February 7, 2006 – PATIENCE UNDER FIRE!

As God’s children we have need of patience. When God does not answer immediately or seems to take His time, we must be careful not to turn our backs and begin to work things out for ourselves.  God requires perfect timing to do a perfect work.  Everything God does for us is “good” and it is “perfect.” God cannot do a perfect work apart from His own timing. In doing a perfect work there are many facets, changes in people and attitudes, and God must put all the component parts of our prayer together. Timing is one of the most important parts of answered prayer or of God’s work in our lives.    The scriptures says:  Ecclesiastes 3:1  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,  Ecclesiastes 8:6  for there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him. Regardless, of our emotions or our necessities, faith and trust in God alone will bring answers.

If our request has to do with others and circumstances not now in existence, then we must first of all trust and have faith that we have what we asked even before we see or receive it.  Psalms 69:13  but I pray to you, o Lord, in the time of your favor (in your acceptable time); in your great love, o God, answer me with your sure salvation.  Psalms 56:3  when I am afraid (or under stress) I will trust in you.

Many times we ask God for things out of our carnal desires, instead of what is spiritually good for us. Destructions can come from our own decisions and desires.  God’s will is that we abound in spiritual gifts and blessings, and that our life be abundantly fruitful to glorify Him. It is always best for us to pray that “thy will be done in my life as it is done in heaven.”  Those that are called and love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and spirit are protected by His promises. Romans 8:28  and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  God works in all things, not just some things, for our good.

Temptation would have us believe that one little infraction of God’s law will not hurt.  Many times we usher into our lives people and things that bring us nothing but defeat and sorrow. The Lord will not go against our will or our choices. He allows us to reap what we have sown for every breaking of His law brings a lesson about “good” and “evil.” Every time we go against God’s word, there is a penalty to be paid in our own lives.  There is a great cost to unfaithfulness and disobedience. There is a saying, “be careful what you ask for because you might get it.” Ecclesiastes 11:9  be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. GOD SAID, Matthew 5:19   anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The wonderful news is that while God chastises His children when we disobey or ignorantly do things that will not work for our good, He does not give up on us.  Isaiah 30:20  although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “this is the way; walk in it.”

I marvel at the patience of God.  There is none of us “good” as the scripture declares, but His great love patiently teaches us how to walk as His children.  Every time I have learned a lesson from God, I can feel rejoicing in my spirit that I have come a step closer to him.  Psalms 73:28  but as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

There is a great blindness on the nations.  Many do not believe that there is a real “prince of darkness.”  He deceives, lies, robs, destroys, murders, and comes as an angel of light.  Many therefore do not believe that there is a “roaring lion” waiting to tear us apart from God.  1Peter 5:8  be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Most do not understand that the fleshly nature of man cannot please God.  Therefore, we must be born again of Christ’s spirit.  Through Christ we receive a desire to be like God, to know him, and to do His will. We are given a brand new life, one that can be pleasing to God.  2Corinthians 5:17  therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  In Christ we have a new father (the devil has been defeated) and a Lord and savior to keep us walking on the narrow path to heaven. All we have to do is want the Lord to be “Lord of our life” and we must love Him with all our heart and be willing to change as the spirit teaches and leads us. Obedience is most pleasing to God.

If our  patience is under fire and we are not at peace, it is possible that our faith is being tested.  Psalms 105:19 until the time that his word came; the word of the Lord (tested him) KJV. When we are impatient satan can work his will in us.  Satan’s will is for us to sin against God.   He will bring us into disobedience if he can. We must always check our hearts to see if we are in tune with the spirit of God, or giving way to our fleshly nature.

God wants His children to grow in righteousness (living up to God’s standard of living).  Righteousness is the only way we can glorify him before the world and to be acceptable in his sight. We are to be examples of God’s righteousness because we claim before the world that God is our father. We cannot continue to do things our own way.  If we do not acknowledge Him in all our ways, we could have our life corrupted by satan.  Proverbs 3:5  trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  7  do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.  8  this will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 

When we live in joylessness, defeat, and an attitude of “woe is me,” we cannot bring glory to God’s name.  Deuteronomy 32:6  is this the way you repay the Lord, o foolish and unwise people? Is he not your father, your creator, who made you and formed you?    He has made it possible for everyone to overcome.  Rom 12:21  do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. He created us to glorify His name in all the earth.  Isaiah 43:7  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.   Isaiah 43:10  “you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no God was formed, nor will there be one after me.  11  I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.  12  I have revealed and saved and proclaimed – I, and not some foreign God among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.

We need not remain in our sins, but can call upon the Lord and He will answer and bring joy and blessings.  Through the name of Jesus Christ we can become a new creature and the old nature and desires will pass away because we are born again of the spirit of God. We are not to depart from the Lord our God to do evil. Isaiah 44:22  I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Psalms 37:25  I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.  Psalms 34:17  the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  18  the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  19  a righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;  20  he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

There is no better place for satan to start a devouring fire than in the person anxiously awaiting an answer to prayer.  2Peter 3:9  the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Hebrews 6:13  when God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,  14  saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15  and so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. We glorify His name when we believe though we have not received (yet).

Where else can we go for the words of eternal life and the great promises of God?  We must stay upon our God and let nothing dissuade us!  Be steadfast in our trust of him and we will be rewarded. Peter knew who had the answers for eternal life.  John 6:68  Simon peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Act 4:12 salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

The Lord tells us to read the word and be obedient to it.  His ways are not our ways, therefore we must learn to abide in His ways.  Isaiah 55:8  “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  9  “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Our carnal thoughts and ways are not the ways of righteousness.  God’s ways always bring blessings to us and glorify His name. Paul thought his way was right, but the Lord spoke to him in unmistakable words.  Because of His love, He will do everything to keep us from going astray.  We will have every opportunity to change our ways and direction. Acts 26:14  we all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads‘  When we are doing wrong and not doing God’s will, God will send goads or prods into our life to get us moving in the right direction.  We praise you Lord for your mercy!

Do not let the fire of impatience take you away from waiting on the Lord. ~God Is Gracious And Just  Isaiah 30:18  yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!