by Rick Warren
“…I will station myself…” Habakkuk 2:1 (NIV)
If you want to get God’s vision for your life and ministry, you must want to hear it, you must withdraw to hear it, and then you must wait to hear it.
The New International Version says, “…I will station myself…” (NIV) What does it mean to station yourself before God? It means stay put. It means, ‘I’m not moving.’ It means, ‘I’m going to be still.’ ‘I’m going to sit here and I am not going to move until I hear from you, God.’
Hurry is the death of prayer. And, as pastors, we feel all kinds of pressure to get in a hurry. Yet, God won’t speak to us as we run out the door. He wants us to care enough to linger and listen in our prayer time.
So many times we’re running so revved up, we can’t get slowed down enough to tune into God.
So, how do you slow down? You calm your mind by relaxing your body. You take deep breaths and you relax your muscles and let the tension drain out.
The Bible says David sat before the Lord. Some people think you have to kneel in prayer and that is one of many appropriate ways to pray, but it’s not the most common way of praying in the Bible. The most common form of praying in the Bible is standing with your eyes wide open looking up to heaven and talking out loud to God.
You already know, pastor, that you don’t have to have a speech. You don’t have to be poetic. You don’t even have to speak in complete sentences. Just talk to God like you would normally talk, but then, like any conversation, stop talking and listen – wait to hear from God.
David says there are three things to do as you wait –
- Wait quietly — “I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (Psalm 62:5 NLT)
- Wait patiently — “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7 NLT)
- Wait expectantly — “I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised.” (Psalm 105:5 LB)
And this is so important: you must expect to hear from God. There are so many pastors I talk to who do not expect God to give them a dream or an insight. They don’t say that specifically, but their behavior and attitude indeicate they are no longer waiting on God,
But waiting is the faith factor. We wait expectantly, and waiting on God is never a waste of time. In fact, it’s some of the best time you will ever invest in your ministry.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.