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Joni Eareckson-Tada’s Call to Wait in SILENCE

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IGNITE June 2022:

It was 3:23 AM when God beckoned me to come and wait on Him. I also happened to be on Day 21 of my Andrew Murray’s Waiting on God 31-day adventure into God’s heart. Although this is my 44th month on this life-transforming journey, God continues to reveal the depths of His love for me in the most ABSOLUTELY astounding ways!

But first, please read on:

Garden frog waiting in silence and prayer

 

Let us WAIT 5 and PRAY NOW!

I invite you to join me and wait for five (5) minutes in silence… five. Oh Lord, I commit to read, listen, and act upon what I hear You say through Colin and Joni today and for the rest of my life, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

While I wait… God Works:

  • I’m dealing with an intense spiritual battle where a deep spirit of “Control” is manipulating the situation.
  • I spend 20 minutes reading slowly Day 21, “The Almighty One,” then wait in silence for 15 minutes. During that time, I sense the Holy Spirit ever-so-gently nudging me to call Pastor James Mlali, one of our partner leaders in Tanzania.
  • James, led by the SPIRIT, sees my call. He then steps out of a meeting and answers. I explain the circumstances, and James prays a powerful “demon-spirit-releasing” prayer. We express our love for one another and end the call.
  • In that same instant, and not having spoken in months, a long-time intercessory partner and friend, Jan De Chambrier, is reading this Joni Eareckson-Tada call to wait on God. She immediately texts it to me at 4:32 AM!!
  • Instantly, I had an “Ah-ha Moment” and realized this: Joni’s call to silence does two things!
    1. First, James’ prayer was immediately answered as Joni’s call to silence was a direct hit into the enemy’s camp regarding the spiritual battle I was in.
    2. Second, I’d wanted someone other than me, who is known across the Christian community, to call YOU to WAIT ON GOD.

Waiting by Joni Eareckson-Tada

“God, are You there?

Silence.

Are You listening?

More silence.

Ummm… am I getting the idea that you’re asking me to wait? Is that what I’m supposed to do? Just—sit here and WAIT?

A very long silence.

Why is it, God, that when I want to charge ahead, you insist I wait? And at other times—when I feel like waiting—you push me forward?

Deafening silence.

Ah, you had so hoped God wouldn’t do this. Not now, not in this moment, not in this situation. But he has. And it’s exasperating. He replies to your questions with long, drawn-out periods of silence. There were no answers. No direction. No warm fuzzies. And no sign post pointing, “This is the way…walk ye in it.” Just…waiting.

Okay. If I have to sit here and wait, then I’ll… I’ll…

Before you know it, you’ve created your own noise, activity, and excitement—anything but that grating stillness which seems to rub against the grain of your soul.

It’s a common problem. We frantically crowd our time with more frenzy, hoping to satisfy our soul’s longings. We do spiritual frog-hops from one activity to then next…leading a Bible study…organizing a potluck…working in the church nursery…teaching a Wednesday night class…etc., etc. 

And what does all this get us?

Spiritual exhaustion. Mental burnout. Physical drain. And even a few more irksome feelings about God.

Oswald Chambers has observed, “When we are in an unhealthy state spiritually or emotionally, we always want thrills. And in the spiritual domain, if we insist on getting thrills, on mounting up with wings, it will end in the destruction of spirituality.”

‘But I’m tired of waiting!’ you say. Life is going by.

Be at ease, my friend.

The Spirit of Christ hasn’t forgotten you or misplaced your file. Not for a heartbeat! He’s totally engaged. He’s listening. He cares more deeply than you could begin to comprehend.

Finally you heave a deep sigh. I’m at the end of my rope. I yield to you, Lord. And the Spirit goes to work. Ignoring your frenzy, bypassing your busyness, he elbows his way into your activity, whispering, “Be still—cease striving!—and know that I am God.”

Even though you have a difficult time believing that any worthwhile activity can coexist with stillness, God begins to do his hushed work in your heart. He gives you his inexplicable calm as you wait by the hospital bed of your husband. He gives you his patience as you wait for the letter of acceptance from college. Peace as you wait for the first job opportunity. And more than that, he gives you himself, his intimacy, as you search for answers to your deepest longings. It dawns on you that “rush” is wrong nearly every time.

It’s a command; it’s a charge: “Listen to me in silence…let the peoples renew their strength.” Isaiah 41:1, ESV

Also, it’s a bidding, a mandate: “Be still before the Lord, all mankind.” Zechariah 2:13

When we do, when we are—wonder of wonders!—we hear “a still, small voice.” God’s answer comes only through waiting.”

Learn more about Joni & Friends’ powerful global work of ministry today!

While I Wait… God Speaks:

“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:14

Consider praying, waiting, and hearing from the Lord regarding giving and the sharing of gifts with IPA. “Oh Lord are You calling me to give to Your work through IPA?”

Leave a Comment

4 Responses

  1. How absolutely true. My time waiting on God has and is continuing to transform my life. I am conscious of praying short prayers off and on all day. Even finding the correct words to say to someone. I hear God’s voice speak to them through my mouth. It is amazing.

  2. What a gloriously heartfelt, Spirit-led expression of truth, Colin! I love how the Lord has perked your ears and sharpened your sight to hear and see Him in all things as you wait on God. This encourages all of us to be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord. We will indeed see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

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