The prophet Isaiah records this corporate prayer of the people of Israel in Isaiah 64:1-4,
Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! Isaiah 64:1-4
That’s a prayer that fires me up! I love it, all of it…except for the last three words. Wait for him. I don’t like to wait. I don’t like it when there’s a car ahead of me at the MacDonald’s drive-thru. If there are too many in the drive-thru, I park and go in for my food, but I memorize the car that would have been ahead of me and then I watch to make sure I made the quicker choice! I was on my way to Clearfield on Thursday to do some coaching with a pastor and I got behind a little Prius trying to make his hybrid go farther than a car should go on a gallon of gas. I just wanted to buy him a bike. I don’t like to wait.
And you know what? I’m in good company, right?
We live in a culture where companies make billions of dollars selling bad food fast. Amazon invites us to set up a one click account so we don’t have to wait for two clicks to buy a book we can instantly download. We instant message and instagram. We pay extra at the amusement park so we can go to the front of the line. We lol with our bff so that people don’t have to wait for our txt.
We don’t really like to wait do we? It’s hard to wait. Then we hear these words, it’s Calvary’s theme verse for 2013.. “For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” Isaiah 64:4
So why wait? That’s the question…why wait? Isaiah writes, “When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! Is. 64:3-4
We wait because God is worth the wait. We wait for God to amaze us. My prayer shield is made up of about 30 guys at Calvary who have made a commitment to pray and fast for me each month. And I’ll tell you…any good thing that comes from me has their fingerprints on it. 2 weeks ago I got an email from Andy on my prayer shield. The email just said, “I’m praying for you…and I just have a feeling that something awesome is coming. I don’t know what or when but I’m praying for you…”
Did you ever get one of those words of encouragement that come at just the right time? That was one of those. And I thought to myself, “I receive that as a word from you God.” A couple of days later, I shared that message with Lynn, “something awesome is coming”… and as I shared it, a news story came up that the powerball lottery had risen to almost $6 million so I leaned over to Lynn and I said, “What do you think, is that the awesome that is coming?”
Now I know a lot of you just think this is silly but on more than one ocassion I’ve had a one-sided conversation with God about the lottery…detailing all the reasons why he should give me the numbers. I mean there’s even some verse in the Bible about all the riches of the gentiles being given to the people of God and what better way than that!
So Saturday came and I was studying and it was getting close to the time when the selling of those tickets would be finished…so I called Lynn to ask her if she had gotten a ticket. Because I kind of told God a while back that I wouldn’t buy a ticket unless he supernaturally gave me the numbers. So I was hoping that Lynn had bought one, but she said…nope I’m not gonna buy one, that’s your deal. So I’m sitting there…it’s about 9pm and I’m wrestling with whether or not I’m gonna buy a ticket. Because what if that’s the awesome that God wants to do?
And then this thought came, a question really, I think from his Spirit… “Is that really the awesome that you want? Almost immediately came my response…with a bit of unforeseen emotion, “No God, if you’re going to do something awesome I don’t want to settle for the lottery. I want something more. I want you.”
See I think one of the reasons why we find it so difficult to wait is because we think our awesome is so much better than God’s awesome. But when we come to the point where we can say, “I want you God. I want what you want for me. I want you to do it. I want you to do it when you want it to be done. I want your awesome not mine;” he is a God who will amaze you. That is worth the wait.