“Watching & Waiting” Meditations: 26. Confidence
Hab 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
I think we often get tangled up in prophecy over timing. We think it is important that we know when something is going to be fulfilled. It isn’t. The important thing is that it is fulfilled. I have witnessed prophetic words being fulfilled within weeks. On the other hand, someone once came up to me and said, “Do you remember that word you brought over me ten years ago? It has just been fulfilled.” I’ve also heard respected prophets declaring, “Revival will be here within the year,” and it wasn’t. We only prophesy in part (1 Cor 13:9). I sometimes think it is to ensure those with the prophetic gift don’t get proud. Prophecy is for strengthening, comforting and encouraging (1 Cor 14:3) not for self-glory. And the ‘part’ bit, it seems so often, is to do with timing. Prophetic people are notorious for their timing. Why? I believe it is because when you get the word it feels like you are there at the fulfilment and that feels like now, but so often it isn’t, it is simply we ‘saw’ that future fulfilment so clearly it felt like now but isn’t!
Now I say these things because this series, which we are ending here, has been all about waiting and watching in prayer and as we do that, like Habakkuk who we saw at the beginning, we hope God will speak to us and give us a clue what He’s doing and what He wants our part to be in it. If He does speak it is that we may prepare ourselves, take stock of our lives, get them ready to be used more fully, and pray! I am always amazed at the clarity that comes through the psalms sometimes.
The psalmist (or it may be one of the prophets) is crying out to the Lord and then the Lord’s will becomes obvious. Many of us at this point would just get up and say, “Right I know what God’s will is, I know what He’s going to do,” but not the psalmist or prophet. They then start praying for it to come about. Hold on, you might say, why pray for it when they know God is going to do it anyway? Because when we pray we join in the process, we become part of what God is doing, we join in and share with Him in what is going on and, in some mysterious way, we help bring it about. We are called co-workers with Christ (2 Cor 6:1) and so as we are yoked to him (Mt 11:30) we serve alongside him. He enjoys our company, I believe, in the service. He’s the one with the strength, the purpose, the vision, the grace but he delights in having us with him. So when you pray and see – pray some more. When you have a vision, hold it firmly but now pray it out.
And remember, don’t worry about timing: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” With that, we’re back with Habakkuk. It follows exactly after his declaration of intent to stand his watch, station himself on the ramparts, look to see what He will say to him, and what answer he was to give to his complaint. (2:1) It is the Lord’s answer. The Message version puts it as follows: “This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.” There we sense an urgency in God’s desire to get done what needs to be done but the important thing that comes over is don’t worry about timing, it WILL come! This surely must summarize and bring to a conclusion our thoughts this month. If you catch something as you wait on the Lord, don’t be impatient – He has the right time to bring it; it may be soon, it may be later. Keep watching for the fulfillment, continue to remain available to play your part, and until you do see the fulfillment – keep praying. That’s what we said the prophets did: caught the will of God and then prayed for it to come. Let’s do that. Let’s determine to be part of His will – to watch for it, to wait for it, to sense it, to pray it in, to catch an understanding of the part we are to play when it is fulfilled, and may He be glorified in all we do and say. Amen.