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.

via GIPHY

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!

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

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71 Comments

      1. bisi AWORINDE says:

        This blessed me.
        Thank God I read it.

      2. Tara Wehry says:

        Waiting on the Lord helps us grow closer

    1. This is a blessing to hear that confirmation about getting closer to God

  1. Love this! So encouraging – thank you so much!

  2. Yes Amen 🙏 very awesome Word, also in this waiting period. God Bless you

  3. Wow this was exactly on time. One night an idea dropped in my spirit during a dream I was crying out to him in a state of lost and searching for my way. In the dream I prayed and petitioned God about my purpose and wanting to seek it by all means. The the idea of a “30 day faith journey” with God became real. God wanted me to let go and let him be in control. trusting in the lord and have faith so big because I knew God was undefeated. In the dream I saw myself in this journey and I had to be intertwine with God talking to him. Seeking without fail. An keep the faith no matter how it looked. The dream ended with my life being transformed in and incredible way all because I said YES lord I’ll trust you YES lord I believe, YES LORD my faith is in you. When I woke up I couldn’t stop crying and I said GOD if this is your will for me I want to go on this faith journey with you. But I felt I wasn’t ready at the time. Even today I still haven’t petitioned the lord about the journey but it tugs at my spirit so often. An I feel in my heart. The question I hear is ” Why won’t you YIELD Jessica?” I feel it strongly. An reading this just spoke to me again an in my head I’m like what are you waiting on? An God is like “When I appoints I also empower. So take my hand”. I am honestly a bit nervous I’m not save enough. An all I hear in my head is “didn’t I save you and your from an 8yr abusive relationship that was near to death on 3 occasions, didn’t I deliver you from drugs, haven’t I showed you I’m faithful and I love you Jessica what else must I do? God has been waiting on me to take this journey so it can lead me to my purpose and I feel that so strongly in ever bone in me. I’m going to do this faith journey because I know it real and it will transform my mind on another level that I’ve been wanting to go. Just knownGod meets you exactly where you are in all our mess. God will get your attention with some kind of an awaking when he wants you and there’s no if and’s or buts about rather or not it was God. When he shows up its undeniable. Thanks for allowing God to speak the word through you. I’m going to take that leap of faith and please know if your dreams and ambitions don’t make your nervous or scare you then they may not be big enough. God bless.

    1. Jessica, thank you so much for sharing your experience. Sometimes faith is spelled R.I.S.K, if you look in the Bible you will see countless stories of people stepping out in faith and God meeting them there. He will do the same for you. I love this quote from Frank Scully, “Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?” You will never get the fruit at the bottom of the tree. Step out, girl! DO IT! 😀

    2. Excuse my words, Jessica. I would like to say to you, that, if you have not bind with God yet, you ought to take the dive, just loosen up, take the plunge onto God. Get the grip of your ego off yourself and just bind with the LORD. John 15:5 Jesus says, I’m the vine, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES, without me, you go nowhere. Just take the words seriously and take small steps onto the LORD. DO NOT OVERTHINK IT. JUST DO IT. Take the LEAP OF FAITH, have faith in the Lord Jesuschrist and it will be given to you. Nock on His Door(Heart) and HE WILL BE REVEALED TO YOU. No matter what ails you, stay strong, don’t look for artificial help of any kind, like booze or drugs, that will make you even weaker after the fact. You are a WHOLE being in God. You have and was created in THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD, what else you need? It is YOU that HAVE TO BELIEVE THIS. You don’t NEED anybody else to have a faith for you, the faith belongs to you, it is yours alone. With that faith, altogether, IS, WHAT YOU CREATE WORLDS WITH. LOVE YOURSELF, PARDON YOUR WEAKNESSES AND START ANEW. Love, Leon.

  4. David Reid says:

    I really appreciate this passage it gave me clarity and understanding. I have been anointed as a Prophet and I am trying to learn things as the Lord is maturing me and I get closer to him. I be asking certain questions but it seems like I always have to resort to Google and people like you come up and give true Revelation to questions that I have so Thank you so much and keep doing the works of the Lord

  5. Thank you so much for clarity on what it means to “Wait”. I have been thinking i am waiting on God only to find out i have not been. This really enlightened me so i dont run ahead of God as i have done previously. I am in my waiting season. I do trust God completely and im praying for God to take myself out of the way. He knows best!!
    God bless you

  6. Obehi Adeboyejo says:

    Thank you so much. It has blessed me greatly.

  7. Gina Evans says:

    Melissa,
    Through your teaching God has answered my prayers for understanding what it means to wait for the Lord. Thank you for being a willing vessel in sharing our Lord’s truths.

    There is a passage in Isaiah, chapter 30, verses 20-21, that guides me each day, especially if I find myself fretting or worrying over circumstances in my life: “. . your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’.” These verses speak of such intimacy with the Father, being quiet with the Lord so that the only voice I hear is His.

  8. Thank you for this post. Waiting on the Lord for me means Lamentations 3.25-27 (NLT).

    25The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. 26So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. 27And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline.

    In a certain matter, I have tended to “throw away my confidence” when things don’t go the way I think they should.
    There is so much more to waiting on the Lord, a lot gets accomplished, things get into our foundation that then help us stand unmoved and see the answer and it is then right and praise worthy..

  9. Very very enlightening. Binding together with the Lord… Entwining ourselves with Him

    And now Isaiah 8:17 has a totally different meaning and Revelation for me…

    Isaiah 8:17
    [17]And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

    Thank you

  10. Nana EKua says:

    I am just seeing this and I am blessed. Some months ago, the Lord ministered to me through Travis Greene’s ‘BE STILL’. I heard it but did not heed to it. Several months have passed and I know I am lacking the fullness of joy in the Lord. Today, I decided to go through the lyrics of the song..and then I saw a notification to check on your entry….and it is simple…I MUST ABIDE IN THE LORD MY SAVIOUR…Just as Jessica, I am sure the Lord has been saying to me ‘WHY WON’T YOU YIELD?’
    I will Yield Lord.
    God bless you Melissa. May He continue to open the eyes of your understanding.

  11. your article said to search scriptures and pray. How do you do that?

    1. Hi Love, When I mean search the scriptures to read and search out the Bible for the topic you are praying into. You can use concordances or Bible dictionaries to find key passages. As you read, study, meditate, and pray…the Holy Spirit will reveal things to you.

  12. Just what I needed. God bless you for making this very easy to understand.

  13. Michael Riddering says:

    Read Matthew 5:4 this morning “What delight comes to you when you wait upon the Lord! For you will find what you long for.” and felt compelled to Google what it really means to wait upon the Lord because I didn’t feel like I actually WANTED to. Well, this post was exactly what I needed to hear and I am truly blessed reading it. Thanks for taking the time to put this together!

  14. 11/7/19 6:00am
    I just finished reading this article and i wanted to thank God for it and you in Jesus name. I’ve never seen “WAIT” in this perspective. I am greatful to those who answered GOD’S call to teach the truth
    Be encouraged for the Lord has blessed you greatly.
    1 Corinthians 15:57-58
    Your labor has not been in vain in the Lord.
    Walk in your blessings, your sister in Christ Jesus, Natalie

  15. This is really a great piece. It has helped me really. Anytime I come across the scriptures that says wait on the Lord, when I am requesting something from God, I really get angry because I thought my prayers was going to be delayed. But now I know better. Thanks a lot

  16. Thank you so much for your powerful comments God richly Bless you

  17. Tapshak Yakse says:

    God bless you for this post

  18. Thank you. We just had this discussion at church on Sunday and this summed it up perfectly. God is definitely speaking through you. May God continue to give you wisdom, discernment and revelation. Blessings. B

  19. Alice Katale says:

    I have gained more knowledge on waiting upon the Lord. I have been through it and I have grown closer to Him! God bless you

  20. Monica Manning says:

    This wise teaching is very helpful. It expanded my understanding of waiting. Thank you and God bless you.

  21. Deshawn Williams says:

    This has truly Blessed me because I didn’t realize how impatient I am. I’ve been trying to rush God. This something that we can do. God has set things in order for our lives. He’s renewing my strength. I trust him even WHENEVER I can’t see him in the midst. I know that he has a plan for my life and i will wait patiently. Thank you for sharing this article. GOD has spoken

  22. Thank you for this. It’s so hard when you are waiting. It feels like the only thing you can do is desperately cling to God. This article helped confirm that’s right where He wants me! <3

    1. Tara Weht says:

      The Lord wants us to wait on him and have complete faith in him. Waiting on the Lord is trusting him

  23. I’ve always had a tough time grasping what it meant to wait on the Lord. I’m a go-getter and a planner and sometimes, as Wayne Stiles says, I “plow ahead without God.” Thank you for these thoughts! I found them very helpful.

  24. In studying the word wait in Isa.40:31, the thought came to me, that waiting on the Lord is like playing Simon said
    You’ll paying very attention and listening to what the Lord is saying and being obedient to His Word.

  25. This is exactly what I needed. God bless you for the detailed analysis on the word of God. So much is clearer now! Incredible

  26. Thank you for clarity, really appreciate this passage

  27. Thamar Duncan says:

    Great post, the clarification of the word waiting in old and New Testament is spot on

  28. Iam blessed, with the waiting upon the Lord, BRINGING MY PRESENCE INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

  29. I love this study about waiting. Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorite scriptures. I have been researching the meaning of waiting /quavah/ kaw vaw!! I read one study that showed the 3 strand cord is not easily broken. To bind together with Father, Son and Holy Spirit . It also shared about actively waiting. I love that it is not a passive just sit down and wait. One thing that I feel will help us grow in strength as we wait is to encourage others while they wait and of course listen as you said to God and let him lead us and talk to us as we move forward in Him!!!

  30. Yes , thank-you this blessed me.
    One question for you … I’m struggling with drawing close to God .

    1. Hi Yvonne, the best way to draw closer to God is by spending time with Him. Set it in your calendar or phone for a certain time and go pray and read your Bible. The more you push through the easier it will get, but at first, it can be difficult.

  31. Ntui Christina says:

    Wow this is so beautiful and enlightening. I have learned much from this. Thank you very much minister of God’s word

  32. Thank you so much. I’m waiting on the Lord for my health. He’s revealing so much to me daily as I spend my days with him. I found new insights in this.

  33. Very good word, thank you for sharing.

  34. Hi. Thank you for this very inspiting and fruitful message. It really helps me get into realulization of my meantime waiting. Waiting for the right person to come into my life and seond the rest of it but i believe in Gods perfect timing. I know that He has plan for me despite of what happens from my past and He will deliver me for my future. Now im taking this waiting stage to draw more closer to God trying to learn details of my daily life to be more inspiring and look ahead for God wants to show me.. God bless you

  35. Dominique says:

    I am glad God led me to your website about waiting in the Lord. I am more confident in my waiting on God.

    Thank you and God bless you

    It is just confirmation……

  36. Wonderful!
    The right interpretation of what is waiting on the LORD is. Thank you..

  37. This article is amazing. It was very uplifting in a time where we’re “waiting on the Lord” during this COVID-19 pandemic

  38. It really ministered to me, thank you, God bless you and those around you. Praise the Lord.

  39. Tara Wehry says:

    Now I know waiting on the Lord is not just sitting around waiting for stuff to happen, it’s binding together

  40. Jackie Williams says:

    I was spending time in the Lord’s presence when I kept hearing the word wait wait on the Lord I thought he meant to wait as you said at the grocery store at the DMV office but I heard the Lord say ask your phone what wait means in Greek and your post came up and it bless me so much thank you thank you thank you for that great interpretation and revelation God bless you

  41. Kymberly Newton says:

    This blessed me so much the part about “waiting is a proactive stance of abiding in Him” I am in just such a place where I am seeking on how to wait on God and this spoke to me truly.

  42. Norah Abonyo says:

    Thanks AV learnt alot and understood

  43. Norah Abonyo says:

    Thanks AV learnt alot and gotten an understanding of on what it means to wait upon the lord

  44. Yusuf Isedu says:

    God will bless you for this meal. It was a meal of revelation of clear understanding of waiting.

  45. Maia Dean says:

    I thought about the job of ‘lady in waiting’ for a monarch. This was a job of very personal service to the queen. You had to be very focused on your duties and carry them out quickly and to the best of your abilities.

    I think this is what it means to wait upon the Lord.

  46. Thank you SOOO much for this post! I have REALLY been struggling with this and you have made me realize what I am to be doing and how to do it. Clinging to God daily 💜

  47. akinwale seun precious says:

    I am glad it made impact to my knowledge about waiting