When God Puts You on Hold: What to Do When You Can’t Do What’s in Your Heart
Marvin Yoder

Rev. Marvin Yoder loves to help others successfully fulfill God’s will for their lives, and he is thrilled when he can help people “hit a home run” in accomplishing exactly that! Marvin has rejoined the Rhema Bible Church staff as an associate pastor and the Rhema Bible Training College faculty as an instructor.

Prior to returning to Rhema, he planted and pastored several churches in Illinois. Before planting those churches, Marvin served for nine years in various positions at Rhema, including as dean of Rhema Bible Training College. Marvin graduated from the school in 1984 and has traveled extensively, both nationally and internationally, as an itinerant minister. He has also authored several books and study guides.

In his free time Marvin loves to write, go treasuring hunting, and play golf. He also enjoys taking back-road vacations with his wife, Leah. They have three children: Christina Ann, Nichole Joy, and Audrey Danielle.


When God Puts You on HoldOpening: I’m sure many of you have had the experience of making a phone call and then being put on hold for a while. You wait and wait until eventually even the nice music doesn’t seem to be soothing anymore. You wonder what is going on. You resist getting frustrated. Can anyone relate?

Have you ever been excited about what is in your heart, but at the same time felt boxed in, trapped, on hold, or on a plateau in life? Welcome to the crowd!

The Bible is full of people who were born for a specific purpose in life, but they went through periods where everything was on hold.

Nothing remotely close to their dreams was happening in their life.

Sometimes it seemed as if they were going in the opposite directions of their dreams.

Others faced such opposition or obstacles that, humanly speaking, it was impossible for them to experience their dreams.

In the Bible you find many people who did not experience what God had for them right away, but eventually they did!


A.  Abraham—the promise of a son
B.  Joseph—called to save his family [and a nation]
C.  Moses—the call to deliver God’s people
D.  David—anointed to be king of Israel
E.  Job—from afflictions to abundance
F.  Hannah—the desire for a son
G.  Mary—chosen to bear the Son of God
H.  Ruth—from grief to joy
I.  Esther—to save a nation
J.  Paul—called to be a missionary


A.  Let God be God [Psalms 46:10]

1.  This is a time to exchange our thoughts for His thoughts.
2.  A time to cease from our own efforts and strivings.
3.  A time to submit to God even when we don’t understand what’s happening.

B.  God is smarter than we are [Proverbs 3:5,6]

1.  God knows the things we don’t know! Become convinced of this truth!
2.  God knows what comes first—He never gets the cart before the horse.

C.  Our day of promotion is coming [Psalms 75:6-7]

1.  Being on hold often means getting ready for what is next in your life.
2.  Being on hold may mean other people are getting ready so you can step into the future together.

D.  God works in the unseen first before He deals with the seen [2 Corinthians 4:18]

1.  Understand the invisible, spirit realm is more real than the visible realm we live in.
2.  God always starts change on the inside of you before He does it on the outside.
3.  Faith will change you before it changes your circumstances.

E.  Understand the value of the season you’re in [Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11]

1.  Realize that every season has its product.
2.  You can produce something beautiful in every season of your life.

F.  The value of patience [Hebrews 6:12, James 1:1-3]

1.  Through faith and patience we can inherit the promises.
2.  Let patience have her perfect work in your life . . . you’ll end up complete and not lacking for anything.
3.  Realize that everything is available now. but everything doesn’t all happen now.

G. The Holy Spirit is a reliable guide [John 16:13, Romans 8:14-16]

1.  He leads us through the maze of circumstances and situations.
2.  He can lead you in both the good times and the hard times.
3.  The Holy Spirit is never lost—He always knows the way!
4.  He is never at a loss for what to do—He always has a plan or strategy.

H.  You can still count on the Word of God [Matthew 4:4]

1.  The Word is still true no matter what has happened.
2.  The Word is still powerful, no matter what challenges you face.
3.  The Word is still a unchanging, and everything else will eventually change.
4.  The Word is still a firm foundation; the only Rock that can sustain you in all things.


A.  Don’t compare yourself or your situation with others.

1.  You have different callings, giftings, and talents than others do.
2.  You face different circumstances than others do.
3.  You have different things ahead of you than others do.

B.  Avoid thinking you are not qualified for more, or that you deserve more.

1.  Don’t become fatalistic in your thinking.
2.  Avoid thinking that your current circumstances are your lot in life.

C.  Don’t get involved in earthly things so much that you forget God’s plan.

1.  It’s easy to get too busy with other things.
2.  Substituting pleasure for preparation is often easy to do.
3.  Concentrate on God’s treasures instead of earthly things.

D.  Resist being led by your emotions or feelings; instead learn to be led by the Holy Spirit.

1.  You can count on it—your feelings will change.
2.  Someone said, “Some days it feels like you’re the pigeon—other days it feels like you’re the statue.”
3.  Learn to use your emotions for healthy expressions of what you believe.

E.  Don’t be afraid of the fire [Isaiah 43:2]

1.  I’m referring to seasons of pain, persecution, and pressure that may happen in your life.
2.  Let the fire of adversity burn out the impurities in your life.
3.  Every great person goes through the fire of some kind. Their testimony is that God is always with them every step of the way.
4.  Don’t be afraid of the silence, when you are not hearing anything from God.
5.  Don’t be afraid of the wilderness because it is a time of development and growth.
6.  Don’t be afraid of God, because He is for you.
7.  Don’t be afraid of being left out, or of others passing you by.
8.  Don’t be afraid of what others say. (No matter what you do, others will say something.)

F.  Don’t blame God for your current situation, or the problems in your life.

1.  Don’t accuse God of being unfair to you.
2.  Don’t stay away from God; instead draw near to Him.

G.  Don’t listen to others more than you do to God

1.  Others are quick to tell you what they think.
2.  Some are ignorant of God’s plan for your life.
3.  Others have a personal agenda, and are not acting in your best interests.


A.  Concentrate on personal growth.

1.  Identify your strength and growth areas.
2.  Read new books that have information of where you want to go.
3.  Find some new friends that lift you up.
4.  Go to some new places that inspire you.

B.  Determine to keep learning.

1.  Read books! (And read more books!)
2.  Go to school.
3.  Go to seminars.
4.  Be mentored.

C.  Go into a season of prayer.

1.  This is a time of laying hold of the plan of God.
2.  A time of communing with God.
3.  A time where you can allow God to become your best friend.
4.  A time when you can deal with ambitions, agendas, and anxieties in your own heart.
5.  A time to daily pray the prayer of consecration . . . “Not my will but your will be done.”

D.  Decide to make this a time of studying things you wanted to know about, or learning things that will improve your abilities.

1.  Find answers to your questions in the Bible.
2.  Find a favorite topic to study.
3.  Choose a favorite book of the Bible to study.
4.  Begin a study of a favorite character in the Bible.

E.  It’s important to build relationships when you’re on hold.

1.  Networking with others is necessary in every season of life.
2.  Divine appointments can happen more often when you have good relationships.
3.  You will always need others in your life—both now and later on.
4.  You can’t do it all yourself because God’s dream is too big for you to carry alone.

F.  Now is a good time to strengthen and enlarge your faith in God.

1.  Get a better understanding of God—His nature, character, abilities, and resources.
2.  Get a better understanding of what Christ did for you at the Cross.
3.  Get a better understanding of who you are in Christ.
4.  Get a better understanding of your position in the kingdom of God.

G.  Stay focused, even when it looks like nothing is happening.

1.  Have fun but don’t forget why you’re here.
2.  Do some personal things, but remember who God called you to be.
3.  Surround yourself with things that keep you focused on the goal.
4.  Shape your daily routine so you can keep seeing what God has put in your heart.


Someone said, “Life is a series of seasons.”

Everyone goes through times when everything seems on hold.

But things will change! And doing the right things while you have been on hold will make you better prepared and ready to move with God when change does come!

[Ministry Time: Let’s take a moment and re-dedicate ourselves to the plan of God for your life!]