I heard an African man say, “God gave Americans watches, but He gave Africans time.” So let me make a confession right here at the beginning. I am not the most patient man in the world. (Some who know me well just thought, “Really?”) And please don’t put my patience on the top of your prayer list. James speaks of God teaching us patience through trials and testing.
But I have been spoiled with the post modern ideas of speed and having it right now. When someone recently offered to buy me a new computer, I chose faster speed with the most update processor over a touch screen. So when it comes to ministry I struggle with the same matters of time. I want my calendar organized and filled today. I want my finances in order, today. I want what I want when I want it.
But don’t judge me. God isn’t finished and He often teaches me “Wait on the Lord.” In fact, like many people I know, I pray, and then when God doesn’t act in my schedule I battle the temptation to just do something. And usually the biggest problems in my life occur when I get ahead of God.
Now personally, I don’t think the instructions to “Wait” in the Bible mean do nothing. Usually they come in the form of “Wait before the Lord.” I see in those words a call to prayer. I believe God often asks us to wait before Him so that we will seek Him, and His word promises we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our hearts.
I am glad that God is patient. In fact, more than that He is long-suffering. He has certainly been patient to wait on me.If God were impatient with me, as slow as I am to get it most of the time, I would be in big trouble. There is an urgency, however. There are people dying all over the world and entering into a Christ-less eternity. Somewhere around 2.8 billion of the people on our planet have limited and sometimes no access to the Gospel message. We must be swift to obey the commands of our Lord to “Go into the world and proclaim His kingdom.” We must wait in prayer before the Father praying to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest. We need to be willing to stay but planning to go. And not just some of us. He has commissioned every believer.
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