When a Christian makes a decision there needs to be some aspect in which God is considered. The word Christian means follower of Christ. The Christ being followed is Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God.
If the decision is something easy like, should I steal this candy bar? we consider God in the simple way that we know stealing breaks one of the 10 Commandments. So if we are following Jesus as a Christian we don’t steal candy bars.
The 10 Commandments don’t cover every decision. Plus, some choices have bigger implications than a Snickers bar, so they can be harder to make. Should I take this new job? Should I learn to speak Spanish? Should I marry this person? Should I offer to pay for my neighbor to get his truck fixed?
Something in our nature makes it easy to not make a decision rather than wrestle with our choices. We simply decide that this choice is big and needs some time, and then we let it wait. We sometimes will even say that we are waiting on God to give us a sense of what choice we should make.
I think the concept of waiting on God has merit. We aren’t promised immediate answers from the Lord, so it stands to reason that sometimes we must wait to know what to choose.
I fear that some Christians may use this waiting as an excuse to define their season of inactivity. For some Christians that season has become years or even decades.
In the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke there is a story from Jesus’ childhood. His family takes a trip into Jerusalem, and then they leave but Jesus isn’t with them. His parents frantically search for Jesus and eventually find him in the temple in Jerusalem.
Mom and Dad are upset, and Jesus asks, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know that I would be in my Father’s house?” When we are waiting for God I think that sometimes He is exactly where He should be, but we aren’t looking or listening there.
I received a call from God to become a pastor on April 6th, 2001. It is a very special story for me. If you had asked me in the 18 months before that what I was doing with my life, I would have told you that I was waiting on God for direction. And from this vantage point today you might think that was correct. But on April 1st, 2001 I had a major revelation in my heart that led me to surrender parts of my life that I had never given to God.
When I became fully committed to following Jesus with all of my life the “waiting for God” only took five days. What I see when I look back on that period of my life is not me waiting for God. It was God waiting for me!
If you find yourself in a season of waiting to hear from the Lord, you need to ask yourself if you are listening to God in the first place. Are you where you know God will be? And is there anything that you are holding onto in your heart that might be keeping you from receiving the answer that God has for you?
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland Church of the Nazarene. They meet in person and online every Sunday. For more information please visit