Driven by Relationship
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. — Acts 16:25–26
God can deliver us instantly, but I think He enjoys the togetherness of the wait. Not too long ago one of our best friends nearly died. His closest friends hovered at the ICU door for days. We had not been together like that in years. Hadn’t had time. Suddenly we made time.
That’s one of the best things that can come out of a waiting room. Even the faith in God that an intense wait demands is about relationship. God calls us to walk in faith because faith requires a partner to place it in. It takes two to tango out of a pit. His part is to lift you out. Your part is to hold on for dear life.
God is driven by relationship. In terms of getting out of a pit, what is His part, and what is our part?
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. — Psalm 130:5
God can deliver a person instantaneously, but this is a rare occurrence. Has this ever happened to you or to someone you know? What was your response? Were you awed by God’s power? Skeptical? Reassured?
Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. — Psalm 130:7
While You Wait
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. — Psalm 130:6
Deliverance didn’t happen instantaneously for the psalmist who wrote,
I waited patiently for the Lord; / He turned to me and heard my cry. / He lifted me out of the slimy pit, / out of the mud and mire. — Psalm 40:1–2
We may have to wait for deliverance, but we never have to wait on God Himself. Never have to wait to enjoy His presence or be reassured of His love. We can take God at His Word and have any one of those relational delights instantly. The only wait is on seeing His work manifest in the physical realm, seeing our petition come to fruition.
Most of the time we have to wait patiently for deliverance from our pits, but during the wait, what are some things for which we never have to wait?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. — Galatians 5:22–23
As you have waited for God to deliver you, what has been your frame of mind? Compare yours with the psalmists’ in Psalm 40:1–2 and 130:5–6.
Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly. — Psalm 5:2–3
Signs of Deliverance
Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. — Micah 7:8
Despite appearances, huge things happen as you wait upon the Lord to deliver you from that pit. They begin when you cry out. You can tell the process is well underway the moment you begin reversing the three characteristics of a pit: you feel stuck, you can’t stand up, you’ve lost your vision. When you are convinced that you’re no longer hopelessly stuck (you proved that when you cried out), when you resume a standing position against the Enemy (you did that when you began confessing truth and consenting to God), and you’re regaining glimpses of vision (you realize God doesn’t hate you nor is He, worse, oblivious to you), you’re no longer in the dark of the deep.
What are some signs that our deliverance process is well underway?
Since You are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of Your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for You are my refuge. — Psalm 31:3–4
“But smooth living invariably, eventually, makes for sloppy spirituality.” Can you think of a time in your life when this was especially true?
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. — Ephesians 6:13
Excerpted with permission from Get Out of That Pit: A 40-Day Devotional Journal by Beth Moore, copyright Beth Moore.
* * *
Are you in a pit right now? Have you been waiting and waiting for God to deliver you? First thing in the morning, call out to Him. Direct your prayer to Him and trust that He is working all things together for the good for you because you have submitted and trusted in Him. Put on your spiritual armor and hope in the Lord! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full