Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 (NIV)
I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Timing is everything. God has made EVERYTHING beautiful…in its time. Could it be that maybe just maybe things are not so beautiful and wonderful because humanity is in such a rush all the time? Does our need for immediate gratification causes us to skip the process and compromise on the prize? Absolutely. I am convinced that if we learned to wait on the Lord that our life would begin to fall in line with promises that the Lord has given us. I have admitted on many occasions that my greatest weakness is patience. I am tenacious. I am pushy. I can be bossy. If you don’t know this side of me, it is probably because we have not known each other very long. I prefer to call it drive, motivation, and persistence. However, it gets me in trouble quite frequently. I am learning to pray and wait on the Lord well past my internal time clock. It has taken more than half my life if I live to be 100.
My husband texted me a couple days ago that his boss had authorized a holiday dinner for his employees. What a blessing! We have not been able to do this for a number of years. Immediately, I began to mull locations over in my head. With only about two weeks until Christmas, it would have to be soon. I selected Monday of the coming week and made arrangements with the restaurant. Immediately upon announcing it to his branch, someone immediately responded that they could not do Monday as it conflicted with bowling night. I must admit I bristled a little. I mean seriously. Bowling night? I don’t bowl so failed to see the significance of his commitment. Begrudgingly, I agreed to call the restaurant back and see if Tuesday was available. Everyone agreed they could come on Tuesday, so I conceded. It really wasn’t a big deal, just my need for a plan makes me reluctant to change. Don’t act like you are any different? So last night, we were asked to attend a prayer meeting with the leadership of our church…on Monday night. See God knew this was coming so He arranged for the party to be moved from one night to other… you may call it a coincidence but I know it was the Lord.
How can one learn to wait on the Lord? Do we pray for patience or not? What is the secret code that unlocks the Promises of God in our life? The code is faith. Jesus handed us the Keys to His Kingdom, but we don’t use them most of the time. Choosing, instead, to maintain control of the details in our life. It all begins with the promise. Do you believe that God has a plan for your life? Do you think that life is better following Jesus? We all are looking for purpose in our existence that can only be met when we come to peace with the Eternity planted in our heart!
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens…
Do you believe this statement? There is a time for everything and a season for every activity. Briefly, I will detail why you should. 1) Psalm 139:16-17 – “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!” Every single day and moment of our life is scripted by God for His Glory before we are born. 2) Proverbs 16:9 – “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” We try to plan and proceed with our life, but the Lord has already established our steps so anything we do on our own is contradictory to God’s Perfect Plan. 3) Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God’s Plan for our life is a good one that contains a future and hope. There is no provision for harm only prosperity. When we choose to seek the Lord wholeheartedly, we claim the promises and blessings that God has preordered for our life. 4) Numbers 23:19-20 – “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.” And finally, probably the most valid and promising statement of them all is that God is not a man. He does not lie and will not change His Mind. God is not indecisive about our life. He is not petty changing His Plans based on emotional overtures like people do. We must have faith in an unchangeable and unshakeable God who has an infallible purpose and plan for us despite our inability to consistently allow His Process to work in us.
Romans 4:19-21 (NIV)
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Nobody waited longer for their promise than Abraham did, I am not sure at Sarah’s age I would have wanted it any more. I know why she laughed. All joking aside, God’s Promise for us is eternal life. Such a life is claimed by faith, so the Lord uses the hours, days and seasons of our life to created dependency on Him. Why? Eternity is His Goal and Destination for us. It is impossible without faith. When we connect with the Kingdom of God by faith, it changes our now too. We must become unwavering in our belief in God to obtain all of His Precious Promises. How? Why? We must become fully persuaded that God has the power to do what He has promised. Not by what we say, but what we do. Waiting on God is evidence of faith and trust. Patience and perseverance produce them both.
2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
God’s Plan is perfect. It is flawless from the moment it is set forth and ordained for our life. We measure time according to this life but the Lord measures time through Eternity. The Lord has a prescribed time for everything. It cannot and will not be preempted by you or me. When we force things into existence, it is spiritual abortion. Why? Because faith keeps the promise alive. If your faith is not ready for the promise, it must will not come forth. Abraham would be called to the mountain of sacrifice with his promise, Isaac. Would he have been ready to pack up his kid and go before the time had come? Or would immaturity and a lack of faith caused him to ignore the Lord and His Call to give all? Compromise is our answer to waiting. Substitutions are the things we grab when slipping. The promise is for you. No one else can have it but you. It is up to each of us if we are willing to endure the process to have the Promise of God for our life. It means setting a course for unwavering faith, uncompromising belief and refusing all substitutions while we wait on the Lord.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To force God’s Plan into existence before it’s time will render it ineffective and unproductive in our life. We must be patient and persevere until God’s Timing comes to pass. What do we do in the meantime? Make every effort to add to your faith goodness. Do what God says while you wait? Don’t just sit griping and complaining about how long it is taking? Goodness requires knowledge. The world is not going to tell you how good God is. You have to taste and see that the Lord is good. Read and study His Word. He reveals His Character to us there. As we increase in knowledge, we are ready to tackle self-control. God’s Word sheds light on areas of our life lacking in obedience with the opportunity for change. Jump on it. The more our life becomes aligned with God’s Word, Will and Way the sooner our promises will come to pass as we live in tune with the Lord. Perseverance comes when our head and heart agree with the Word of God and decide that He is worth pursuing wholeheartedly. Now things are coming together nicely as the Fruit of His Spirit begin to be produced in us. Suddenly there is a burst of godliness that allows us to focus on loving others rather than how long our wait will be. The Lord promises that those who possess these qualities in increasing measure will begin to live effective and productive lives according to His Plan.
Romans 1:1-5 (NIV)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Farmers who abandon their field never obtain the harvest. It either dies in the ground or is taken by others. (James 5:7-8) We are justified by faith. It is not an instant thing but a constant process as we leave sin and darkness behind to pursue Jesus with all of our heart and mind. Grace is accessible only by faith. We cannot have immeasurable and overflowing grace until we believe in the confident hope given to us by Jesus enough to desire it. Our hope is in the Glory of God. It is not easy but definitely worth waiting for. The things we go through that produce suffering were not of God’s Design but our personal choice to rebel and our want for something smaller. Jesus restores us to God’s Glorious Standard which is higher, bigger and wider than our perspective requiring us to live in His Presence to see it and attain it by faith and complete dependency on God and His Power in us. Hope does not every put us to shame. It is not easy to patiently endure trials and testing. Perseverance is not fun. It takes us to the end of our rope and is the complete undoing of self to be filled with more of Jesus. Ultimately this process by which we obtain more faith and confident hope creates peace between us and our Heavenly Father that allows us to be productive and effective in this life. It is in His Timing that everything is made beautiful. I want God’s Beauty to overtake my life. I want my ongoing and overflowing testimony to be look what the Lord has done. Those who do must wait on the Lord and be at peace with His Timing.
James 5:10-11 (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.