I don't know many churches who don't want to see some kind of change. Perhaps they're looking for a new staff member. Maybe they're considering adding another service. They might be scouting a new location. Whatever the issue is, God has not yet granted an answer. Here are some things we need to do when God makes us wait:
- Stay fully faithful to the task at hand. Why should God give us an answered prayer if He finds us sitting on the sidelines while we wait? The Great Commission goes on even when we're waiting for something.
- Believe that God's timing is always right. It is, you know. He's not early or late; He's always on time. For every second that we wait and fret, God worries not at all. He has full control of the calendar and the clock.
- Trust His heart. He loves the world (John 3:16). He loves His people. He knows what's best for us as He conforms us to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). If He takes His time in responding to our needs, He has some good reason for doing so.
- Deal with sin issues in the church. Unforsaken sin among believers will always create an obstacle to God's working evidently in a church. Call your congregation to repentance in preparation for God's work, and prayerfully allow Him to cleanse your hearts.
- Pray together even more faithfully. Sometimes God delays His response because He wants us to seek Him more. Use this waiting period to lead your congregation to pray more fervently as a body. Increase your corporate praying.
- Don't get impatient. If you're not sure what God is doing, keep waiting and trusting. If you push forward in your own ability according to your own plans, you might find that your new plans weren't the best in the first place. God's delay may be His way of protecting you from your own plans.
- Be open to changing your plans. He might indeed have a different plan for your local body—and it will be right. Completely right. Any plan you refuse to change even when God redirects you is nothing less than an idol.
What steps might you add to this list?
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This article originally appeared at chucklawless.com.
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