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Waiting on God for God

Posted on June 19th, 2015

One of the turning points in my leadership happened 12 years ago while spending a week praying the Offices at a Trappist monastery.

My prayer life had been marked by waiting on God FOR “THINGS” –e.g. leaders for specific ministries, creative strategies, breakthroughs, key donors to support the work, healings, growth in our church, family blessings, etc.

At that point I moved to waiting on God FOR GOD. It turned out to be life-changing – both for my relationship with Jesus and my leadership.

While praying for those “things” is good and biblical, I realized that my will was inseparably mixed with God’s will. The lines between the two were blurry. I always seemed to need something else from him. During that week with the Trappists, I sensed from God an invitation to seek his face (Ps. 27:4) and wait for Him alone. Out of that, I trusted, He would reveal himself and his will.

The following text became central for my prayer life:

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

More than watchmen wait for the morning

More than watchmen wait for the morning. (Ps. 130:6)


Discerning and surrendering to God’s will became the center of my time with Jesus. I became acutely aware of how my work for God had eclipsed my seeking of Him. I became more comfortable with what I sensed were “directions” from him. The measureable goals we made became guides, not yokes. I held them loosely.

I focused on loving Jesus, relaxing in Scripture and silence in his presence. I listened more.

We will die waiting on the Lord. We will spend eternity waiting on him, serving at his direction.

Try it. It is great practice for eternity.

You may find, as I have, that it also makes leadership a lot more enjoyable and peaceful.

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Church Culture Revolution: A 6-Part Vision That Deeply Changes Lives