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Wednesday, January 27, 2016


If God Puts You On Hold - Don’t Hang Up”
(A Sermon on God’s Timing)
by Pastor Mark Taylor
 “Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) 
Most of us have called a place of business and have been asked the question: “Can you hold?”
or heard a pre-recorded message say: “Please hold, while we are speaking to someone else.  Your wait time is approximately 15 minutes or less.”

I want you to know that you are not just a customer  when you dial God’s number. You are one of God’s chosen and He hears your prayers the moment they are prayed. There are many promises in the Bible that reminds us of that promise.  “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15).   “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3).  Our Lord Jesus promised this to those who love Him and serve Him: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”  (John 15:16).

When you pray, God is not busy on His prayer line just listening to someone else.  He is listening to you too.  But sometimes He puts us on hold while He is working on our prayer request.  God is never in a hurry, but He is always on time.  While you are waiting, God is working.

When God appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18, it was with the intention to tell Abraham that he and Sarah were to finally have a son. Unfortunately, Abraham was 99 years old at the time, and Sarah was 89 years old. 
They knew that it was physiologically impossible for them to have a child.  But God kept His promise and gave them a son, Isaac as He had promised.

Mary and Martha watched their brother, Lazarus, become sick and die  (John 11). They had sent desperate messages to Jesus to come and help but He did not. Four days after Lazarus’ burial, Jesus appeared.  Out of desperation, they cried, “Lord, if you had been here, our brother would not have died.”  The Lord answered their prayers.  He was right on time:  “Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”  Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”  

Lazarus lived again that day.  You and I, and all of our loved ones in Heaven, are alive today because of the Lord’s power over death.  “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die”.  (John 11:26).

While we are on “hold”,  God sees the big picture.  In Isaiah 55:8-9 God reminds us of a fundamental truth. He says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways . . . As the heavens are higher that the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” This tells me that God operates on a different thought level. He has a vantage view that I am incapable of having.

2 Peter 3:8 says, that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Obviously, God runs by a different clock. He functions on a totally different time scale. His time is not our time.

In Jeremiah 29:11, God makes a wonderful promise. “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  You see, God functions at a very different level of intentionality. Unlike you and I, He has only good plans.  Romans 8:28. Paul writes, “We know that in everything, God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” This forces a conviction upon us that says that whatever happens to us fits a design. God is in control of our lives and He alone knows what is truly for our best.  Armed with this truth, we can now turn to the most important lesson of faith. Isaiah 40:31 states:  “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall rise up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not be wearied; they will walk and not faint.”

The question is “What do we do while, we are on hold?”  What do we do while we are waiting upon the Lord? 
 Hang in there…don’t hang up. Too often we are impatient when a business puts us on hold, we just hang up. Remember the words of Scripture, “Faithful is He that calls you who also will do it” (I Thessalonians. 5:24). 
Believe that God is working on your behalf.  He is busy working for you, while you are waiting.  
While you are on hold, look at yourself and see if there is a reason that God has you on hold.  Is it possible that there are known sins in your life that God is waiting on you to turn away from?  “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1,2).  Sin will keep you on hold for a long time.  “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18).  While you are waiting, confess your sins to the Lord and ask Him to give you power over them.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9). 

While we are on “hold”, we need to be more serious about our prayers and conversation with the Lord about our problems.   When the disciples could not cast a demon out of a child, they asked the Lord Jesus why.   “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  (Matthew 17: 19-22).

Finally, remember and remind yourself that He loves you and is listening to you.  “I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.” (Psalm 116:1).  If God puts you on hold, don’t hang up!!