Here at Project Inspired, we frequently discuss the topic of waiting. It’s a relevant issue for all of us. Waiting isn’t relegated to our seasons of singleness alone; all of life involves some form of waiting! No matter where we go, whom we marry or what stage of life we find ourselves in, there will be seasons of waiting ahead of us.
The tough part is knowing when to wait. Sometimes it’s obvious; we have no choice. But other times we don’t know whether to wait or go boldly toward our dreams. If you’ve ever wondered how to know if God is telling you to wait, consider the following five signs that He may be saying just that.
- You feel unsettled. If you lack peace about a decision, this is a big red flag. If you find yourself pushing away thoughts about “what if…,” uneasily pushing forward while still unsure or avoiding prayer on the topic because you don’t want “no” for an answer, there’s a good chance the answer is no—or at least “no for now.” God speaks to our spirit through His Spirit, but when we ignore His voice, we end up feeling ill at ease. Obedience is difficult and often uncomfortable, but it’s better to live in peace than to move forward without it.
- You sense urgency. Another sign God may be telling you to wait is when you’re experiencing a sense of urgency. If you feel like the decision has to be made, like, yesterday, you might be trying to push God along. God’s timing is never ours, and while it’s hard to wait for His answer, we have to trust that He truly does know best! We too easily sacrifice what’s important on the altar of what’s urgent—and quite often, what we think is “urgent” isn’t important at all.
- You feel pressure to keep up. Perhaps you want to make a decision quickly because everyone else is moving forward and you’re going to be left behind. I’ve been there! If you feel pressure to keep up with those around you, you’re certainly not alone. However, any decision based on people-pleasing cannot be Spirit-led. Don’t make choices based on what’s going on in the lives of other people; their calling is not your calling. Seek God’s face. Ask Him what you should do. The answer might be “Wait.” While that answer is hard, remember that waiting is just as active a step as doing something, if you’re waiting on the will of God.
- You see doors closing. Another sign that God is asking you to wait relates to the doors of opportunity around you. Do you see doors closing left and right? Is that why you feel the sense of urgency? God opens doors—and He closes them. Sometimes He opens doors that He doesn’t intend us to walk through! In these situations, we must seek His face wholeheartedly and trust His wisdom through the test. Because waiting truly is a test!
- You need growth. Finally, God often asks us to wait so we can mature spiritually. If you sense God growing you in this season, don’t be surprised if He calls you to wait. Rather than view the wait as an impediment to your growth, see it as the catalyst to your maturity. Waiting matures us in many ways! It teaches us patience, kindness, faith and joy. As we live out a Spirit-filled waiting season, we are equipped for the calling God is preparing for us after the wait is over.
So don’t give up in this season of confusion. Seek the Lord, ask for wisdom and be ready to live as a “waitress”—actively serving God as you wait on His timing.