Waiting on the Lord is very simply God’s turn to talk. It is not a passive thing. Rather, it is an intense listening that focuses on Him. We know how to pray, prophesy, and intercede. But waiting on the Lord is different. They are as distinct as day and night. Waiting on the Lord is the foundation of everything; it is where we make it or break it. Why is it so difficult? Because the process of waiting on the Lord requires you to change. If you are not going to be obedient, you are not going to wait on the Lord. But if your greatest desire is to do the will of the Lord, you will wait on Him.
In a sense, prayer is easy. Why? It is easy to be motivated to pray for what you want. You are making a request, beseeching, imploring, and asking for what you desire. It is interesting how much energy you have when you are pursuing what you want. I was waiting on the Lord, and He told me to change how I was eating. I am not on a diet. I am on obedience. Now I have to make a decision moment by moment as to whether I will be obedient or not. It is like going to your parents and saying, “Mom, Dad, tell me what you want me to do today. I’m going to sit down and listen while you instruct me.” As with most children our normal prayer mode is quite the opposite of that. When you are in prayer mode, it is like walking through the house with loud music in your ears. You do not have to listen to anyone else. Honestly, it takes less energy to keep up the intense expression of intercession than to really come down to this one point of doing the will of the Lord.
Go back very carefully with all honesty in your heart and find where God did speak to you, and you did not do it. I guarantee emphatically that you will be at the root of your problem. Ask yourself, “Did I do what He told me to do?” You have to be willing and obedient to do His will because when He speaks to you, it is going to be very subtle. It is going to be personal, and it is going to be individual. It is going to be real to your heart. God will not start you out with a big thing, but do not despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). In that initial meeting with the Lord will be something for you to do. It may be the tiniest little thing. But you will not be able to do it in yourself. You will have to ask Him for the enablement.
Waiting on the Lord is the violent determination of your spirit to do His will (Matthew 11:12). God may tell you to do something stupid like walk around Jericho and blow a trumpet. So you do not want to respond, “Well, I made this new catapult, and I want to knock down the walls instead.” No. When He speaks to you, say, “Yes, Lord! If that is what You want, I will do it. Your voice is my delight.” Christ kept appearing to Paul because he was never disobedient to the heavenly vision (Acts 26:19). “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5)1. When you are the doer of His will, you will be the receiver of His voice.
1 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).