what none of us were hungry we had filled out on cheap that he said white roles in the same way folks God is asking us to believe in his promise that he is something better for us but what happens is we want the shortcut and we wanted now let's take a look at what happens with Abraham go back to Jenna this chapter thirteen Genesis chapter thirteen and went to see how Abraham develops or item to go back to Genesis thirteen MHC Genesis at the twelfth of August twenty myself and my notes yeah they regard Genesis chapter twelve and look at what happens here so the Lord was one we read the Lord said to Abraham get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred somehow we have an expectation that when God asks us to wait he's got to make it pleasant to sit us down in the chair and he's got to say listen yes some iced tea yes the reason for the delay you just hang on any big schnitzel got a workout and so we have this expectation that waiting is comfortable not only do we find that waiting is the promise of something better but we find that waiting is uncomfortable now you take a look at just how uncomfortable it gets you through the Ghana make him a great nation and it goes on and was six and it says and was six Abram passed through the land of shake him onto the plane Amore and the Canaanites was then in the last nice yes this land that God 's promise to Abraham and his dwelling who the Canaanites people who sacrifice the children who are the Canaanites people who are mean and vicious and saw a ram arrives at this land this promised land and what is divine it's already occupied by other people with a like all Abraham then will give you as much land as we need no they were people that he had to get to the goal she ate with the hectic he had to work in very difficult circumstances look at verse ten and there was a famine in the land here is what happens God tells Abraham I have a promise for you it's something bit at the land under the show you but when he gets paid he finds it he got to get it right away now he has to wait for it if a famine there are people in the land this is not at all like what he wanted and so I found that God makes waiting uncomfortable God tells us that we are not going to be able to survive at least we depend on him as we go through the Bible Psalm thirty seven with seven of his freight not wait patiently Psalm forty was one wait patiently on the Lord I found that God has a reason why he makes waiting uncomfortable can you guess what that reason would be to develop patients to develop patience and so what I've found is that when you get into a waiting situation God is they to develop your character weighting is about character development amen how did you like character development and if you have a pray for patience I did that I ended up with weekends and so when we are in the midst of a waiting situation we have to say how can we go through this how can we make it through and God 's sight I have a purpose yeah I want to develop your character weighting is God 's maturing process Natchez what I found when it comes to relationships in relationships we don't tend to wait we tend to go by feelings you're following me in relationships because of my feelings so I remember the one time when I felt totally in love with someone who is not to become my wife and I went to this treadmill and as I was on this treadmill you may I just kept hearing her name over and over again as I'm running on the treadmill Sunday Sean Sean Sean and I got to be so bad the more I read the more desperate I was to just go and pour out my heart to so I ran across to her dormitory and I and I and I called it down and when she came down as a new roadside no with the site because all I could think of was shown that John AMA she walks down and I can hear Sean nation and my heart speeding inside of myself and just coming out and I'm experiencing feelings but this is not God 's will any of you have been in that situation and a few bright answer was right on the breast about Smith's all right so so yeah we have this expectation that that we can have what we feel what we want right now and that's what's happening is when I quote instant intimacy we had the desire for instant intimacy if I decide to be intimate with the person I wanted right now I want to hold a hand now I wanted be connected with them right now when we come into worship we want instant intimacy with God and so in some places they will work up your feelings and your emotions and estuary most of the work that you start being closer to God and you want this instant intimacy you may have been missing God all during the week but you expect somehow the worship service is going to bring you into the presence of God and given a habit that instant intimacy in a moment of your following me and so instead of waiting to develop a relationship with God we expect the worship service to do it in just a couple of hours and if it doesn't do it for us and I get anything out of today said his wife because I didn't feel God within and it we sometimes feel with a spouse into the married couples Sunday it's not as as romantic and as and as fiery as it used to be in we think we've lost a lot of that God is teaching us as we wait upon each other that character development and intimacy takes time are you following and so when we get to a Ramses being torn through difficult circumstances to wait on God and that's the next point way team develops faith relevant to Genesis chapter fifteen Genesis chapter fifteen of us as one through six after these things the way of the Lord came into a remedy vision Saints fan on Abraham I am thy shield and exceeding great reward and Abraham at this stage we don't know how long it's been better said they been a number of years Abraham said Lord God what wilt thou give me seem like all childless and the only blessed to inherit anything is my seventh anniversary uses the hall to meet out the vanilla seed and no one born in my house is my dad and most want to hold the wood of the Lord came unto him saying thou shalt not this shall not be nine in but he that shall come forth a bite on bowels shall be thine heir and he brought him forth abroad and said look now toward heaven and tell the stars if you can number them and he said unto him so shall not space seed be for six and he believed in the Lord and he counted it to him for righteousness to follow what happens here Sierra 's Abraham St. Laurent I've waited for a number of years maybe it's been five six years now and every time y'all my wife and I would be excited we've been waiting every month to see that we don't have a child but now we've come down for all these years and still there is no child's what is Abraham did in response to his question he gets another promise he says wait I promise that your seed will be like you just wait on me and what is Abraham do in response to that he believes and this is the famous righteousness by faith because he believes God credits that to him for righteous bus so when we come to waiting waiting is there so that we can learn to depend on God and not on ourselves when we like to depend on God instead of ourselves we love that God is developing our hotties helping us to trust in him Golub announces Psalm thirty seven Psalm thirty seven and I know would looking at the Bible I hope you used to doing that Psalm thirty seven and wistful do you like thyself also in the Lord and he shall do what give you the desires of thine heart to know what you need to do to the life accepted the Lord look at verse five Commit thy way unto the Lord what's the next word trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass you see we all have desires in our hearts we all desire something that only God can give us the we have to hand that desiring to God 's hands and see in response will give us the desires of our heart as we trust God he in turn takes our desires and hands them back to us waiting develops trust it helps us to see that without God we could never achieve what we really desire without God we had never be able to have what is the deepest need of a hot Smit without God we would be an amiss waiting develops that kind of trust of his God I don't understand but I trust you I don't understand why it is that I can have the relationship am looking for right now but God I trust you I don't understand why it is why I'm struggling with with my studies and I have to retake mathematics but God I trust you are you following me it is a sign of trust because waiting singers that it is now out on your control waiting develops faith I remember when I was I decided to study theology I believe God has made everything out and here provided everything for me to go and so I thought I was going to South Africa to study theology from Zimbabwe and I knelt down by my bed and I say God I want to go open the doors and all the doors seem to open exceptional wine I needed a visa to go to South Africa and so I booked my plane ticket interface and I got ready to go and my fees I had not arrived and so I sit to go out all right you know you would just testing me I read booked my ticket for a few days later we called around to the embassy we try to get the visa nothing three days later my fax is still packed but there was no visa it came down to the last day that I could go I booked my ticket for the very last day that I could still register and begin class and so now it was the last day and was about noon my flight was at four in the afternoon and it was still no visa I got down on my knees and I said Lord I realize that I haven't surrendered this to you I trust you if you don't want me to become a minister that I accept that I started to cry because of all my heart I wanted to be a minister this as I was crying there beside my bed and handing a totally other to him suddenly the phone rang and it was the embassy now since when does an embassy called you any embassy said your visas yeah hurry and get it we got it all my bags in the car I was already packed we raced onto the embassy and I got on the plane and our I got to the airport an hour before the plane was due to leave and I got on that plane and I was thinking God because I realized you been waiting for me to trust him waiting you see depends on God 's timing and God solutions go with me back to Genesis LASC when you don't wait on God what happens Genesis sixteen verse two Genesis chapter sixteen of us to notice that now the problem is not a rabid Sarah and Sarah I said unto Abraham Genesis sixteen was to behold now the Lord has restrained me from bearing condition blank the law I freely go into my made and it may be that I may obtain children by the and a RAM hog into the voice of Sarah Psyche out we have a ramp has been waiting by the last set rises like you're been telling me for years God is giving you these promises God is going to take us through God 's promise something better but I've waited he living yes now that's how long it took eleven years I've waited eleven years and at the state there is still no child's so I've got another solution and they were willing to wait and so they became impatient then you can't blame Sarah for getting tired of it all she's waited and waited and waited she's been wondering every month that that queasy feeling was just bad colic Randall really if it was pregnancy and at the end she says I'm tired of playing this game let's see if the law to set up my womb maybe was supposed to do something about this we had it one of my amazing facts College of evangelism classes we had a young lady came to me saying look I I tired of waiting for God to tell this person that this supposed to take me so I made a pact with the Lord I said what if you brings me some now as if he brings me roses and put them on my doorstep then I'll know that he's the one but I waited and waited and there be no roses on the doorstep now I know I can tell this person what he supposed to do but I thought you this is so I said no I can't make assigned work for you we need to wait on God and not become impatient can you say amen we need to be willing to wait for God to fulfill his promises and so Abraham creates a mix and we still deal with the today there are consequences for every poor decision we make when you decide to date somebody who is not part of God 's plan well you know he's a nice guy and he's yummy ones available around you you know who I like it and so why not login a week i.e. I we just got to be friends and see how it goes you know hold hands reins you know that kind of friendship and so we we rush ahead of God any now in patients we end up rushing into situations that create problems for us now get Mister Young is how you have done this kind of thing about the relations that you rush into it you got it thank you for your hand against Iraq's so we've always rushed into situations where we we know this is created problems in God tells us that if we're wanting to follow him we need to wait upon his timing and that brings me to my next point waiting is dependent on God 's timing notice what happens next in Genesis seventeen Genesis seventeen episodes one through four now when Abraham was ninety years old and nine the Lord appeared to Abraham and said to him I have the Almighty God walk before me and be thou perfect but still and I will make my covenant with between the NVM will mount why did exceedingly and Abraham fell on his face and God talked with insane as for me behold my covenant is with the and down Selby a father of many nations seven times Abraham 's promise that he will be the father offs of many nations you that he will inherit the land and sea God promises him again but this time there is a difference he is saying this will happen this is going to take place and neither shalt that name anymore be called Abraham but thy name shall be called Abraham for a father of many nations have I made the PC folks God has been telling him I have my time all the debris is Abraham at the search ninety nine how the Sarah eighty nine right so ninety nine and eighty nine and it is impossible at this stage for them to produce a child's why did God make them white until this time character building yes the White House because it was impossible right because God wanted to do something that they could not do on themselves he wanted to show that this was America and because we want to rush timing because we want to rush into something we often take away God 's miracle for a lot to remember when Lazarus died how Jesus waited before he came back why did he wait because he wanted to perform a miracle you see God does his best when we're at outlets are you following me God has his best when we can do anything God does his best when your options have run out when I got to the end of my rope when I thought that they were no molecules and it was true inside Africa that I could date there was a nice sound indebtedness that is merely there was no one else was available at that time God sent me shopping internationally and I ended up with a goal from Arkansas that's why our kids are African-American or so this saw God sends us to the end of our rope because he knows that's when he can perform American and I want to encourage you folks if you think that this is the end if you think it is no more that God cannot do anything else remember if God has promised it he will do it letting his son 's hiding in his own way Psalms sixty two vessel five says my soul waits for the Lord my expectation is from him amen I can wait on God because he is the one you will bring it to pass in his timing in his way Genesis chapter eighteen three men come to visit Abraham and they tell them and I'm on Akamai going to open details they tell him that this time next year you will have a child at the appointed time God already had his time he was waiting for Abraham to reach a point waking you he could not bring it to pass it would depend on God to perform the memory today some of you are struggling with how to trust God with what he's going to do some of you are struggling with a career choice some of you are struggling with the sexual choice some of you are struggling with the relationship choice I want to tell you folks that God is going to be faithful to his promise but he's not going to accept any half hearted solutions that you make did God ever except Ishmael is the son of the promise note that very clearly and then he says I will make a covenant with Isaac and so God does not accept out halfhearted attempts to project saw on solutions to our loneliness problems to our web problems God incentives you wait on me and in my timing I will bring it to pass you may be in a relationship are not told about a marriage relationship but a dating relationship that you know is not of God 's doing and God is saying get out of that relationship and wait on me you may be in in a situation where you know you're compromising maybe it's a work situation and your compromising and God says you need to compromise no longer need to depend on me are you following me folks because as you wait on me I will give you the desires of your hot my wife was on the way out to see me she wasn't my wife back then we were dating and she was coming to seeing you in Africa and was all that see it was December of two thousand and eight she was on her way out she was go to see how boyfriend she was all excited about it she had the tickets she went to New York City she slipped that someone's apartment and then she got caught up in the morning to go to go on the subway system out to the airport she traveled on the subway system got into a taxi and everything else finally made it to the airport will step to the counter about two hours ahead of time she's on time she gets up to the counter and she looks for new tickets and it tickets is gone she looks inside the whole bags she can find it anywhere she looks inside everything the ticket is missing and so she begins frantically to tell the person at the counter looked I need to get on the plane is in my name on there on the roster basis sorry man that's a paper ticket the only way you can get on the plane is if you find that ticket she says is there any other way to get a ticket she says if you buy a new one you can get a ticket she says there's no way I can afford a brand-new ticket so she calls back to the person on the apartment equals the name of the neighbor goes into the apartment looks lovely apartment no ticket can be found and at last she realizes that the clock is ticking that she's missed the plane and she kneels down in front of that suitcase and she just she's crying by now and she says Lord if this man is not for me I accepted and then she hears as it were a voice that says open the map she goes back to the map that she's a ready look at she pulls it out of its pocket and she flings open the map and give the ticket ground she grabs the ticket runs to the count so one of the main health survey and she makes it she's the last person on the plane they close the doors after and now once again she's crying is a woman for you right now that she has of joy why because she knows that she is weighted and trust in God and he is given the desire of a hot today folks if you're willing to trust God if you're willing to make a commitment to depend on him I want you to stand with me this morning if you like say God I'm going under the trust you no matter where it leads I better be like Abraham I'm not a decide to trust you for takes twenty five years for the promise to come about I will trust you with the desires of my heart let's pray together five ago we all face things that are challenging for us some of us have been struggling to trust you with the deepest desires of our hearts and right now this morning we dedicate those desires to you how pleasant to look at the better things that you have in mind for us to not live in the in the prison to become impatient but to trust your promises father when we feel like giving up when we feel like creating a mix help us to recognize that your timing is perfect for we ask these things knowing that you want what's best for our hearts in Jesus name we pray amen


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