Ever been in a situation you know God had placed something on your heart but it didn’t happen right away? I think most of us can relate. But how long will you wait?
I have seen the following scenario play out before. God places something on someone’s heart and they are filled with the spirit and convicted to do what he asked or step in faith. Yet it doesn’t happen, we step but the results we thought God promised didn’t come after we showed our faith by stepping out. This is were the devil starts to gain power over us if we are not careful. Our minds play tricks on us and talk us out of some of the very things God placed on our hearts. How long is too long to wait? A week, month a year maybe? Surly God wouldn’t have me wait over a year. Right? This is the part of our faith I think we dislike the most. In our rush rush society we want results not tomorrow not next week we want them NOW! This even applies to how we see God working if we are not careful. God doesn’t work on our time line. Just like it says in 2 Peter.
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.”
2 Peter 3:8
We need to remember that the wait is also what’s important to us. It shows that we are faithful to his leading and have the will to do so even if imperfectly.
I would guess that waiting on God is one of the hardest things we ever have to do because we can’t see what he sees. He can see us from beginning to end, He knows the purpose of our wait. Think for a minute. How many blessings do you think you have missed out on because you were not willing to wait on something?
I can tell you how I have learned to wait and to also discern what God’s will might be.
I wait. Don’t laugh it’s true. If I feel what I think is a pull from God I will very rarely make a snap decision. I will dwell on it a few days to a week. If it goes away quickly it usually was just something I wanted really badly, if it stays with me and won’t go away I investigate further. I don’t use that as my only test of God’s will there are other things I weigh it against but that’s the first step for me. The real issue comes with our wait is long, even years long. There is a certain determination inside when God calls us to wait for long periods. It’s a steadfast love of Christ. I know that sounds out of place but it’s true. Christ is our example in everything even in our wait for a Godly purpose. Many times the wait is the true purpose. But God has the most effective ways to get the most out of us. He uses the wait to grow us in other areas of our lives. Using Christ as our guide we can turn our hardened hearts to mailable clay again. I can say since my divorce I have learned how to truly love. I have used the bible as my guide and I have been lead to show others these same things. He has used the wait I have been in to grow me into a great husband someday. He has used the wait to open my heart and to see things through a woman’s perspective. For that I am truly thankful and have seen the change in me. It has been a 4 year process and although I have fallen over and over I always go back to the original things God placed on my heart. He always brings be back to that anchor.
So my question to you is this. How do you respond to the wait? Are you using that time to grow yourself or are you spending that time mad because your current situation isn’t resolved? God could be trying to change a part of your heart that isn’t even related to your current circumstance. Sometimes the wait is the part we need the most. We know that God is faithful to us. I think sometimes He is wanting to see our faithfulness in action and not just in words and honestly waiting is a part of that.
How are you currently waiting on God? Are you impatient? Do you have questions and doubts? Don’t feel bad bringing those feelings to God is all a part of that process that we need to go through to get to a point of total release to Him.
I will say this as my last suggestion. If God has placed something on your heart, I don’t care how odd or seemingly misplaced it might be in other people’s eyes. Hold fast for as long as he asks you too. Charles Stanley once said. “ Our willingness to wait, reveals the value we place on the object we are waiting for.”
That says a lot about our wait. It does for me anyway.
One of the most common things I hear when it comes to relationships is fairness. This means each should be giving the exact amount. But how often does that really happen? Not much in reality. The most common term I hear is. “Well when is she/he going to do what she/he needs to do.” This is in response to treating someone right and freely giving.
I hear this in Christian communities every day. We praise God and his ability to forgive and give grace then turn right around and we place self over love so that we focus on what we are getting or not getting instead of giving what we can. I know what many are saying. “Yes but when you have been mistreated you have to watch out for yourself.” These are just walls of protection we erect around ourselves to feel safe. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying put up with abuse and mistreatment, but you have to remember that we as humans are not perfect, we can be selfish, we can have moments of totally wrong reactions to life and to those we love that are around us. Does this make us bad people? No it makes us human. The important thing in relationships is, what happens next? When we realize we have failed or fallen into selfishness or just not reacted well to a situation, how do we make it right? This is the area we tell a persons true character.
Speaking from a man’s point of view and reading the bible.
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
We as men need to dwell on the scriptures about the women in our lives. Not what or how they are supposed to be, but how We as men need to step up and listen for the things they need from us. The bible tells us exactly what to do. As the man in the relationship we are to act first in loving forgiveness or giving grace. This means doing the right thing no matter what she is doing (baring anything abusive) What I am talking about is this. You have an argument and have now said several hurtful things to each other out of anger. The natural thing to do is stay mad to justify your position and make them see why you are right. The bible calls us as men to do the right thing. It doesn’t mean we are saying that we now agree just to get the situation over with. No it’s about saying. “I am sorry about the things I said. I got upset and I want you to know that no matter if we disagree, I still love you, you are still the love of my life even if we don’t agree.”
That is leadership with in a relationship. This allows so much more openness to breed and trust to grow. As the head of the house it’s our responsibility to be the first to repair any brokenness that might have happened after a heated situation. Guys you suck up your pride and you love her no matter what. You let your ego fall to the ground and you show that woman she is loved even if you didn’t like the way she acted. Because I can tell you she hasn’t always liked how you have acted either. Be the first to give grace, to forgive and to bring unity back into the relationship. This shows tenderness and a desire to grow together, not just a need to end the uncomfortableness after an argument.
So this idea of getting what you deserve, or it has to be fair. Was it fair that Joseph was thrown in a hole, sold to slaves, held in prison? No. Was it fair that David was announce as king then hide for his life for many years? No. Was it fair that Hosea married Gomer? After all she had done? No if that had happened today people would have called him a fool. But look at it now, people call it a gift from God and an praise him for what he did. Today’s society really bothers me at times. Many in the Christian community praise God and all he has done and they know the verses and can spout off theological things left and right but when it comes down to the every day life. The attitude is all self driven. It’s hard in relationships because we can look past what people call “red flags.” I understand the term they are what I call deal breakers. It reminds me of Mathew 7:3 and pointing out the speck in your neighbors eye. If you look at your own life do you think you raise any red flags to someone? Are there things in your life you need to deal with before pointing out others? I bet so. I know I do and work daily to correct those things. My whole point of this is one thing. Love makes no logical sense. Yet we try to place logic over it and make it a standard form. Gods love encompasses everything and every one. It flows from him down to all of his creations. Yes that includes us. If you accept it or not that is on each person. But God gives it freely to us. Jesus freely gave his love to others and had compassion for others like no one seen on this earth to date. Are we not to strive to be like Christ? Are we not to use him as our guide to emulate our selves around? Did he deserve the treatment he got? No but he willingly gave all he had for us. That is the kind of love we are called to give especially to the women we love in our lives. As husbands or boyfriends we are to freely give that and I can tell you it will not always be easy. Do you know why? Because we are selfish creatures at heart.
Fairness and love really do not go together. Maybe in a perfect world or a utopia but in our fallen world, no it’s not fair. So many times in a relationship as men we lead through our actions. We lead with the qualities Christ gave us when he died on the cross. Will it always make sense to everyone around you? Doubtful. Will it make sense at times? Maybe but not always. Love is not logical and we can’t think of it that way. If God has placed a calling on your heart, I don’t care what it is, you follow it.