Don’t Wait on the Lord

waiting (1)God gets blamed for more stuff that anyone I know. People have claimed that God told them all manner of things, from committing murder, to all out international war, to making just plain stupid and hurtful decisions.

Sometimes, God gets credit for things he didn’t do. I have heard so many pastors brag about their churches, about how God is doing something special, or about how the church is growing so fast, they are just “trying to figure it out as they go.” Sometimes, it’s just a subtle way of bragging on themselves, and a thinly veiled attempt to incite a little jealousy among their colleagues.

What they indicate as God’s blessing is usually attributable to something very human. For instance churches grow, when they are in growing areas, that’s why inner city churches move to the more affluent suburbs. Churches grow when led by charismatic leaders, though sometimes they are not very nice people. Churches grow when they offer programs that people like, such as spectacular Sunday morning productions. That is part of the attraction of the mega churches. They grow while little churches are unable to keep their doors open. So much of what is called “God’s blessing” is directly attributable to leadership and sociological factors.

Do supernatural things happen? Do unexplainable blessings occur? I certainly believe so, but the key factor there is the word, “unexplainable.”

There is another way that people slander God. It is not to falsely attribute things to him, but an excuse to take a totally passive approach to life. It has a name: “waiting on the Lord.”

In all fairness, when someone claims they are waiting on the Lord, it can mean something other than opting out of personal responsibility. It may mean, “I don’t know what to do. So, rather than just doing something that is ill advised, I am waiting until I have more clarity.”

But “waiting on the Lord,” can become a convenient excuse. It can be a pseudo spiritual way of saying, “I am just going to keep my nose down, and do what is expected of me,” rather than get in touch with the still small voice within me and find out what I really should be pursuing.

Or maybe it really means, “I am waiting for some sort of sign to help me to make a decision,” rather than, carefully considering the issue and making an informed decision.

I used to think like this. If a door opened, it was God. If it didn’t, I was waiting on the Lord.

For some people, “waiting on the Lord,” simply means, “I’m stuck.” I have felt like at several different junctures in my life. While, I think we need to get a little more comfortable with living through a process, and not having everything figured out, everyone needs some direction, and sense of purpose.

To get “unstuck,” you need to get moving. The problem with that is that some of us are such sticklers for making sure we do the right thing that we do nothing. Some of us are so fearful and so risk adverse, we don’t try. We are afraid of making mistakes.

We never have things figured out very well ahead of time. We have to try things. We have to learn as we are doing. Then, we will have to tweak things again and again.

Sometimes, by getting moving we learn we are moving the wrong way. But the process gives us more clarity about the path we should be on. “Making mistakes” can be a huge positive in life.

We let fear paralyze us. We can say we are waiting on the Lord, but he is waiting on us.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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