By Elder Gerald DeForest Tyler
In the human realm of things there’s quite a lot involved with “Waiting On The Lord.” I believe I have at least a little knowledge and experience concerning this concept of waiting, and to some extent, what it entails. Understand if you will that I resigned from serving as the senior pastor of a local assembly in North Carolina, where I had been a member for over 30 years, three years ago next month.
During the past three years, I have been diligently praying, seeking, pondering certain things in my heart, as well as waiting on the Lord for whatever it is that he would have me do next. While I’m not one of God’s ministering servants who question him as some do, admittedly, I have been wondering over this period of time what ministry might God have for me going forward? I mean, am I to ever pastor again; is writing this “Pastor’s Corner” column my only form of outreach ministry; should I become more of an evangelist; am I to join another church; and so on?
As you can see, for one who loves Jesus Christ and teaching and preaching his salvation gospel, I’ve had right much to contemplate and pray about since March 2009.
“Waiting On The Lord” entails right much. I’m afraid that most ministers and former pastors tend to rush to other churches and go ahead of God in seeking their next church membership and possible pastorate without earnestly consulting, praying, and waiting on the Lord for what he would have them do. My personal belief is that if I jump out ahead of God, and go by myself, I’m subject to end up by myself. And the Lord knows I don’t want that! Over the past three years, why I’ve visited at least 22 different churches in North Carolina and Virginia, mostly here in the Southside Hampton Roads region. Some of these churches I’ve visited more than a dozen times and I’ve preached at several of them.
As you can imagine, several of these church pastors, officers, mothers, and others who know of me rather well have reached out for me to join with them. While I love them all for loving me enough in Christ Jesus to even want me as a member or helper in their church ministries, I’ve nevertheless had to say to them that I believe in putting God first in my life. That is simply my way of saying to each of them that I’m depending on God for his divine guidance, direction, and next church placement.
It’s not my intention to join any church until God lets me know precisely where he wants me. Meanwhile, I’m yet “Waiting On The Lord” and enjoying the preached Word of God and the fellowship where I visit most often currently. Truly my soul waiteth on God: from him cometh my salvation and expectation (Psalms 62:1 and 5). Let none that wait on the Lord be ashamed. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalms 27:14). I sincerely believe that God’s grace, spiritual integrity, uprightness, and the Holy Spirit will preserve and keep me as I continue “Waiting On The Lord” for his divine guidance, direction, and assurance of his will in my life. To you who love me … join me in prayer for God’s confirmation. Patiently waiting and praying for an answer from God Jehovah!
Elder Gerald DeForest Tyler is an ordained minister with years of senior pastoral experience.