- Virginia Brown
On Waiting around Forever
The Bible tells us to wait patiently for the Lord, to be still before Him (Ps 37:7). We must remember, though, that there are other passages in which God calls us to action and urgency. Exodus 14 records a funny example of this.
In this chapter, Pharoah pursues Israel, and Israel grows fearful. The text reads in v. 10 that Israel “feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD.” Israel then begins to complain to Moses. A few verses later, the text says in v. 15: “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.’” Essentially, God says to Moses and Israel, “Will you quit this complaining and handwringing. Start walking!” Imagine if Israel had gathered for a “prayer meeting” during this time to “discern God’s will.” They would have been killed! In some situations, like Ex 14:15, God calls us to action, not to sit on our hands.
I believe some well-meaning Christians are given to hand sitting, believing they are being “patient,” when in reality they’re not taking action as God desires. We must be cognizant of this tendency. Fear often holds us back from striking when the Holy Spirit renders the iron hot. The price of inaction is costly. As one medieval theologian has said, “The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” The Bible says that today is the day of salvation, not tomorrow or a week from today (2 Cor 6:2). This means that in some situations we must act.