Learn To Wait On The Lord

November 10, 2015

“Then he blessed him there.”  (Genesis 32:29)

It takes more faith to wait than it takes to be active.  God’s guidance prescription for what we call Type A personalities like Jacob is to wait on the Lord.  Jacob was missing God’s will for his life because he was always running ahead of God.  He was a make-it-happen, mover, shaker and doer kind of person.  Read the story of Jacob in Genesis, chapters 25 through 32, and Paul’s commentary on that story in chapter 9 of Romans.  As you read how God crippled Jacob so He could crown him with His will for Jacob’s life, you will see what I call, “The Cripple Crown Blessing of Jacob.” When a man is crippled what else can he do but wait on the Lord?

Sometimes on our journeys of faith, God puts us in a holding pattern.  We are like commercial airplanes when they are directed by the control tower to circle the field while waiting their turn to land.  In the book of Psalms, the word Selah is found in 73 places.  The Amplified Bible’s paraphrase for Selah is: “Pause, and calmly think of that.”

As He leads us God frequently places Selahs in our lives. Sometimes what God does in our lives while we’re waiting can be more important than what we’re waiting for.  He may want us to pause and calmly think about our priorities, our vision statement and mission objectives and other issues as we experience His will for our lives.  When you encounter one of the Lord’s Selahs and find yourself in one of His holding patterns, ask yourself what God wants you to pause and calmly think about.  And, never put a question mark where God places a period in your walk of faith.

Dick Woodward, 10 June 2013


Gratitude Attitudes

May 16, 2015

“… in everything… with thanksgiving present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

In the last chapter of the letter to his favorite Church at Philippi Paul gives us a prescription for peace.  The peace of God is a state of personal peace in which God keeps a believer if they meet certain conditions (Isaiah 26:3).  There are twelve such conditions listed in Philippians 4.

As I seek to maintain the personal peace that comes from God, I get more mileage out of the prescription listed above than any of the others.  I have discovered when I begin to thank God for all the good things in my life it’s like a switch clicks and I find my mind automatically moving from the negative to the positive.

To use another metaphor, if I placed all the bad stuff in my life on the left side of a scale – like a scale of justice – and all the good stuff on the right side of that scale, the right side will far outweigh the left side.  That’s what happens when I implement what I call, “The Therapy of Thanksgiving.”

An old hymn put it this way:

“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed.
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

That’s why Paul’s prescription is that when we pray, in everything (not for everything), we should offer thankful prayers.  He promises that when we do, the peace of God will stand guard over our hearts and minds.

Dick Woodward, 22 October 2010


Wrestling with God

May 10, 2013

“And He said, ‘ Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have  prevailed.”   (Genesis 32:28)

When we read in the Bible about the great men of God we find that they all seem to have deep experiences with God.  The details of their experiences vary greatly but the results are very similar.

Jacob wrestled all night with an angel.  The angel forced Jacob to look up and wrestle his way through to God.Then the angel forced Jacob to look in and confess that he was a rascal who lived up to his name.  The name “Jacob” meant “Grabber.” He was a mover, shaker, doer kind of man who was always running and would not stand still long enough for God to place a blessing upon him.

God could not get Jacob to wait on his Lord.  He had to cripple him so He might crown him with His blessing.  We might call it: “The cripple crown blessing of God.”  When a man is crippled what else can he do but wait?

When God won the wrestling match He pronounced a blessing upon this man –  the one quoted above from the book of Genesis.  By changing his name to “Israel” God declared that Jacob was a fighter.  He had fought his way through to his God and confessed to what he saw when he looked in.  He was then ready to look around and fight through his relationships with people.

Are you a spiritual fighter?  Have you fought all the way through your up look to God?  Have you won the battle when you look in?  Are you winning the battle when you look around and work out all your relationships?