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Waiting on God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2022 8:00 am

Waiting on God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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May 18, 2022 8:00 am

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Sometimes it looks like God has your life idling in neutral.

The motor is running, but the wheels aren't turning. Dr. Tony Evans talks about the most important thing we can do when we feel like we're not getting anywhere. God knows how to deliver His people. So when you are tempted to complain about the waiting, that is an invitation to worship.

This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative. When you order something online, you typically get to choose how fast you want it delivered. Today, Dr. Evans explains why that isn't the case when we pray.

Let's join him as he talks about how to wait for God's perfect timing. If the truth be told, and we were being totally honest, most of us don't like waiting, particularly if we're waiting for something to change or something to get better. Waiting can be a very frustrating experience. Have you ever been at a red light that won't change? It means you're stuck there. Things aren't letting you go forward. Maybe you've been in a doctor's office and they just keep calling everybody's name but yours. You ever been on the phone and they tell you to hold the line and play music?

And the music goes on and on and on. And your question is, what's taking so long? Sometimes it looks like God has your life idling in neutral.

The motor is running, but the wheels aren't turning. Often it seems like God is never in a hurry when we are. We call on Him and He doesn't seem to want to answer.

Many of us are like Habakkuk. Chapter 1, verse 2, when he cries out, How long, O Lord, how long? Do I have to call on you? And you do not answer.

You're not answering me and you're not giving me any information. And if the truth be told in your private moments, sometimes the thought of bailing out on God crosses your mind. If we stop playing the Christian game, you feel bad for thinking it. You don't want to think it. You wish you didn't think it, but you thunk it. It's crossed the mind.

Maybe this thing isn't real, because I'm not hearing anything. It's like the pilot who was flying the plane. He had four engines. One engine went out. The second engine went out. The third engine went out. The fourth engine went out. So the pilot put on his parachute, went to the exit, looked back at the people, and said, Folks, don't worry.

I'm just going to get some help. Because sometimes it feels like God has bailed out on you, and He's left you to fly by yourself. And if not that, He's got you in a holding pattern. You've been in a plane with a holding pattern.

They're just going in circles, and nothing ever lands. The unfulfilled dreams. And yet, over and over and over and over and over again in the Bible, we're told to wait on the Lord. For example, the psalmist says in Psalm 130, one of dozens and dozens of examples, verses 5 and 6, I wait for the Lord. My soul does wait.

In His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord. In Lamentations, chapter 3, verses 25 and 26, He says, God is good to those who wait for Him, who seek Him, wait for the Lord, over and over. What does it mean to wait for the Lord?

Does it mean to sit in a rocking chair and hope something better happens at some day? What does wait on the Lord mean, particularly when you have been waiting and you have heard nothing? Let me give you the definition of waiting on the Lord. Waiting on the Lord biblically means to not go outside of God to resolve your issue. There is the temptation when you are waiting on God to intervene in your circumstance and He is taking His time, not talking to you, to take care of it yourself, outside of His revealed will. And so you stop waiting on the Lord and you take matters into your own hands. James, chapter 5, talks about this a little bit when James says in verse 7, Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming, that is the divine intervention of the Lord.

The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient. Strengthen your heart for the coming that is the intervention of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged.

Behold, the judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job having seen the outcome of the Lord's dealing, that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or on earth or with an oath, but you say, let your yes be yes, your no be no, so that you do not fall under judgment. He says, wait on the Lord, because if you go outside of God to make it happen apart from God, you delay God in his intervention. One of the ways he says in James 5, you know you're delaying God is you're spending a lot of your time complaining instead of worshiping.

If you have a complaining spirit, that's not just being honest about a problem. That means that you have become a whiner against God and against others because you're tired of waiting. He says instead of God being your deliverer, he now must be your judge. In the Bible, there are many illustrations of people having to wait on God to fulfill his word in their lives. Abraham and Sarah had to wait 25 years before the promise of God for a child according to his will.

It got delayed because they went in the flesh. Noah had to wait 120 years before he saw the first storm cloud in the sky. Martha and Mary had to wait as Jesus intentionally delayed before the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.

Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. Hannah had to wait before she got her pregnancy and Ruth had to wait before she got her husband and we wait for the return of Jesus Christ. Part of the Christian experience at various segments of our Christian lives is to wait. Negatively, waiting on God means not going outside of God to resolve the issue. What it does mean is obeying God as you wait based on his revealed will from the Word because you will never see what he plans to do in secret unless he sees you're obeying what he's revealed.

God doesn't tell you everything he's gonna do but what he has told you, he expects you to do until he shows you what you don't know that he will do. When you're sick and you go to the doctor, he writes down a prescription. You fill the prescription. Guess what the doctor expects you to do in your pain while you wait to get better?

Take medicine. He doesn't expect you just to read about the medicine. He doesn't expect you to meditate on the medicine. He doesn't expect you to talk to other folk about the medicine. He wants you to take the medicine. Then you've gotta wait for the medicine to do what it's designed to do. But the longer you take to take what he has written, the longer you're gonna be sick and have to wait. A lot of us like to talk about what's written, talk to other folk about what's written, think about what's written, listen to other folk on the pulpit tell you what's written, but never take the medicine and wonder why you're not getting better. Wonder why you're still waiting for divine intervention.

Depending on the illness, some medicines work quick, some take a little time, some you have to take overtime depending on what needs to happen in your physical body. Well, God and the Lord Jesus, they're the great physicians and he is prescribed and he looks at whether there is obedience because that affects the timing of the wait. So some of us have been waiting for years what God wanted to change in months. Some of us have waited for months what God would have changed in weeks because he can't get us to do what is written. We'll read about it, discuss it, but not act on it, which means there's no faith, no obedience, and we wait. Waiting does involve time, depending upon the situation, the person, the obedience.

It does involve time. Anthony, when he was small, came home with an assignment and that is to plant a seed in a pot for a plant to grow in his science class. He put it in on Friday night, got up Saturday morning, and it was ticked off. Nothing happened.

Because his expectation was, if I did what the teacher said on Friday, I ought to be seeing a plant on Saturday. Now, it's not that nothing was happening, it was just all happening in secret underneath the dirt until the right time that it emerged. You see, when God is silent, he's not still. But a lot of his activity and a lot of his purposes are being woven underneath the dirt until such time within the confines of his purposes and will, he is ready to reveal it. 2 Peter 2, 9 makes it clear, God knows how to deliver his people.

It's not a lack of ability. So when you are tempted to complain about the waiting, that is an invitation to worship while you wait and as you obey. So what's God doing in the background while we wait? Well, Dr. Evans will have two answers for us when he comes back in a moment.

Stay with us. Far too many of us want to throw in the towel before we've thrown up the prayers. Dr. Tony Evans says Christians have a habit of underusing or overlooking our most valuable spiritual resource. Grace is available but only at the throne and you can only approach the throne through prayer. You can deepen your connection with the Lord through our in-depth course on kingdom prayer at the Tony Evans Training Center. You'll discover how God has wired the world to work by prayer and experience for yourself how it connects heaven with earth and time with eternity.

You'll not only gain a new understanding and appreciation for prayer, you'll actually pray in transforming ways you've never experienced before. The course is intense, but you can work through it at your own pace and get all the help you need through our online forum. And, of course, there's custom content from Tony not available anywhere else. Connect with the Tony Evans Training Center at

It's like having a seminary on your smartphone or other device. Start today, If your life seems to be stuck in a holding pattern, make the time count by doing some deeper study. A good place to start is by requesting a copy of Tony's current teaching series, Joseph Detours to Destiny. This nine-part audio collection will help you see that when life takes a sudden left turn, God may be steering you down a bumpy road that ultimately leads toward the future He designed for you.

Trials, temptations, setbacks, things others do to us, and the things we do to ourselves, you'll see how God uses them all to help you develop your faith and discover your destiny. Today is the final day we'll be in this Detours to Destiny series, so it's the perfect time to get your own copy on CD or digital download as our gift in return for your contribution toward keeping Tony's teaching on this station. We depend completely on your support to keep this ministry going, and we want you to know how grateful we are that you're standing with us. Visit us at to make your contribution and receive the Detours to Destiny collection, or call us at 1-800-800-3222.

Team members will be available all day and night to help you with your resource request. Again, that's, or by phone at 1-800-800-3222. And now here's Dr. Evans with the second part of today's message. So that raises the question, what in the world is God doing while I wait? Two things are happening, and nothing and no one illustrates these two things like the story of Joseph. Psalm 105 verse 16 says, And he, God, called for a famine upon the land. He broke the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

They afflicted his feet with fetters. He himself was laid in iron, watch this, until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. There was a timing aspect to Joseph's life.

One reason that God has waiting, you waiting, me waiting, us waiting for various things, is he's doing something bigger than you. In other words, he sent Joseph ahead of his other brothers and Jacob his father. He sent Joseph ahead to prepare the way for the rest of the family to come in order to build the nation in the land of Egypt. So while Joseph was the one being sent, he was being sent for a bigger purpose. That's why when Joseph finally realized what God was doing, he says, God sent me here to save y'all.

One of the reasons you are waiting is because God is up to something bigger than just you. But how did he send him? Well, guess what? His brothers got jealous. His brothers got jealous of the coat of many colors his father made for him. That got him thrown into a pit. He was thrown into a pit, argued that he was dead. His brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites as a slave. He wound up being taken in slavery and sold in Egypt to Potiphar's house. Once in Potiphar's house, it looked like things were getting better until one day he's accused of rape.

Even though he didn't commit rape, he is thrown in jail. Guess how God sent him? He sent them through things that went wrong in his life. He sent them through things that were going backwards in his life. He sent them through one negative situation after another negative situation. And he's miserable while God is sending. Not knowing whether he's going to live or die and God is saying, yeah, I got to get you out of here and I'm going to create negative situations to get you out of here. You've walked with God for any time you know.

He doesn't mind you turns and detours. God is doing something bigger than you. There's a second reason that he has us waiting.

He says it in verse 19, until the time that the word came to pass that God fulfilled what he was going to promise to do, the word of the Lord tested him. And because he knew what he planned to do with Joseph to make him the second ruler in the kingdom of Egypt, he had to take him deeper. So he had to take him through some stuff because where he was taking him. I was on vacation kind of deprogramming from the year's work in the middle of trying to enjoy myself. I wake up in the middle of the night with pain that kills me over like a little girl because a kidney stone had come loose and made itself known. I'm just hurting so I had to be rushed to the doctor and they had to whip me in and perform immediate surgery. I'm in a crisis situation on vacation in a hospital.

The doctor comes in the next day. He said, that was a large stone. Let me ask you a question. I said, yeah. He said, you don't drink a lot of water, do you? And why are you all up in my grill? He said, you don't drink a lot of water because you got a whole bunch of stones.

Exactly. You got a whole bunch of stones. We got the big one. But if you don't start drinking more water, you coming back here again. So me and water have become friends. Me and water, we got a thing going on now because I don't want no more babies. I don't want no more babies.

One child is enough for me. What he was saying was your problem had a deeper root. And yes, I dealt with this problem, but this problem is going to show up because you got these other stones. Unless you start drinking a lot of water, you're coming back here again. So what he was telling me was dealing with what you asked for at the hospital to relieve your pain is not solving your problem but to deal with something deeper. He wanted to take me deeper. God tests to take us deeper and further. It's like the army soldier and in training the men, they had to jump over this riverbed and he wanted them to jump and not land in the river. They jumped, but most of the gods couldn't make it. Some made it a third, some made it half, some made it two thirds, but most couldn't make it. He said, gentlemen, you're not in shape. We're going to try this again. He put an alligator in the river.

All of them made it. Because sometimes you need some negative potential in your experience to take you further than you would go on your own. He said to test him, to do what he did with Joe, does he only worship you for stuff? Does he only worship you because you made him rich, you blessed him, you gave him all this stuff, you take that stuff away, and let's see whether he still worships you. It's easy to worship him when the tree is full. It's easy to worship him when the account is thick. It's easy to worship him when the health is tight. It's easy to worship him when the pain is gone. But do you worship me because I am who I am and not only for what I can do for you.

Which brings us down to one of the most important principles of the Christian faith. And Dr. Evans will come back in a moment to help us understand it as he wraps up today's message called Waiting on God. Now this is the final message in his nine-part audio series called Joseph Detours to Destiny. Available on CD or downloadable MP3s, we'd like to give you the complete collection with our thanks when you make a contribution toward the continued outreach of the alternative.

Don't put it off. Visit us today at to make your contribution and request this in-depth study of the life of Joseph. Again, that's Or you can let one of our friendly team members assist with your request when you call 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. There's a saying that kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. Well, Dr. Evans believes kindness is a gift that our society can't afford not to give. Take the time to show kindness to those you meet today and in the name of Jesus, look for opportunities to demonstrate kindness to someone who needs a touch from God. You know, the Lord has created a wonderful process that turns ordinary people into steadfast saints. The Bible calls it discipleship. And tomorrow, Dr. Evans will explore that topic as he kicks off a brand-new engaging series he calls Bold Belief.

Right now, though, he's back with an important final concept for us to consider today. The second most important spiritual truth in your life. The first one is the gospel, where you hear the good news of Christ and you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. That's the first.

That's the most important thing you can do. But then the second truth is the key to living your life. Theologically, it's called the sovereignty of God. It means God is in control of all the circumstances, good and bad.

See, if you do not believe and understand that God is sovereign, then you'll be talking about luck and chance and maybe and perhaps and them people and that circumstance. See, you'll be looking at all the stuff and missing the God who allowed it. That's why you can give thanks to God with the negative because the negative only got to you when it passed through his fingers by permission. And we're not talking about when you're rebelling and sinning against God.

Then you brought on the negative. We're talking about when you're trying to follow God. You're trying to obey God. You're trying to serve God. And bad things are happening. Negative things are happening. Do not lose sight of the sovereignty of God. There may be a boss in your life, a coworker in your life, a maid in your life, and they are creating misery for you. But if you view the sovereignty of God, they may be doing their thing, but God is doing his thing. Once you keep in mind that God oversees even the negative. While you wait, it changes your perspective as you wait. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-17 01:27:15 / 2023-04-17 01:36:31 / 9

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