This is the final part of a 4-part discussion on God’s Expectations of us – the first was to Acknowledge God – the second was Walk in Obedience – the third Pass On the Knowledge of the Holy now the fourth, Wait on God, we encourage you to take this, read it and use it as a discussion guide with your family and others as you get together. Feel free to respond and interact with this.
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all learned to acknowledge God because their parents passed on to them the expectations of God—the knowledge of the holy. They learned to wait on God for His timing and purposes.
For four hundred and thirty years, God worked with His people in captivity, requiring them to wait on Him, to watch for Him. Generations came and went as God’s chosen people waited as slaves in a foreign land. God had four major expectations of His people during this time.
First, they were to remember God and trust in the promises He made in the past.
God told Adam and Eve that a Promised One would defeat the evil one permanently.
God told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that they would become a great nation and be a blessing to all the earth.
Through Joseph, on his deathbed, God promised that He would visit the Hebrews and bring them out of the land of Egypt into the Promised Land. (Genesis 50:24)
Second, they were to walk faithfully and with integrity.
Joseph is one of the greatest examples of walking faithfully before God.
This expectation was imparted through the stories of Joseph’s life as they were passed from one generation to the next.
Joseph walked with God in integrity, no matter how difficult his circumstances became. (1 Kings 2:4)
The third, and perhaps most difficult, expectation was to wait on God.
For four hundred years the children of Israel waited, always looking for the promise to be fulfilled, for the deliverer to come.
God had given them many examples to follow.
Abraham waited and wandered in the wilderness “looking for a city whose builder was God.” (Hebrews 11:10, 14, 16)
Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph waited for God to bring His promises to pass.
Impatience often tempted them to fulfill God’s promises before His time, but they learned to wait for God’s perfect plan.
The 4th expectation lays the foundation for the rest:
God expected His people to pass on the “knowledge of the Holy” to the next generation.
If parents did not teach their children about the promises and provision of God, the knowledge of God would die out in one generation. Later on, God commands this of His people. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
God always keeps His promises. Thousands of the promises of God are fulfilled throughout the Gospels. (examples in your notes)
Jesus waited upon God throughout His earthly life. He waited obediently for His
Father’s perfect timing. (John 14:31; John 15:10) The fourteenth and fifteenth chapters of John highlight Jesus’ submission to the Father and His instructions for His disciples to do the same.
The genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke list the faithful souls who waited for God to reveal His Promised Messiah.
Mark began his Gospel with God’s promise to His people through Isaiah: (Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1) “I will send my messenger ahead of you . . .”
God expected His people to wait on Him, trusting that He would fulfill His promises “in the fullness of time.” (Galatians 4:4) Abraham, Moses,
David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others anticipated the Messiah and waited patiently for Him. (1 Peter 1:10-11)
The early believers saw the promises of God being fulfilled before their eyes. On the day of Pentecost, Peter reminded his hearers in Jerusalem of this fact. (Acts 2)
Multiple times throughout Acts, Paul’s travel plans were circumvented by God. In each case, he had to wait for God’s guidance.
Paul learned to wait on God, even when he was imprisoned and had opportunity to escape.
The Spirit physically moved the disciples from place to place at times. (Acts 8:26-40)
Philip was used by God to witness to the Ethiopian eunuch because he made himself available while patiently waiting on God’s leading.
From Peter and the Apostles waiting for the Spirit in the Upper Room to Paul waiting in a house in Rome in the closing chapter, there are an abundance of examples of believers who waited on God throughout the Book of Acts.
How, then, are God’s expectations to be fulfilled?
How does an individual acknowledge God, walk in Him, pass on the knowledge of the holy, and wait on Him?
Believers acknowledge God when His name is on their lips, giving Him credit and praise for their lives.
They acknowledge the fact that God is in control—He is sovereign—no matter what happens in life.
Worship is a priority, and believers refuse to participate in activities that deny their Lord or disparage His name.
Christians reach out to others, making every effort to be “given to hospitality” (Romans 12:13) and to entertain strangers.” (Hebrews 13:2)
The believer must live in such a way that no one can doubt whom he or she serves!
To pass on the knowledge of the holy, the child of God must know the Gospel message so well and from so many different angles that it is second nature to him/her.
The Holy Spirit can use this knowledge and experience to proclaim Christ at any moment in any situation.
In 2 Timothy 4:2 Paul gives the charge to Timothy and to believers to be ready to preach in any situation because the believer’s children must know by experience that their parents belong to Christ.
Churches reach decisions in a variety of ways. Leaders should make a concerted effort to bring church members along in the decision-making process.
People learn by example and benefit by seeing their God-given leaders seeking guidance from the Lord.
Faith and trust are modeled when leaders are willing to wait upon God.
Elders/Shepherds lead and feed the sheep for the good of the Body, not for personal gain or recognition.
Pastors are never referred to as the “head” in Scripture. There is only one head—Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 2:19) The Pastor is just a “gift” to the Church, sent to build up and serve.
The Church, beginning with the leaders, must cry out to the living God like Habakkuk: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help?” (Hab 1:2)
Just as Habakkuk witnessed violence and injustice infiltrating his beloved nation, Christian leaders open up their morning papers and see much the same.
Children are not only the victims of terrible crimes such as murder and rape, they are now perpetrating these evil acts upon others.
Terrorism is ravaging the world, from suicide bombings in Israel to the destruction of the World Trade Centers.
Same sex marriages are becoming increasingly accepted.
How can any believer not cry out: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”
God longs to hear one unified voice, one Body, crying out to Him.
He waits to hear His people offer themselves as His instruments to reach a lost world. This ideal is the ultimate task of Church leaders–to lead all members of the Body into maturity in Christ.
Then the church will truly be “one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
I challenge you to make this your daily prayer
- Lord, how can I acknowledge You more in my life on a daily basis?
- Lord, where am I failing to walk obediently in You?
- Lord, how can I pass on the knowledge of the holy to the next generation – to those whom You have put in my path?
- Help me O Lord, to patiently and actively wait on you to do all you have promised in my life.