Waiting Room

The School of Waiting

Hebrews 6:1-15
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

INTRODUCTION

It’s getting that time again where young people go back to school, and college students go back to college.  When we send our kids to school or when they do school, usually the material they cover is divided into subjects, and then each subject has lessons or chapters.

There are subjects that I didn’t like so well in school like English and Science, and then there were subjects that I did like such as Math and History.  The subjects I liked were the subjects that I did well in generally.

Even in those subjects there were harder lessons, more difficult tests and I didn’t enjoy everyday, even the subjects I like.

This morning, I want to introduce to you a subject in the Scripture that all of us don’t like to study.  As we go to school today and study the Scriptures on this subject, I believe there are some lessons that God would have us to be reminded of as we deal with the subject of “The School of Waiting”.

When you go to Wal-Mart, how many of you look for the longest line to stand in and you are excited to be in that line?

How many of you when driving are thrilled to get in road construction or in traffic backed up due to an accident?

How many like getting on a tech support line and being transferred to 45 different departments to get a simple answer?

How many love to hear God answer your prayer by saying WAIT!  I hate that 4-letter word in our English dictionary.

Waiting means I don’t get what I want right away.   Waiting means sometimes I don’t get an answer.  Waiting means at times living in limbo.  Waiting means something is out of my control.  Waiting means that something seems like it is remaining unfixed.

In Hebrews 6, the Bible introduces us to a Bible character from the OT who went through the School of Waiting and Passed the Course.  His name is Abraham.

You may be waiting on God for direction.  Abraham faced this when God told him to get up and leave UR and God said I will shew thee.  OK, God, why don’t you just tell me right now.  God said, I will shew thee.

You may be waiting on God for deliverance.  You may be waiting on God for answer to prayer, you may be waiting on God’s provision, Abraham faced this when he put Isaac on the altar.  As you look at Abraham’s life, you find that God never was early. It’s as though Abraham’s whole life involved attending the school of waiting.

This is a study guide for passing the tests in the school of waiting.  If you are in the school of waiting, it is a good time to

REVIEW GOD’S PROMISES

Hebrews 6:15
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

In the book of Genesis, we have 5 different occurrences in which God took the time to review his promise to Abraham.  To put it in front of him again.  While Abraham was waiting, God deemed it necessary to remind him of His promise to him.

Romans 4:17-22
17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Genesis 12:1-5
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Genesis 21:5
And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

Abraham would receive a promise from God and wait for 25 years for it to be fulfilled.  He was 75 when he left Haran and he was 100 when Isaac was born unto him.  During that time, Abraham would need reassurance, he would need to be reminded, he would need to remember the promises of God.

Here is a principle in the school of waiting, we must run to the Scriptures and review His promises.  The school of waiting often causes us to doubt God’s Word.   The temptation is to question whether God cares, or if God indeed still does what He says He would do.  To combat that weakness of faith, it is with great determination that we must review the promises of God.

Genesis 12:1-3
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 15:1-6
1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 17:6-8
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Genesis 18:10
And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

Genesis 22:16-17
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

As you review God’s promises, you will come to the conclusion that God must fulfill His promises because it’s His word that is at stake.

Luke 1:71-73
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

Isaiah 45:23
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Psalms 105:8-9
8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;

2 Peter 1:3-5
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

Specific Promises

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Psalms 30:4-5
4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

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.

Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Galatians 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

1 John 5:14
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Proverbs 1:33
But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

RENEW YOUR DILIGENCE IN SPIRITUAL MATTERS

These believers the author of Hebrews was writing to had a problem.  They were lagging behind spiritually from where they should be.  The writer of Hebrews, who I believe was Paul, saw where they should be, but they had become lazy and

Hebrews 5:11-14
11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The word “dull” in 5:11 is the same word translated “slothful” in 6:11.  The word also means “slow, faltering, listless, and lazy.” The literal meaning of the word is “no-pushers.”  They didn’t want to be pushed.  They had no real desire to spend time struggling to understand scripture on their own. They were lazy

They lacked diligence in using the time, abilities, opportunities, privileges, and challenges given to them.

They didn’t keep pace with the preaching and teaching of the Word delivered to them. Are you keeping pace?  They exhibited no exertion in staying in the race set before them.

Hebrews 6:9-12
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Often a lack of faith breeds spiritual laziness.  But when you take time to review God’s promises, it should lead you to a renewed obedience.  Where we are greatly tested in the school of waiting is when God hasn’t come through yet, and we are to continue doing the will of God.

What had happened is that some had lost their speed, momentum, pace, and drive. They once started out on their race as a “sprint” and now they were traveling “walking.”  They were still moving but not at the velocity or with the same aggressiveness they once had. Their zeal was replaced with neutrality – a “middle of the road,” “take it or leave it” mentality.

They could be likened to a candle that once burned brightly, but now the flame has dwindled considerably.

Once they were enthusiastic and excited about the things of God, but they sank into a state of being slow, boring, monotonous, dull, uninterested, and sluggish.

Application:  God urges this people to not remain in this condition of slothfulness  but renew themselves unto diligence and that means to be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.  Where have you slowed down, where have you lost your zeal lately?  The school of waiting demands the response of renewing your diligence in spiritual matters.

Are you diligent in your devotions despite the fact that you are in the school of waiting?  Are you diligent in your soul-winning despite the fact that you are in the school of waiting.  Are you diligent in the area of child training although you may not being getting an answer from God in your prayer time?  Are you diligent to hear in preaching or are you day dreaming most services?

Romans 12:11
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

This passage reveals the opposite of spiritual slothfulness.  It speaks of that person that is fervent, intense,  excited about his walk with the Lord.

Transition:  In the school of waiting, the first correct response is to review the promises of God, the 2nd correct response is to renew your obedience, and the 3rd correct response is to resist the urge to run ahead of God.

RESIST THE URGE TO RUN AHEAD OF GOD

Abraham had lived 10 years in Canaan.  It had been at least 10 years since God had made the promise re: Abraham’s seed.  Abraham must have thought he was living in slow motion.

One of the most difficult thing to do in life is to be patient!

We live in a fast-paced world – in a fast-paced society – but often, when the better part of wisdom restrains us from just jumping into things – we make decisions on what feels right and  we try to force pieces of a puzzle into places where they are not shaped to go.

Genesis 16:1-5
1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

The urge Abraham and Sarah had to take things into their own hands and run ahead were motivated by feelings and assumptions.  Feelings and assumptions run in the opposite direction of faith.

  1. He may have assumed that because the promise wasn’t fulfilled immediately, that it was never going to happen.
  1. He may have assumed that testing in his life meant that God was against him.
  1. He may have assumed that his feelings in the situation were right.
  1. He assumed that his way was better than waiting on God.

Are you waiting for God to provide a mate for you?  Don’t run ahead for someone less and fast forward God’s timing.

Are you waiting on God to bring your mate along spiritually?  Don’t run ahead and quit on your marriage?

Are you waiting on God to provide for you?  Don’t run ahead and make rash decisions and sink yourself in debt

Are you waiting on God to reveal your step in life?  Don’t run ahead of God and start taking steps based on feelings, without Godly counsel.

Isaiah 30:1-3
1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

Hebrews 10:36
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

CONCLUSION

Others have graduated from the school of waiting.  Will you?

Hebrews 6:12-13
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Will you be a follower of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises?

Review God’s Promises

Renew Your Diligence in Spiritual Matters

Resist the Urge to Run Ahead of God

When we pass through the school of waiting, we grow in our spiritual maturity.  That is what the writer of Hebrews desired for God’s people.

Hebrews 6:9
But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Hebrews 5:12-13
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

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