When it comes to the discussion of relationships, many Christians say, “Wait on the Lord.” But what is this supposed to mean?
I once met a young man who was waiting on God. His life had been headed down a dangerous path, and he explained he was “waiting on God” to rescue him. But the thing is, he hadn’t done anything to get himself to a better place.
He hadn’t looked for any help, nor had he asked for help. He hadn’t recognized his faults. He hadn’t taken responsibility for his poor choices. He hadn’t changed his behaviors.
He was just waiting.
Faith is a crucial part to the Christian life. It’s important to really believe, and to live as if what you are believing is already truth. To trust God completely, fully and recklessly (Hebrews 11:1) is to take Him at His word and build your life upon it.
But I think a major problem occurs when people use the idea of “waiting on God” to cover passivity, to mask insecurities, to hide behind their greatest fears or just to make excuses.
I’m applying this to the topic of relationships, although I believe it applies to any aspect of our life in which we claim we’re “waiting on God” or “believing with faith” without taking responsibility and doing our part.
As I look through the stories in God’s Word even the greatest men and women of faith were given a role in the story that God was orchestrating in their lives. Because faith always moves us into action.
Abraham had to sacrifice. Jacob had to go. Moses had to obey. Joshua had to march. Jonah had to repent. Nehemiah had to rebuild. Peter had to follow. Paul had to proclaim.
Real faith isn’t just about waiting—it’s about living while we wait.
All over Scripture we’re told to wait on God, and rightly so. The problem comes when people expect God to live for them—rather than to work through them. Their life is marked by a lack of action, motivation and responsibility, all in the name of faith.
How many times do we allow our false ideas of faith to keep us stuck or to prevent us from moving in the direction that God wants us to go? How many times do we allow our false faith to be a source of excuses keeping us from truly living?
“God will give me a sign.”
“God will close the doors if it’s not meant to be.”
“God will bring him/her into my life.”
“God will work out this relationship for me.”
“God will take away my feelings.”
“God will speak to me if He wants me to get out of this toxic relationship.”
“God will eventually get me out of this addiction.”
But is that what it means to wait on the Lord? I rebel against the idea that says to “wait on the Lord” means we do nothing, sitting around and twiddling our fingers as life passes us by.
Because more than anything, I believe that waiting on God has everything to do with the condition of our heart.
Are we at peace or living in fear?
Are we filled with hope, or has our hope for the future been lost?
Are we waiting with expectation or with doubt?
Are we believing for God to show up in our situation—or have we stopped expecting?
Are we living abundantly, or scarcely living?
To be clear, God does ask us to trust Him with the things we cannot control, to be still and know that He is God in the face of struggles and circumstances that are outside our responsibility.
But He also asks us to take action in the things that we can. He asks us to know Him, to love Him and to honor Him, and then to live confidently in return.
We are called to take action, make decisions, live our lives and do what it takes to get ourselves where He wants us to be.
Our connection with God is a two-way street, and like it or not: We have a role in this relationship. We have a choice. We have a will. And with that will we can either say yes, or no. We can stop, or we can go. We can stay the same, or we can grow. Live in the old, or awake to the new.
Don’t allow your fears, insecurities and inadequacies to paralyze you in the name of false “faith.”
Real faith lives a life of action. Real faith is alive and active. Real faith takes responsibility and moves forward.
Real faith asks, seeks and knocks, trusting that when we do, the door will be opened in Jesus’ name.
Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared at True Love Dates. Used with permission.
Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, relationship expert, speaker and author of several books, including True Love Dates. Debra is also the creator of the popular relationship advice blog TrueLoveDates.com, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.