What Does It Mean to Wait on the Lord?

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Dig into the Bible and see what it means to wait on the Lord? The Hebrew word for waiting will open your eyes to a beautiful understanding of our relationship with God.

Have you ever caught yourself saying,"I'm waiting on the Lord!" Well, you are not alone. A lot of people have! But do we know what it truly means to wait on the Lord? Let's take a look into the Bible and see what it really says! #faith #Jesus #bible #Christian #Scripture

I’m pretty sure most Christians have said, “Oh, I’m just waiting on the Lord.” And I am 100% guilty of this on numerous occasions.

But what does it mean to wait on Lord? A lot of times Christians think that when they are waiting on the Lord, it’s this quiet unproductive posture of…….well waiting. It’s all based around time.

At least that’s what I always thought it meant. I don’t know about you but when I think about waiting it’s like waiting at the doctor’s office or inline for groceries or even worse…the DMV.


And have you ever noticed that waiting for stuff like that can really drain you?

It’s weird… you are at the DMV for like 4 hours (no joke) and once you’re done you’re ready to take a nap or do a hardcore Netflix binge. Am I right? Never do you feel energized and ready to go afterwards.

But is that what God is calling us too? Is He calling us to idly wait?

Waiting on the Lord: What Does that Mean?

In Isaiah 40:30-31 says,

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

What God is saying is that waiting on Him does the absolute opposite. It actually renews your strength and it even takes it up a notch saying even if you do a lot of stuff (run and walk) it’s not going to affect you.

So, what does it really mean to wait on the Lord?

Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength? Well, if you actually dig into that word “wait” in the Hebrew which is qavah (H6960) it means, “to bind together.”

קָוָה qâvâh, kaw-vaw’; a primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect:—gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).

We also see this word used in Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Just think about that for a second.

First off, “to bind together” is not sitting in a corner, waiting patiently or being quiet. It’s not even meaning to just wait for God to answer me in a few days or weeks. It’s about binding together with Him.

Those who “bind together” with Him shall renew their strength. So, what Isaiah is saying here is you’re getting your strength renewed by being very close to the Lord.

Those who “bind together” with Him shall renew their strength. “Waiting” is a proactive stance of drawing close to God.

-Melissa Tumino

It’s like what Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5

remain in him is waiting on the Lord

I am the vine, you are, the branch is us binding ourselves to Him …
It’s about being intertwined with Him….

That’s where we gain strength. That’s where we see fruit. You don’t bare fruit by being spiritually idle.

That’s not what waiting on the Lord is. Waiting is productive in nature.

God wants you to draw close to him. Bringing our presence into His presence, and in that place, where the Spirit of the Lord and there is freedom. – 2 Corinthians 3:17

That’s also the place we can hear Him more clearly. If you are 50 feet away from a friend who is talking to you in their normal talking voice. You won’t be able to hear them well or not at all. But if you are only a foot away from them you can hear them very clearly.

That’s how it is in the spirit as well. The closer we get to the Lord the easier it will be to hear and discern His voice. (John 10:27-28 ) It’s the same concept!

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Waiting on the Lord in The New Testament

We have dug around in the Old Testament on what it means to wait on the Lord. But what about in the New Testament? Is waiting on the Lord the same or is there another level of understanding?

Let’s look at Acts 1:4 where Jesus tells his disciples to wait for the promise.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

Wait is the word perimenō. It comes from two Greek words ( G4012 and G3306)

In a nutshell, it means to “to abide, to tarry, to continue to be present, to last, and endure.

It’s one of the words used in John 15:5 for abide or remain (“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain (G3306) in me and I in you,)

μένωménō, men’-o; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):—abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), × thine own.

I love how one of the translations is “Be Present.” It reflects well with the Hebrew understanding of waiting. To bind with Him is to be present with Him.

So next time you’re wondering, or thinking I need to wait upon the Lord on an answer or something. Remember it’s not about waiting around for this huge revelation to hit you randomly.

It’s about being proactive in our relationship with Him. It’s about binding, remaining, and being present. It’s about relationship…it’s about intimacy…

“I’m going to get so close to Him. So that I can be strengthened and hear clearly what the Lord’s will is for me.”

Well, there you have it! I hope this post has encouraged you and it has encouraged me in my posture in waiting on the Lord. I’ll end with this quote

“Waiting is a very active part of living. Waiting on God, if we do it correctly, is anything but passive. Waiting works its way out in very deliberate actions, very intentionally searching the Scriptures and praying, intense moments of humility, and self-realization of our finiteness. With the waiting comes learning. I can’t think of much I’ve learned that’s positive from the times I’ve plowed ahead without waiting on God.” 

― Wayne Stiles

Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts! I would love to hear them.

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  1. THANK YOU Wayne!! AWESOME Word, taken just for me…. God bless you.

  2. This has been a spring season of waiting for our family, and I’m grateful for your insights here. Waiting is my least favorite part of the following life.

  3. Adrienne Dunne says:

    Hi. That was very helpful. I can be very disorganized in my everyday life. I feel sometimes that when I need to do something I just jump in and do it, but I need to spend more time with God and in his word and I often fail to prioritize this time. But if we don’t then everything else can get too much for us. At least for me. Spending time with God can show us the importance r lack thereof of other things in our lives. Waiting on the Lord. There’s much more to this than I thought. I appreciate your article.

  4. Hello Melissa,

    I loved your article. I read it because I’m French but I know this verse in English from a song I love and above all because my wife had a dream about eagle eggs. Then a dear sister exhorted me into believing that real christians are eagles and that they’ll be manifested in due time. With all this I felt God was encouraging me to believe I can be an eagle.

    So of course your message strengthened me. You did a very serious job and I suppose you still do. I just want to say that it doesn’t say “even if you run and walk” but it says “they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint” I believe it means that’s what “binding together” with Him does to us. It gives us the strength to run and walk with him because He’s a God that… runs and moves and in doing so He doesn’t want us to let go of Him but learn how to abide in and cling unto Him because He’s leading us to somewhere great.

    So what I get encouraged to do through your message is to believe that though our past calls us back and circumstances, oppositions, difficulties often come, if we bind together with Him we will run and walk through all with Him and He’ll even use all this to get us to where He wants us to get in our spiritual calling. I have no doubt that you know Philippians 3.14 where Paul says he presses “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Jesus-Christ” and Hebrews where it says we should ” run with patience the race that is set before us ”

    Be blessed even more in your calling, Melissa

  5. Kenny Wonders says:

    Hello Melissa, this article was indeed helpful. I was greatly blessed by it. Thank you

  6. What a clear and helpful article. It was exactly what I wanted to meditate on. I do have a question for you, you refer to numbers eg. G3306. Could you tell me more about this?

    1. Hi Simone! Glad the article was helpful. 🙂 The numbers you are mentioning are reference numbers in the Strong’s Bible Concordance. It’s an easy way to look up the number and see what a word means in Hebrew or Greek. A “G” before the number is for a Greek word. “H” for Hebrew.

  7. “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
    Psalms 27:13-14 NIV

    “but those who 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.”
    Isaiah 40:31 NIV

    “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”
    Psalms 130:5-6 NIV

    All of these verses talk about waiting.. waiting on the Lord. It is so hard not to take things into mine own hands. I listen, I hear, I accept, but then I am told to wait on the Lord.. have you ever felt that He is slow in answering? I have.. I feel so weary sometimes of waiting, feeling I need to take things into my own hands.. is that what I need to learn? Patience? To truly “Be still” and know that He is God and I am not?

    Waiting is hard; desire is strong; loneliness is wretched; but God’s blessings are amazing.. worth the patience in waiting.

    Oh Lord, give me patient strength! I found it interesting in the PS 130:5 verse that the last line is a repeat of the one before it.. I wait for the Lord more…

    I will wait on you Lord, and when I feel confused or weary in the wait.. I will turn to You and renew my strength so that the joy I find in You will help me to soar in the wings of an eagle!

  8. Cheril Adlam says:

    God bless you for your labor in God’s Words

  9. Thank you so much, this just touched my heart and opened my eyes to another way of getting closer to him! God knew I needed to see this today, because I am in the middle of a decision to make for my life, Thank you God!!

  10. Really appreciated this word study. We need a better translation of the bible. I want to know what God meant when He said something. His words are important. I greatly appreciated this!