I would like to consider with you one response we might receive from the Lord when we pray and what impact our reaction can have on our lives. It can be a real struggle to even open up to the Lord, but even greater change can occur when we listen to his voice and act accordingly.
Read Psalm 27:7-14
When we seek the Lord, we need to be open to listen. He speaks, we follow, we continue to search him, and he continues to reveal to us. Sometimes he prevents us from ruining ourselves, sometimes he guides us to victory and may even specify the individual steps to take, but sometimes he doesn’t speak. The above mentioned Psalm isn’t just a prayer to the Lord, rather it is a cry, begging the Lord for revelation. It demonstrates the anguish of uncertainty as verse 9 cites, “Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger…” (ESV)
In the previous responses, we are charged with obedience and humility. This passage demands that we give the Lord our patience and trust. The level of faithfulness required when we desperately need an answer and are not receiving one is challenging. We must remember that the Lord has gifted us with reason and logic. It is not wrong to move in the direction that we understand as best, but this is not always possible. There may be times where we simply lack the capacity to reach into the abilities that the Lord has given us due to our inadequacies. We are not called to sit idly, and when in complete lack, confused and desperate, the Psalmist does not acquiesce into fear. The Psalmist waits, but also searches.
This particular response is especially important because our attitudes in these moments can sow something significant in our lives. Before a farmer is able to reap the fruits of his labor, he must first find the appropriate seeds, plow the ground in the right places, and sow at the appropriate time. The farmer nurtures his seeds and gives them attention. He comes to this patch of soil, where he cannot see growth, cannot see what is occurring beneath, but the farmer continues to give the necessary amount of water and fertilizer. He needs that fruit to sustain himself, but knows that should he reach into the soil preemptively, there will be nothing there but a half grown seed. A bit more time and work and fruit will come that then provides for sustenance and new seeds for another harvest.
Our souls hunger for the Lord and our physical beings depend upon this nourishment to reap fruit. We cry to the Lord. In our moments of need we are tried, our hunger and desperation grows and our physical bodies are unsure if the fruit will be enough to pay the bills, to put food on the table, to get the grade, to bring our families to Christ, to allow us to know the Lord more, to provide us with whatever it may be that our spirits are shouting for. We are challenged in our wait and it is frightening because as we wait, our needs do not wither. To wait is to have faith that our God is greater than our needs, our real and challenging needs.
The Psalmist presents his needs to the Lord. He cries out, leaves his anguish before the Lord and seeks. He seeks and leaves what he can before the Lord’s feet, he seeks and leaves more. The Psalmist seeks and declares victory in his surrender to the Lord in verse 13: “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!” He is calling us to seek and to leave our needs before him continuously. Whether we are able to leave everything at his feet or must learn to let go little by little, he strengthens us to continue to do so.
Waiting in the Lord can be frustrating and scary. Our doubts grow and are constantly gripping us, so we must continue to lay them before the Lord. We fight off our fears and continue to seek. As we seek, we are sacrificing more and more of ourselves to the Lord. Waiting in the Lord is a unique opportunity to be cherished, for the needs may be great, but our Lord is greater and will demonstrate Himself as faithful every time.