Looking expectantly…I feel impressed to share the importance of “looking expectantly” after we’ve prayed and to give testimony of how much I have seen happen on behalf of others I’ve been standing in agreement with in prayer these past few weeks with this in mind…It’s not a new concept, yet sometimes we need a simple faith refresher…and usually when we get a refresher, it comes with a fresh anointing that teaches us even more than what we previously understood and brings even greater clarity. Perhaps it’s because there was already a foundation set, so it comes like another building block of faith.
While praying for someone 2 Sundays ago after class, the thought came to mind to share with her the true meaning of the scripture Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” We weren’t talking about anything that had to do with waiting on The Lord; the thought just came into my head to share with her and to explain the true meaning behind it. This has been one of those verses that is often misunderstood and used out of context unfortunately.
One of my favorite things to do is to look at the Hebrew and Greek translations of the bible so I can see what was really being spoken in the original text before it was translated into English, knowing sometimes there are things that can get lost in translation. This scripture is perhaps one of the greatest examples I’ve come across over the years and it’s stuck with me. I’ve had an understanding of the true meaning of it for a good number of years, but then a few weeks ago, as I shared the meaning with someone else, I personally was refreshed in it, and with that fresh anointing, I too received…with greater clarity the second time and more than clarity and understanding…this time it wasn’t only head knowledge but a fire in my belly that stirs me up with inward momentum into action as I pray and all the way to seeing the manifestation of that which I prayed.
The phrase I want to share about is the phrase “wait on The Lord.” Sometimes when you look at the original Hebrew or Greek, it’s clearly the same as what was translated in English, then other times, it’s quite different. This is one of those times when I first looked at this I realized there was so much more to get than what the natural mind’s interpretation of “waiting on the Lord” looks like.
Here is the Hebrew word and definition from Strong’s Concordance:
A primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), that is, collect; (figuratively) to expect
KJV Usage: gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).
Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions
1. to wait, look for, hope, expect
a. (Qal) waiting (participle)
1. to wait or look eagerly for
2. to lie in wait for
3. to wait for, linger for
2. to collect, bind together
a. (Niphal) to be collected
Origin: a primitive root
Parts of Speech: Verb
So here is what The Lord spoke to me years ago and then refreshed in me again a few weeks ago…I saw that “waiting on The Lord” is not a passive behavior like we’re just sitting on the couch or sitting under a tree “waiting on God to do something.” It can sound religiously pretty even to think that when we’re trusting in God, we’re just hanging tight and letting Him do His thing because God knows best and we only want His best of course. If He wants something for us, then we’ll have it, and if not, then we won’t. Um…no. This is not what this scripture is saying and this is NOT how God intends for the “just to live by faith” on this earth.
God does not intend for us to live in the dark and walking by faith does not mean “well if God wants me to be healed, then I’ll be healed”; “if God wants me to be prosperous, then I’ll be prosperous; if God wants my relationship with that person to be restored, then it will be restored.”
We are meant to live by faith by KNOWING the will of God in His word (we of course have to read the bible to know what it says and what God has promised to us). Faith begins at the KNOWN will of God. If we don’t know what God’s will is, then we can’t receive the inward birthing of faith in us, because there has to first be hope in the word generated in our hearts. (Side note here too is that “hope” in the bible when you study that out means “confidence” unlike the worldly mentality of hope being maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t…hope and faith are made up of the same God material. Hope is your confidence in God and His Word, and faith is the substance from God of what it is you hoped in Him for…
God desires for us to know what is ours, receive His promises in our heart, and to speak out what is ours according to what God promises…especially when we are faced with things that look completely contradictory to what God promised is ours. We’re supposed to speak directly to the root of lack, to the root of sickness, to the root of unforgiveness, to the root of depression, to the root of offense…whatever the negative is that we are facing, we are called to speak the word and release faith as we do to see those things change by cursing them at the root, just like Jesus did with the fig tree that represented deception. It had leaves on it but no fruit.
Another example is Father God facing darkness at the onset of creation and calling it light! He called it light and said, “let there be light” and then there was light! There are countless examples throughout the word and scriptures that speak to us regarding this idea of calling those things that aren’t as though they were, or speaking to the mountains and casting them into the sea, etc.
“Waiting on the Lord” is not passive. It means to bind yourself to God, to His Word, to become one with Him, to fasten yourself to Him like you would a seat belt, to be intertwined with Him, and to look expectantly to see what He has promised in His Word to come to pass after we’ve received it as truth in our hearts, seen it fulfilled through the eyes of our heart, and then spoken it out!
God isn’t telling us to pray and then sit and wait for him to do something as if we have no part or as if there is something for Him to still do. He already did a finished work through Christ Jesus on the cross and He already has stored up for us in the heavenly realms the provision we would need in every situation or circumstance before we were ever even born or knew we would have need for it.
Prayer is communicating with God and agreeing with what His Word says He has ALREADY done and ALREADY provided–we agree with what He says is ALREADY ours because of Jesus, and we agree in our heart and in our mouth. If either your heart or mouth disagrees, then the doubt or contrary belief negates the promise from happening in your life, because the enemy comes and snatches away that seed as fast as he can; he doesn’t want to see it manifest and put him out of business in that area of your life. Even more so, he knows that when we receive a promise, we share it with others, so if he robs us, he knows he’s also robbing all those who would have received through us. The enemy wants to keep you sick and broke so that you’re hindered and limited in how much you can do for God and for other people on a daily basis. There are a lot of sick and broke people doing great things for God and for other people! But when you’re hurting, have to go to the doctor often, have to take medicines that affect your thinking or your physical body, have to lay down more often than you would if you were well, that’s an attempt to hinder you. I have given many times in my life out of lack. During times I hardly had anything at all, God enabled me to have something to share within someone else, and in many times He did it supernaturally. But, when I am able to give out of having an overflow and abundance in my life, then I am able to give to even more people and in an even greater capacity.
So what does “starting in faith, staying in faith and finishing in faith look like in our every day life? What does “looking expectantly to see” look like in our every day life? How do I walk by faith and not by sight? How do I call those things that aren’t as though they were?
Here is how I do it in my own life…I have what I would call faith “projects” you might say…whenever there is an area in my life, or in the life of another person that is not what it should be, I print out scriptures of what God’s word says it should be. You don’t have to be a bible scholar either…just google “healing scriptures” “peace scriptures” “marriage scriptures” and you’ll see that many others have already done the work of gathering scriptures for you. Next, I go through those scriptures and see which ones speak the most to my heart and stand out to me. I pray in the spirit as I’m going through them, and then I put together my own condensed list of these scriptures. I believe the Holy Spirit directs us personally to the scriptures He knows will be the best anchors for our soul (the place in which our thoughts and emotions try to rule us). This is important, because you need your soul to be anchored before the enemy tries to come at you with lies in your thought life to try to get you to forfeit your position in Christ, and to give up the promise you are holding onto.
So, I’ve got my scriptures and I’m off to a great start…many of you have probably done this as well. Starting in faith is usually an easy task because we all WANT to be healthy, to see our loved ones healthy, to be in a position to give generously and not in lack, to see love at work in our relationships, to see our businesses prosper, to see our country prosper, so we’re good with gathering scriptures and agreeing that what God promises is what we want!
Then comes the STAYING IN FAITH part that is where most Christians have gotten hung up and too often defeated…we print out these scriptures, or have a verse or word from God in our heart, and then we forget about them ’cause we’re busy with all the other things going on in the day, or maybe we actually taped them to our mirror, our computer screen, put them in our wallet and prayed them for awhile and then didn’t see anything change, so we heard the lie from the enemy that “your prayers aren’t working” or “that wasn’t really God’s will” or “it’s just not God’s timing” so then we gave up…
The key to STAYING IN FAITH I believe is LOOKING EXPECTANTLY TO SEE the manifestation. Looking with the eyes of our heart and praying and asking the Holy Spirit to lead us in a supernatural vision of the end result as much as we can while we’re praying, and then to look with our natural eyes after we’ve prayed to see what we saw with the eyes of our heart show up in the natural too. We don’t always see every little detail, but there can be an overall sense of what healing looks like, what abundance looks like, what finishing the course looks like…for Abraham it was the stars in the sky that spoke to him what it looked like to be the father of many nations.
We pray the word and declare what God says is ours, like: “by His stripes I am healed,” but THEN the next part is for us to LOOK EXPECTANTLY to see what we just prayed come to pass!!! This is precisely what KEEPS US IN FAITH. When I have a vision in my heart of myself healed, and not only that those symptoms are gone, but that I am whole and healthy inside and out (since that’s what it really means to be healed in God’s book — Greek word iaomai means healed and whole). When I have that vision in my heart and I see what a healthy body looks like; I vision healthy organs, blood flowing smoothly, freedom from sickness and disease, etc. then every time I pray and declare what the word says, I am reconnecting to what that promise looks like that is already fulfilled in me. I also look expectantly in the natural to see my body respond to the word, knowing it has no choice. The spirit rules over the flesh!
Often times, we start walking by faith, but we never finish or receive the manifestation of what was promised because we were discouraged along the way and let doubt and unbelief from the enemy come in, and through that, he snatched the seed of substance right out of our heart. frown emoticon He leaves disappointment and heartache in it’s place…
We have to start, stay and FINISH in the Word of God in faith. LOOKING EXPECTANTLY TO SEE what we just prayed keeps us in faith, (having a vision in our heart) because we are actively stirred up on the inside, excitedly looking and watching, expecting to see what we just spoke from God’s word to show up!! It’s generating the promise in us continually…and there’s life-giving power circulating in us and through us over and over and over and over.
We have heard Proverbs 29:18 that says “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
We have to KEEP the Word, the faith, the substance of things hoped for that is planted in our hearts by God. Looking expectantly to see the Word that is planted in our hearts after we’ve prayed and received it keeps us actively in faith.
James 5:16 says “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” What makes you qualified to be righteous is that you are in Christ. Nothing you do makes you righteous, just believing on Jesus and receiving Him as your personal Lord and savior is the only thing that can make you righteous.That’s a whole different message all together…but just a little bit there in case you say, “well I don’t feel very righteous.” Simply know that if you are a born-again believer, God sees you as righteous through the blood of His Son who acted as your savior and paid the price for all your sin…past present and future.
Having scriptures in front of me and keeping them in front of me long enough to get them in my heart and mind so they come out of me naturally is a great help to keep my heart free from doubt and unbelief and to tend to the seed of faith the Lord has planted in me. Then, when a negative thought comes, a lie from the enemy, a bad report, I call it down as void and powerless against God’s word and against me because I am in Him. I see that those things have no power over me and I again speak what is true according to the word. I call my thoughts and emotions to get into order with the Word if they have started to go astray and I discipline my flesh. I don’t let my flesh think and say whatever it wants to thing and say or respond however it wants to respond to a negative situation. My spirit man is in charge and I tell the flesh how it is going to respond. I tell my mouth what it’s going to say and my mind what it’s going to think on. It has now become a natural way of life for me, not only on “faith projects” but just in ever day living, conversations with people, hearing the news, whatever the case may be. It took practice when I first started really living by faith in the way roughly 20 years ago, and it took a lot more work then than it does now.
Ok, now back to “waiting on the Lord” really meaning “look expectantly to see” and the importance of this when we are praying and after we’ve prayed to keep looking expectantly.
In just these past 2 weeks of consciously looking expectantly to see every time I pray, I have seen so much take place…A young woman who was broken and feeling like a bad mother, seeing lack in her finances, not sure how she could tithe –choose to tithe and trust God at his word (Malachi 3:10) and 3 days later she received a divine connection and great favor with an offer for her to be a speaker on a radio station that goes out to thousands of people with a very well-known artist that seemingly came to her out of nowhere…but we knew where it came from.
I have seen another young woman receive miracle power and be set free from drug addiction with very minimal symptoms of withdraw. In fact, having experienced it 3 times before, she says it is truly a miracle and she would normally be on her death bed and so would everyone else in the rehab hospital had she gone to them and walked it out that way. Instead, through the grace of God and with The Great I Am as her physician, she made it through the 3 day detox that normally consists of uncontrollable vomitting, diarrhea, leg pains, sleepless nights, etc. She had one morning of getting sick, but slept like a baby every night, no leg pain, and no more sickness. On top of that she worked some, and was up and about going through spiritual mentorship…she was completely amazed at the fact she could even be up and walking let alone doing anything else. She also kept saying how clear her mind was. She said she was built up during the detox when normally in times past it was a time of great depression and feeling like a failure and hopeless. God’s love for her has filled her up every day! We looked expectantly at the onset of our prayer to see miracles happening and we saw them!
Here’s a much less urgent kind of example I just experienced in my own life yesterday exhibiting the power of seeing the end from the beginning in your heart and then looking expectantly to see it in the natural…while it didn’t involve overcoming a drug addiction or needing a miracle in my finances…it was a very clear, simple example of the power of vision at work through prayer. I am training for a marathon (which I had no personal goal of setting out to accomplish but made a commitment to a friend to do this with her). I have been a runner on and off since late high school, early college, but by running I mean a mile or two or up to 5 here and there. I have been in the habit of running often though and have enjoyed running. I had one day that I ran 10 miles just because I felt like I could go forever…I hadn’t set out to do that either and it just kind of happened, but I was conditioned physically and had been teaching fitness classes, so it makes sense (kind of) that it at least wasn’t overwhelmingly difficult. However, for this past year, my workout routines have been very up and down and sporadic and not what I was accustomed to or desired, but sacrificed due to an overly busy work season. Anyhow, to run 3.5 miles was not something that was generally difficult for me, and in fact, it was only a few months ago that I was doing it fairly regularly as I was freeing up my time and getting back on track in fitness. YET, just yesterday I purposed to go only 2.5 miles and I was ready to give up around the first mile! I have been enjoying walking 3.5 miles twice a day for a couple months and hadn’t been running as much, AND it was 95+ degrees outside so just a bit warm to be running, and I was ready to shorten the finish line early on…BUT before I started, I prayed and had a vision of myself going the full 2.5 miles and even saw myself raise up my arms in elation at the end…it was real and finished on the inside. SO when I about reached the shortened goal place my mind was beginning to tell me to stop at, I heard that still small voice inside of me say, “keep going” and I was reminded that I had received that finished vision. So I responded and said, “Ok God, I’ll keep going and draw on your strength.” I have not felt as much as a difficult run as I did yesterday which in the natural really didn’t make much sense, and yet there I was facing it, and it was looking to see that expected end result that I had received in my heart before I even started running that helped me get to the finish line. And when I did, I raised my arms up just as I had seen myself do and then about passed out! LOL!
BUT I made it…and I prayed all the way through. That’s what I do when I run or walk anyway. I listen to teachings or praise and worship songs so that’s already giving me a boost, but this time I needed even more than that…I needed to keep the eyes of my heart AND my natural eyes looking expectantly to see the received result, and if I didn’t have that, I know I would have given up. With a marathon ahead of me, perhaps there is more to it than what I have even connected to thus far that the enemy doesn’t want to see fulfilled in my life through that marathon…maybe he wanted to trip me up at 2.5 miles yesterday even when I’ve been an avid runner…or maybe he had nothing to do with it and it was just too hot…who knows and who really cares about the why…whether it was the heat, whether it was that I had been enjoying my walks…I don’t get caught up in the circumstances or waste time thinking on them; instead, I pray and speak out the victory in Christ that is already mine and call down those circumstances that have no right showing up in my life.
There is great power in us seeing the end from the beginning as our Father God does and really connecting our hearts to a vision of victorious completion…whatever that looks like when you pray, SEE what the expected result looks like with the eyes of your heart, and then LOOK EXPECTANTLY with your natural eyes to see the reality you already experienced in your heart! The vision will keep you going!!! All the way through the finish line!! If you are born-again, then healing is already yours, wealth is already yours, peace, joy, freedom, favor, fulfillment…the list goes on and Ephesians 1:3 tells us that every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ. 2 Cor 1:20 tells us that no matter how many promises God has made, they are yes and amen in Christ! SO if you find it in the word as a promise from God, then it’s yours! Remember that if you’re not sure where to start in the bible to see all that God has promised you, try just typing in “God’s promises” in google. You can also pick up a confessing God’s promises kind of book at a Christian bookstore or online…knowledge is power! We have to know what God has promised us so that we can receive them by faith and live in those promises!