It has often been said that God answers in three ways—No, Yes, and Wait. But have you ever wondered about the dynamics behind “Yes” and “Wait”? I like to say that “wait” is a form of “yes.” But what about telling the difference between a “No” and a “Wait.” How can you tell when you should give up or wait for something in faith?
The Holy Spirit does NOT mislead anyone. If the answer is “no,” He will shut the door, comfort your soul, inspire you to trust His leadership, and then lead you toward another direction by opening another door. The one thing He will NEVER do is, “string” you along. When it is a “wait” answer, you’ll discover that every time you want to give up praying for that particular thing, there’d be a stirring in your heart and soul inspiring you not to. Signs and messages from within and outside you will come along at just the right time so that you’ll never lose hope. That’s a “wait” answer.
Question. How quickly does God answer a prayer?
Let’s talk about this for a minute.
When you petition God, He doesn’t have to “think about it” to know if it’s good for you or not. He already knows because He wrote your story before you were even born (Psalm 139: 15-16; Jeremiah 1:5), and anything that would deviate you from that, as long as you choose His will, He will not permit you to have; He’s the One Who’s placed certain desires on your heart (before you were born) so that you will seek and, through His Word, discover His will and destiny for your life. And the desires that will enable that destiny, He will permit. So, He already knows ALL that’s good for you and doesn’t need to think on it. Take a look at Daniel’s story. When the angel appeared to him, he told Daniel that God had sent an answer the moment Daniel began praying, but he was delayed for twenty-one days because of the evil spirit that stood in his way, with whom the angel fought with until Angel Michael came along to help him (Daniel 10:12-13; Daniel 9:21-23).
There could be a number of reasons why we receive a wait answer, but one of them, I’ve come to discover, is the one I call the “waiting-in-training.” The moment a prayer goes up, God grants your desire by first, sending you a series of events to train you to handle what you’ve asked for. Let’s say a certain person says, “God, I desire to be married.” God Who’s put that desire on the heart of this person, triggers events to fine-tune that person in faith, character, and even spiritual things (because you will need communion with God to truly flourish in the purpose of marriage). If this person has a temper, or some other bad habits/character that they need to drop, God will inspire events that will not only hold up a mirror so this person can see these things, but these events will also emphasize the need for them to do away with such attitudes. This includes emotional wounds from past hurts and disappointments that have been left undealt with. This is where you find a lot of Christians stuck, frustrated and confused. Some are oblivious to this and so don’t understand why their prayers are supposedly not being answered, while others wonder why the more they pray, the more they’re supposedly bombarded with reasons why they’re “unworthy” of their request.
But each group couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you pay attention, you’d discover that God’s answer is actually a “yes,” but with a training attached to it, so that this child of God would be preserved and not get destroyed by this beautiful gift and destroy others as well. Rather than look from a point of view that says you’re unworthy, understand instead that what you’re being shown are attitudes you need to let go of (and the Holy Spirit is zealous to help you!). This is not meant to discourage you, but to give you hope, direction and what to pray for over your life. It’s like this, even though your teenage son is old enough to drive, no matter how much you love him, you will never give him a car and put him on the road on his own UNTIL he’s learned to drive and has a permit. Why? He could crash that car and hurt himself and others. So as a parent, would you fault him for not knowing how to drive or would you teach him to drive so that you can fulfill his heart desire? In the same way, our heavenly Father deals with us. Sadly, there’s a flip side to this. Some Christians forfeit their gifts because they refuse to submit to God’s leading, teaching, and therefore, healing.
What, then, does “Yes and Amen” have to do with any of this? How does it fit into our discussion?
The word, “Amen,” is classic Greek for “so shall it be,” “it shall be,” “may it be so,” and “may it be done.” Insert any of the above into this dash, “Yes and ,” and the expression gives you an understanding that associates with the “wait” answer.
What does this mean?
When you petition within the will of God, God’s answer to His Word concerning you is always “Yes and Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20; because of the story He’s already written about you, Psalm 139:15-16). An answer is released the moment you pray. In yes, the answer manifests soon after prayer; in amen, you will be “prepared” or trained to receive the “yes.” In other words, the answer will be “it shall be.” Note that “shall” is a simple future tense. That is, it will happen in the future. Therefore, the expression, “yes and amen,” translates to “it will happen now” and “it will happen in the future.”
So if you perceive that God has laid a desire on your heart and you’ve asked Him for it, but it doesn’t seem to come, perhaps it’s time to ask the Holy Spirit to show you what it is you’re missing or not seeing. Perhaps, God, all along, has been preparing you (or trying to), but you’ve been following His leading and have been unaware of it or you’ve been resisting His training and have been unaware that you’ve been doing so. If you realize that you’ve been obedient in training all this time, be encouraged and keep going. Your “yes” is on the way. But if you realize that you’ve been resisting, stop doing so and submit to the Holy Spirit’s leadership and instruction. Obedience and follow through are important in learning everything you’ll need to be ready for what you’ve asked God for. You can be sure of one thing: God will NEVER give you ANYTHING (no matter how lovely) if you’re not mature enough to handle it, because it will not only hurt and destroy you, it will also hurt and destroy others. Secure God’s “amen” in your life by listening to what He is telling you in your spirit.
About the Editor
Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, and a Mogul Global Ambassador. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.
When Miranda isn’t working on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
*The article, Yes and Amen, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).