There are times when the Lord does not want us to take action, but rather, would have us to be still and know that He is God.
Times when we must put aside our own plans and wait to hear a word from the Lord.
But I also believe there are times when we use this as an excuse. Times when we know what the will of the Lord is, even if we haven't received a specific word from Him giving us detailed instructions about our next step.
I was thinking about the wait-staff at a restaurant. They are supposed to wait on the customers, right? They are supposed to be ready to take their orders and be watching for when they may need a refill or their check. And yet, it would seem strange to us if we just saw them leaning against the wall, texting, or laying back on the lounge chairs, watching the game, or hovering around our table whistling. Oftentimes, a good waiter will see when my water needs to be refilled before I'm even aware of it, and yet, they are not just waiting for me to snap my fingers. The best waiters are those who are actively waiting. In service and fetching things before I even realize I need them.
I know that seems like an odd preface to a post about understanding the will of the Lord. But I believe that our concept of waiting on the Lord can sometimes get in the way of us doing the will of the Lord, which is why I began that way. The will of the Lord so often seems like such a mysterious concept to us. Sometimes it may be. But it doesn't always have to be that way.
I used to think the command in Ephesians 5:17 was an odd one. Look at it with me.
Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
The ESV says: Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.