Today is April fool’s day but waiting on God is no joke. As we saw yesterday, those with great faith believe God at His word. Those who do not believe, go their own way. Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” We also see another type of fool, and many have listened to them. Ezekiel 13:1 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. 5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. 7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?” The church is inundated with false teachers who lead people astray with their false teaching and distortion of scripture. These foolish prophets follow their own spirit and then others follow their empty and powerless ways. Generation after generation has done this and the church as a result stands desolate. Our enemies have decimated the church because the church is powerless to do anything about it, all because the church has rebelled against the word of the Lord instead of believing.

        If we could see the enemy, most would be on their knees when they realize the enemy has infiltrated the church yet like covid many think I can’t see it so it must not exist. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We were told this rebellion would happen. Daniel 8:12 “Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?” 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” This means that most are worshipping other gods and don’t even know it yet never wondering why prayers are not answer or why healings hardly ever occur. They should though, because the word of God and the church look completely different, but this is where we are.

             The good news is this abomination that causes desolation will end. Daniel 7:21 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.” The church will rise up, go to the ends of the earth and then the end will come. So, we must have great faith to not only stand on God’s word, but we need fearless faith as we wait for the promises of God to be fulfilled as our enemies continue to attack. To have this fearless faith, we must surrender completely to God and wait for His plan to unfold. Yes, many have tried to pray for healing, demons to be cast out and it seems God is not listening, so they abandoned the word of God and went their own way. They found someone who would itch their ears and tell them what they wanted to hear. Since God has turned His face, the church must surrender so that God will turn back to us; we have His word. Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’” We have a choice repent and turn from our wicked ways or continue in captivity. If you choose to turn then you must faithfully wait. 

        Most people do not like to wait. I have seen some people get pretty grumpy waiting in line for something. I think we all have wanted things to move a little faster sometimes. We live in a society where we do not have to wait very long for anything. Order something on Amazon and get it the next day or get food from a restaurant in minutes. Most also have no idea what it means to wait on God. In the church I grew up in, older people would talk about praying through. I guess that meant to have a breakthrough as if you had to break through a ceiling which actually was true. Most people don’t wait long enough to see what God’s answer would be. The other problem with this is due to our rebellion, God is not listening. Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!” Leviticus 19:18 “If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.” The iron sky makes it hard for the prayers to go through, if at all. This explains why there are so many answered prayers. The ones you answer yourself don’t count. Yes, God in His unfathomable mercy that we do not deserve does answer some prayers, but we do not see what is described in James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Nor do we see these particular gifts in action. 1 Corinthians 12:9 “to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers.” To pray through really means to wait on God. It is not just an evening at the altar, it might be days, months or years but you believe that if you seek Him you will find Him. 

        People struggle with waiting on God in the best of times but when the enemy is attacking and is right there, many decide to do it themselves, at least they think they can do it themselves. The title of this blog today talks about waiting the full seven days. This comes from when Saul was made king of Israel. 1 Samuel 10:1 “Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance? 6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.” That sounded easy enough, just wait seven days but then the enemy gathered to attack. 1 Samuel 13:5 “The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead” 

        Now Saul had a choice; do as he was told by Samuel or do it himself. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering.” Because they did not trust God’s word to them, they heard the enemy and faith was replace with fear. Samuel said he would be there. If they were faithful to God’s word, they would not have feared the enemy. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. 11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” Notice that Saul did not think he did anything wrong. Also notice that Samuel was already on his way on the seventh day. It was not the eighth day, it was still the seventh. Saul did not have faith in God’s word like the centurion had. Saul made his decision because he saw the enemy and his men scattering. He did not make the decision to stand on God’s word and believe. He refused to wait and be told what to do.

        Now look at what Saul gave up because he did not faithfully believe. 1 Samuel 13:13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” Today’s church like Saul doesn’t think they have done anything wrong. They go ahead and do things themselves and do not wait on God. Like Saul they think the offerings that they have made with their own hands will please God. Later Saul again rebelled against God word in (read This) 1 Samuel 15. He disobeyed and Samuel said 1 Samuel 15:22 “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Today many teach that you are eternally secure based on God’s promise to David. While God did say to David 2 Samuel 7:11 “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” This is very dangerous teaching as you will notice that Solomon lost His kingdom and, in the end, both Israel and Judah were destroyed and taken into captivity with only a remnant surviving. You cannot go your own way, follow other gospels and expect God’s blessing on you. Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” The promise to David was there would always be a remnant. So, if you were taught that because you prayed a little prayer or got baptized you would never lose your salvation, you have been duped. Having said that if you remain faithful to God’s word, everywhere you set your foot will be yours and no one will stand against you. You can’t be faithful to God while following other gospels and most people are. Just as there was a remnant then, there is a remnant now that will be saved. Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Just a side note, don’t get too caught up on the word elect. God sent His Son to save the world but not all will listen but those who do will receive eternal life.

        Saul and even Solomon had everything, but they lost the kingdom because they refused to obey. Fearless faith comes from trusting God’s word which allows you to stand firm as you wait for God to fulfil His promise / word to you. In the book of Habakkuk, we see God reveal that the enemy was going to come against them. Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told. 6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people.” Habakkuk 2:2 “Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Saul was told to wait seven days. He was not given a specific time, other than Samuel said he would come. Saul, because of the enemy decided to set his own time on that seventh day and do it himself. Many Christians for thousands of years have fallen prey to this. The enemy attacks and they do it themselves. It has been said, pray like it all depends on God and work like it depends on you. That is a lie. It all depends on God. The church has become very good at working like it all depends on them and then give God the praise after man has done everything. You can tell it was man and not God because it is only what man can accomplish; there is no power. Like Solomon and Saul, the church has also lost the kingdom for disobeying God’s word. We were given the Kingdom and all the power that went with it. Our enemies would be defeated and then the end would come but instead the church decided to do it in their own strength and the church was defeated instead. 

        Jesus told His disciples several times Mark 8:31 “that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.” Mark 9:31 “because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” Mark 10:33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” Then we see the women go to the tomb. They were told Luke 24:6 “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. 8 Then they remembered his words.” You would think the disciples would have been excited but instead 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” You then had two disciples leave town and Jesus came up and walked with them. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” Jesus then said to them 25 “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” Is that you also?

        When God says wait, He means it, but do you trust God’s word enough to wait on Him or will you live life in your own strength? When God gives you a promise, you believe He will keep that promise unlike these who Psalm 106:13 “soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold. Instead, we must Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” As we wait it may appear that others who are not waiting on God seem successful but we are told Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” There has to be anticipation in the promise as we wait believing every day that God will fulfill His promise to you. Psalm 130:6 “I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” Are you watching in faith? Lamentations 3:24 “I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Proverbs 8:34 “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” Even though God does not answer right away, Isaiah 8:17 “I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him,” He will so Psalm 33:20 “we wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”  We wait because God said, Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. Isaiah 30:18 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

        If God has given you a promise, then wait. He said seek Him and you will find Him, but it must be with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” He said Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” God said this desolation would come to an end, so we must believe God at His word. The church will once again Luke 24 “be clothed with power from on high” and Acts 1:8 “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Even though the enemies are staring you in the face, trust God and refuse to go ahead on your own. Stand firm on God’s word and wait for God’s plan to unfold. Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Habakkuk was told that enemy was coming and there would be destruction but he put His faith in the words of God. He said Habakkuk 3:2 “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. When he described the power of God he said “16 I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. (not because of the enemy) Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Calamity is coming on the enemies of the church. Isaiah 40:28 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who wait (hope) in 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.”

        Micah 7:7 “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” 2 Samuel 22:7 “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Do not be afraid to wait on God. Though it linger, trust His word and believe!