Do We Reduce God’s Role in Our Lives to that of a Barista?
Devotional Thought of the Day!
18 So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. Isaiah 30:18 (NLT2)
31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NLT2)
There is an inactivity that, paradoxically, is the highest possible activity. There can be a suspension of the activity of the body, as when our Lord told His disciples to “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). They waited. And the Holy Spirit came on them in power.
In the Old Testament, to wait on God meant coming before His presence with expectation and waiting there with physical and mental inactivity.
Do we expect prayer to work like a drive-thru? We wait in line, somewhat impatient as our body cries our for coffee. We place our order, drive up, sacrifice something and get what we dearly wanted ( or in my friend Mike’s cases – desperately needed!)
Is that how we picture prayer?
Do we reduce God to a barista? Do we expect Almighty God to be there for our present need, then once that is quenched we don’t have to see him until the need strikes aagain?
Tozer’s words got me thinking about our expectations of God when it comes to prayer. Do we wait on Him only until we get what we want? Or can find peace in His presence in the midst of the need, in the midst of the emergency?
I do find it interesting that the NKJV uses the classic “they that wait on the Lord,” whereas my preferred NLT translated the passage, “those who trust in the Lord.” There is a difference. For trust speaks of a deeper relationship, a sense of dependence. Wait sounds like there are only 18 cars in front of us in the drive thru! We aren’t good at waiting, and the idea of being dependent on God frustrates those who were raised to be self-sufficient.
This kind of waiting God gets to the heart of the matter, far beyond the humility it takes. For while we are waiting, while we are trusting the all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God to act, we are doing the greatest thing that we can do, hanging out with our Creator. This isn’t time in a drive thru line, or in a waiting room. Prayer and waiting on God is done while we are in His presence, looking at Him, talking with Him, listening to Him. When we are here, it is not a matter of just getting what we want… it is about life. It is about being at peace, it is about knowing we are loved.
You see prayer isn’t being in line in a drive thru. It is about coming home…waiting for the barbecue feast and enjoying the company of our Father, as He creates the masterpiece!
May we come to realize this… and so desire to spend more time aware of His presence in our lives! Amen!
A. W. Tozer and Marilynne E. Foster, Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 366-Day Devotional (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007).