If I were to ask you what you understand by waiting on the Lord, at least 50% of us would say it means fasting and you would be right but only in one particular context, to which we shall refer later. Meanwhile, let us see what the bible says about how to wait on God, citing Abraham as the example. You know the story – The Lord appeared to Abraham. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant. So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here, in the tent.” And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. (Gen 18:4-11, New King James Version).
We see Abraham here proposing to meet all their needs; they agreed with him, “Do as you have said.” God said the same to David when He planned to honor God by building Him a temple. And the outcome was the same; if you serve God, if you can wait on Him the way Abraham did, you will have honor from God, an equation that we see in John 12:26, If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
The true meaning of waiting on God, as we see in our main text, is that of a waiter in a posh restaurant (not a fast-food joint); a place where the tip might be upwards of 18% of the total bill. As a result of Abraham waiting on the Lord, as he stood by to accede to any request they might have while they ate; as a result of Abraham serving as a waiter for God, God was pleased. We see how God was so pleased with Abraham that He immediately started the process of fulfilling the promise for which Abraham had been waiting for 25 years. Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here, in the tent.”
Here we see how after being thoroughly satisfied by Abraham’s waiting on Him, God brought out His Divine credit card; And He said, I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son (verse 10). God's credit card was not just good for cash or goods, it was good to meet us at our points of need and at that point in time, Abraham's greatest need was for a son. Abraham had met God’s representatives at their points of need; God repaid by meeting Abraham at his own point of need. What we do for God is what He does for us. Matthew 10:32 says, Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. God gave Abraham and Sarah an answer for which they had been waiting for a very long time.
It was a stupendous tip that God left for this Divine waiter, because the bible records in v 11, Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. The rest, as they say, is history: Sarah had Isaac, just like God had earlier promised and as He reiterated after Abraham waited on Him. He also became a friend of God – the one God looks for each time He wants to leave someone another huge tip.
What have you been believing God for? Can you serve as a waiter for God, waiting on Him, to be at His beck and call? It does not matter how impossible your desire appears, God will do it if He is pleased with the service you offer Him. Prophet Samuel was a man who learned early how to wait on the Lord – In 1 Samuel 3:10, Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”. And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
Please note that he said, "Speak Lord," not speak church. This is the only context in which fasting can be described as waiting on the Lord; If your attitude is to stand ready to do whatever He says during your fast, then you are truly waiting on the Lord. On the other hand, if you fast to try and change God’s mind (a stupid act anyway), that is not waiting on the Lord. Samuel knew how to wait on God and the result was that God gave him a ministry like no other prophet. Even in heaven, he has a special place among the men whom God really respects, as we see in Jeremiah 15:1 Then the Lord said to me, Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people.
Conclusion What God did then, He is still doing today. As you wait on Him from today and become God’s waiter, He will leave you a tip like no other.