When we are waiting to see our promises fulfilled it can be easy to become discouraged or lose heart in the waiting. Sometimes it feels like sitting in a theatre waiting for the curtain to open, and we wait, and wait, and wait some more. The curtain has seemed slow to open for many in this season, but rest assured God is moving and working behind the scenes to prepare us and our promises for a Grand Opening that will surely come.
But, it can be easy to feel as if God has somehow forgotten His promises to us when we have not seen the manifestation of what we have been promised. This is exactly the situation that Jacob's tribe and the nation of Israel found themselves in in Isaiah 40:27-28,
"Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say Israel, 'My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God'? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom."
I love how God is able to cut right to the heart of the matter when He zeroed in on the two lies they were believing. Because they had grown weary in waiting, they believed their way was hidden from the Lord, and their cause disregarded by Him.
The Passion translation puts it like this, "Yahweh isn't paying attention to my situation. He has lost all interest in what happens to me." Isa. 40:27
Friends, if you find yourselves resonating with these words then take heart, for the same keys that God shared with Jacob & Israel will be equally as relevant for you today as they were for them then. In fact, God released these two keys for unlocking faith in two simple questions, "Do you not know?" and "Have you not heard?" Let's look at the significance of each of these keys and how they function to keep our faith strong while we wait for our promises to be fulfilled:
1. Do you not know? In this question, the Lord is challenging us to focus on what we KNOW to be true. This is where we can review and recount his faithfulness in our lives and His word, causing our own faith to begin to rise up again as we remember and recall who He is. Not too long ago, the Lord gave me a phrase, "Remember, and you will stoke the embers." It is in the remembering of what we KNOW that the coals in our faith furnace continue to burn red hot. Faith moves Heaven!
2. Have you not heard? We need to regularly take account of what we have heard God say. Romans 10:17 tells us "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Our faith rests in what we have heard God say. Our faith cannot rest in what we wish He was saying or even in what He has said to someone else. We need to have our own faith journey where we hear God for ourselves. We are told in Matt. 4:4, "Man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." His words to us are Spirit and they are life! (from John 6:63)
When I have become discouraged in waiting to see my prayers answered or my promises fulfilled, God has brought me back to these two questions over and over. Each time I have been encouraged to believe Him while I wait.
As we wait and watch for the move of God and fulfillment of our promises, I am hearing that it is not to be a passive waiting. Like Habakkuk when he stationed himself on the ramparts, He said, "I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me..." (Hab. 2:1) Like Habakkuk, our waiting needs to be full of anticipation and expectancy. It is hard to sit down when you are excitedly expectant. Habakkuk stood at his watch, and you can feel his expectancy through the stance he took.
Another glimpse at active waiting can be found in Jesus' own words in Matt. 7:7-8, "Ask and it will be give to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
I use to read this scripture as three different ways to say the same thing. But, a closer look reveals a building progression for "active" waiting as we wait for the answers to our prayers.
First, we are to ask. Sometimes we actually forget this step. A long time ago, God said to me, "Thinking about praying is not the same as praying." So we ask!
The second step is to seek. Seeking implies that we are now actively looking for the answer. As a child we used to play "Hide and Seek" a lot. It may sound too obvious, but I quickly learned that I would never find someone who was hiding without seeking. It can be the same with our prayers or promises. There is an active involvement with the Lord in aligning ourselves with Him by maintaining a "seeking" mentality or stance. We rouse our faith to look for the answers to come.
The third step is to knock. The scripture tells us that the door will be opened to the one who knocks. As I was meditating on this scripture, the Lord gave me a picture of ordering something through the mail. (Asking) Once I have ordered something, I begin to look for it to come in the mail each day. (Seeking) As I wait for the package to arrive, I would never receive it if I didn't use my key to open my mailbox. (Knocking) Many times as we partner with Heaven to see our promises fulfilled, God will give us specific "doors" to knock on. These steps can seem small and insignificant, but many times they are the "knocking" steps of obedience that will cause our doors to open.
The passion translation says in Matt. 7:8, "For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door."
God is not wasting our waiting moments. On the contrary, He is strengthening and building our Spirit to expand and grow as our faith develops during the times of waiting.
"Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen." Hebrews 11:1 TPT