THE CHALLENGE IS THIS—WAIT
One of the phrases my pastor uses is this: “We are a ‘microwave’ society but we serve a ‘crock pot’ God.” Over the generations we have become impatient people, we have a strong desire for immediate gratification. God Himself, however, tells us, “For I, the LORD, do not change.” (Malachi 3:6) Not only does the Bible tell us that God does not change, the book of Hebrews shares this also, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Based on these phrases, the conclusion is obvious—modern-day Christians find themselves in a predicament. We grow up in a society where we are programmed for immediate gratification, yet as we mature as Christians we learn that our God is an unchanging God.
In order for us to wrap our brain around God’s view of time versus our desire for immediate gratification, I think this bible verse is appropriate: “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.” (2 Peter 3:8) Wow! Unfortunately for us Christians, this means that we need to harness our desire for quick results and turn our lives over to God. I realize that this is much ‘easier said than done.’ This is something that I struggle with often. So, as Christians—here is our challenge—to model this advice from the Psalmist, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14) I must remind myself quite often of this verse. One thing that I have learned over the years and it is quite helpful—when I ignore this advice and move forward on my own, without God—the outcome is usually ugly! When it gets ugly and I wonder why, I always stumble across the same answer—you did not wait on God!
I challenge you during the next week to find a time when you are alone and at peace to reflect on this predicament. Sound reasoning will show us that waiting on God makes perfect sense. Regardless of our ‘situation ’—the current issue at hand—we should wait on God. Why? Because God is the creator of all things! Maybe you are struggling with another person in your life—God created that person and knows their every thought. Maybe you are deciding to change jobs—God knows the future of the company you are at and the future of the company you are considering. Having trouble with one of your teenagers—God knows every facet of their lives—He knows them better than you do.
Okay, now let’s take the discussion to the next level. Let’s talk about conflict. If ever in my life I want to have immediate gratification—it is in the midst of conflict. Every ounce of my being wants to lash out and serve-up my view of proper justice. I must admit, however, that my choices in the midst of conflict have proven to be wrong most of the time. However, if I am able to wait on God to move in the middle of the craziness—His actions are perfect and the outcome serves His purpose. If we turn to the bible for instruction on this, I like this verse, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14) This approach is recommended, but we MUST have Faith.
As Christians, one key fact that we all must remember—God is in complete control. We must trust in Him and wait for Him. All of our attempts to address issues without Him are merely acts of futility. Here is some sound advice from the Apostle Paul, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:18-21)
In conclusion, we must maintain a daily prayer routine and keep God close. The bible says this, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) Then, the challenge of this blog will come naturally! If we are in close relationship with our Heavenly Father, we will be able to wait on Him to act and show us the way.
If you are not a Christian and would like to learn more, I urge you to attend a local Christian church and visit their church leaders.