Go or Stand

We live in a fast-past world. We go and go, always pushing to what lies ahead, straining for that next rung on the proverbial ladder. For the Christian, this means that we are often eager to discover what God’s next step for us is. We want to get moving – ready to go where He wants us to go, straining to understand where the path that He wants us to walk will lead.

God, however, doesn’t always see fit to reveal to us the next step at our moment of inquiry. In His wisdom, God sometimes desires for us to remain where we are – at least in terms of our present circumstance. He doesn’t always tell us – “This is where I’m leading you.” Instead, He wants us to learn to trust Him even when the next step is unclear.


George MacDonald stated it this way,

Faith is that which, knowing the Lordโ€™s will, goes and does it; or, not knowing it, stands and waits, content in ignorance as in knowledge, because God wills; neither pressing into the hidden future, nor careless of the knowledge which opens the path of action. (“The Temptation in the Wilderness,” Unspoken Sermons, Series I)

Did you catch that? If we want to live lives of faith, it means that we have to be ready to go when God calls us somewhere. It also means that when God hasn’t clearly called us somewhere, we have to be content with where He has placed us now. In either circumstance, being faithful means doing what God has called us to do.

It’s a hard reality. We want to see beyond the horizon; we want to know what’s in store. Like children, we are anxious to discover what lies inside the presents under the tree. Sometimes, God calls us to move; sometimes He calls us to wait. In either case, we can be grateful that God calls us at all.

Which is harder…going when God says “go” or waiting when He says “wait”? Why do you think that is?


  1. I think it is harder to wait – and that is partially cultural. We are taught if we are doing nothing that we are wasting time. So the urge is to constantly be moving forward. We also want to know what is going to be happening. That is our own anxiousness about the uncertainty of it all.

  2. I know I’m scared to “go”. I just experienced that today. God is telling me to “go” spread the Gospel, and I get so scared, I disobey.

    It is hard to “wait,” but I think it is more tolerable for me; there’s less fear involved in waiting; well there is the fear that I’ll always be waiting and never get to “go,” but that is a tolerable sort of fear.

What do you think?