Sunday, August 28, 2016

Trusting God Is Trusting In His Timing

This is the transcript and audio recording of a sermon delivered on August 28, 2016 at The Church of Divine Guidance (CDG), Los Angeles, California

I Will Trust In the Lord
Hebrews 11:6 says that we must first believe that God exists and that He rewards those who seek him diligently.   So here’s the question.   Do you trust God’s timing? I mean if  God’s timing is different from yours can you wait and wait patiently?  Do you believe that faith in God includes trusting His timing over yours?

You Have To Believe That God Acts on Your Behalf

In order to patiently wait on God’s timing and not “freak out” with stress and anxiety we have to know that God acts on our behalf.  We have to rely on Him and HIs timing to guide our lives, not our own schedule and timing. What we can see and know is limited but God’s knowledge is unlimited because He knows the end from the beginning.   

Isaiah 46:10 (NLT)  Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.

It really doesn’t matter what you are waiting on God for; a job, a spouse, a house, a car, a child, healing, whatever.  God’s timing is always perfect.  So whatever you are praying and trusting God for  wait patiently, even if it’s very hard to do.  

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Faith and Patience Go Together

James 1:3-4 (NLT)3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Faithful and patient Christians inherit the promises of God.

Hebrews 6:12 (NLT)  Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.

Abraham gives is an example of someone who waited patiently.  

Hebrews 6:13‭-‬15 (NLT) For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.” Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.

Even though both he and his wife Sarah were very seasoned, they had a son who they named Isaac.  From that son eventually  came David, the king of Israel, and from him came the Messiah, Jesus.  Abraham's natural descendants number in the millions because as an old man not only did he and Sarah have a son but, as you know he and Sarah servant, Hagar, had a son, Ishmael,  and after Sarah died Abraham had another wife and more children.  All this after God promised him that his descendants would be without number.  Those are just his natural descendants.  You and I and everybody else who has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior are also Abraham's spiritual descendants.  

Galatians 3:26-29 (NLT)26  For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27  And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes.28  There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.29  And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

God’s promises tell us what He will do, but not how or, when He will do it. We must leave the timing up to Him.  

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)  For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

Many people give up too soon. Our Father is faithful. He will answer if we’ll just believe and keep on believing patiently until He is ready to respond to our faith and our patience.

Galatians 6:9 (NLT)9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

What are our choices?

We can try to manipulate our circumstances.

We can try to do things our way.  Change our approach.   We can try bargaining with God, we can try working with different people, start networking with people we think can make it happen.  We can try all of these things but it will not change God’s timing.

We Can Walk away from Him.  

We can decide that God isn’t going to move and answer our prayer and that He is wrong for not doing it our way, so we can say I’m done with God because He doesn’t keep His promises.  That won’t help because if we walk away from God and try to do it on our own there are consequences.  (I’ll talk about  them later)

Or we can wait on the Lord and watch Him work.  

The best thing to do is just wait on the Lord and see His goodness in action.

Psalm 27:14 (NLT)14  Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.  

Lamentations 3:24-26 (NKJV)24  "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"25  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.26  It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.

Sermon Audio

What does waiting on God involve?

Waiting Means Resting  

Resting in the Lord requires patience.  That doesn’t mean doing nothing because patience is active.  Patience requires an act of your will.  You determine that you will wait on the Lord.

Psalm 37:7 (NKJV)7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

This is the psalm that we Christians like to quote

Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)4  Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Part of the delighting ourselves in the Lord is waiting on His timing.

Waiting Means Listening  

Actively listening for further instructions instead of running headlong toward our idea of a solution.  We listen by reading and studying God’s word, talking to other believers, listening to the Holy Spirit during our quiet times with God.  When we get further instructions then we follow them even if the instructions are to continue waiting.

Psalm 143:8 (NLT)8  Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.

Waiting Means Accepting  

When we wait we must accept what God is doing in our lives.  

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Waiting Means Surrendering

Some of us may have to give up what seems like an immediate need and then resist the temptation to set our own timeline.  Surrender the timing to God.
Ecclesiastes 8:6 (NLT) for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.

Waiting Means Anticipating  

Our waiting is purposeful anticipation that God will accomplish His purposes for our lives.  

Isaiah 55:10-11(NLT)10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.m11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to,  and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

You May Be Thinking If God Loves Us So Much Why Do We Have to Wait?

Here are some possible reasons

God is arranging circumstances.

God may be putting people in certain places just so they can be the answer to what you are waiting for.  He may be building a new ministry for you to join where you will find your answer.   He may be creating a new job for you.   Look at  how long it took for God to finally put David on the throne as king of Israel.  He was preparing him through all his hardships to be the ruler of His people.  

He had the Israelite army march around Jericho numerous times confusing the people of Jericho.   

A great example of God arranging circumstances was in the case of Jacob’s son Joseph.   When Joseph’s brothers sold him God started arranging things so that  Joseph  became the leader of Egypt under Pharaoh and was able to sustain his entire family by providing food for them and by providing a fertile area for them to live in, to multiply and begin the entire nation of Israel from which came Jesus.

God is purifying our motives.  

When we wait on God we don’t act out of lust, greed, or pride, we are motivated  by love, service, and obedience.  Read about what greed and not waiting for God to reward did for Achan and his family and for the nation of Israel in Joshua chapter 7.  It was not a pretty picture, and it was all because of greed.

In direct disobedience to God’s command Achan took some of the captured valuables that were to be set aside for worship and hid them resulting in the Israelites being defeated in their next battle.  You really need to read the entire account in Joshua to get the full impact of one person being motivated by greed.  The results were first a defeat for the army, and then his entire family.

Joshua 7:25 (NLT) 25  Then Joshua said to Achan, “Why have you brought trouble on us? The LORD will now bring trouble on you.” And all the Israelites stoned Achan and his family and burned their bodies.

God is Teaching us to rely on Him.   

If every prayer were answered immediately, we might never learn to trust God.  If we never had to wait for God then we would never experience who He is to us and if we don’t learn to trust Him in small things we’ll really freak out when we have a big need or decision.  

God is protecting us from unseen danger.  

When we run ahead of God we can run into unexpected problems.  Look at what happened to Abraham and Sarah when Sarah got ahead of God in having Abraham father a son.  The results created big problems in the family and there are still ramifications of it going on today.  Read the entire account in Genesis chapters 16, 17, and 21.  If they had waited on God who had given them a promise, they could have saved themselves, and now the world's, big problems.

God is preparing us to bless and impact others.  

When you wait on God’s timing, you can be an awesome testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness.  Christians and non-Christians are watching you as you wait on God.  Some  may never have gone to a church, or watched a Christian TV show, or read the Bible but they can see you and how you wait patiently. That will have a much greater impact than the Bible verses you quote, or the praise and worship music they hear when they get in your car.

What is God doing while we wait?

He Reveals His will.  

Colossians 1:9 (NLT)  So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Psalm 16:11 (NLT)  You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

He Guides our choices.  

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NLT)19  “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!20  You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

He Shields us.

Psalm 3:3 (NLT)  But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.

Psalm 91:4 (NLT)  He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

He Heals, comforts, and empowers us.

Zechariah 4:6 (NLT)  Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)  But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

He Encourages, and gives us peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) 6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

What are the requirements of waiting on God’s timing?

We must have Faith  

Trust Him even when the waiting gets long and hard.  

2 Samuel 22:31 (NLT)  “God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

We must have Patience  

Set aside your own agenda and allow Him to work.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) 22  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

We must have Humility  

People often disobey God out of pride. They think their plans are better than His, or they worry too much about what others will think.

Proverbs 29:23 (NLT) Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Proverbs 3:34 (NLT)  The LORD mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.

We must have Courage

In order to resist the temptation to do things your way, disregard negative comments and pressure, and stand firm against the fear of failure you need courage.

Psalm 27:14 (NLT)  Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.

Psalm 31:24 (NLT)  So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!

Hebrews 13:6 (NLT) So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

What are the consequences of not trusting in God’s timing

  • Disappointment
  • You are outside of God’s will
  • You miss God’s best for us
  • You bring overwhelming circumstances on yourselves including, hurt, pressure,stress, and anxiety

Here are some examples from scripture of not waiting on God’s timing and the consequences
Saul was told by Samuel to wait for him before attacking the Philistines but he didn’t wait and this failure cost him and his family the throne of Israel.

1 Samuel 13:11-14 (NLT) 11  but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?” Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. 12  So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the LORD’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.” 13  “How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. Had you kept it, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14  But now your kingdom must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”

We already mentioned what happened when Sarah and Abraham took it into their own hands to get the son that God promised them.  We are still seeing the ramifications of that instance of not waiting on God’s timing.
During nearly the entire time after leaving Egypt until entering Canaan the people were constantly complaining about food and water, the kind of food, about Moses being on the mountain too long, just constant complaining.  Here is what the psalmist says was the result of that complaining  and not waiting on God’s timing.  

Psalm 106:13-15 (NLT) 13  Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel! 14  In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland. 15  So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.

Trust in God’s Timing  

When we grow impatient, it is easy to rush ahead of God’s work.  If it hasn’t happened yet it doesn’t mean something’s wrong, it doesn’t mean God’s mad at you, it doesn’t mean it’s never gonna work out.   God has already established the time down to the split second, you don’t have to worry, stress out, or be anxious.  God is directing your steps not randomly, not vaguely, but down to the smallest detail. This takes all the pressure off you.   God promises He will be true to His word, but He never puts a time frame on it.   I saw this quote recently (I’m sorry I don’t remember who it was by)  “God, I don’t know when you’re going to do it, but God I trust you enough to believe that You will do it, that the answer is already in my future.”

If you are waiting for the answer to a prayer right now and you have been waiting a long time,  remember that God’s timing is perfect.  He may just be putting  things in place, or moving something out of the way for you.  Trust Him because he loves you.   

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) 11  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Are you waiting for something now?  Trust in God and His timing!
And while you're waiting remember this;

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 27:14 (NLT)14  Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.  


Jude 1:24-25 (NKJV)24  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,25  To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

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