Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 64:4)
One of the most amazing things that we learn about the God of the Bible is that He works for those who wait for Him. Interestingly, none of the other religions of the world know anything of a transcendent, personal God who actually works for His followers. In the other world faiths, the reverse is the case – there is only talk of us working for God and advancing His interests. Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims all have to work to please God.
Our main problem is that our sinful nature leads us to think that God is depending on us and that He needs our work, when the reality is that God is the One who is working for us. Indeed, God is working for us around the clock. He does not take days off, and He does not sleep (Psalm 121). In fact, He is so eager to work for us that He goes looking for more work to do for people who will trust Him: “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those who are fully committed to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
God loves to show his boundless grace and power by working for people who trust Him. Jesus Himself is the clearest revelation of this truth: “The Son of man also came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45). Jesus worked for his followers on earth and He now works for them from heaven. Christ worked for Paul all his life. At the very end of his life, in his last letter, Paul said, “The Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully” (2 Timothy 4:17). Through all his life Paul could say, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Jesus is the great worker who empowers the weak.
So the question we must ask if we want God to work for us is, “How do we wait for Him? And what does ‘waiting’ mean?”
Waiting for the Lord means, first, that we look to the Lord and consult Him before we draw upon our own resources. It means that we actively seek His will. In short, we wait for the Lord when we pause to pray before we act. The Psalmist warns us of an ever-present danger: “They forgot what He had done; they did not wait for His counsel” (Psalm 106:13). The first act of waiting is to seek God’s counsel in prayer before we make any attempt to solve the problem ourselves. And it should go without saying that when we wait for God’s counsel, we must be like good patients who have placed themselves in the care of a competent and sympathetic doctor. We must look to the doctor, and not ourselves, for advice.