That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Patience is one of the keys needed to unlock the plan of God. It is a vital trait that every Christian must develop to succeed in their quest to unlock the plan of God.
Impatience is the polar opposite of patience. I have observed over the years that it will sometimes be used by the Holy Spirit as a catalyst to get us moving towards the plan of God.
Our society is not patient by nature. Our focus has become more and more towards instant gratification. Grocery stores now have technology that allows us to order ahead so an associate will be waiting with our groceries at the curb. Online stores now offer free next-day shipping because it is inconvenient for a package to take two or so days before arriving. The root of these new technologies is an increased focus on “self”.
Spiritual development requires patience. Our incessant desires for instant gratification and our selfish desires have no place in God’s kingdom. Time must be given for the ground of our hearts to be prepared, seed planting, and finally, growth before a harvest is received. This is a foreign concept in our society today.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
I have found that the Holy Spirit rarely shows us more than one or two steps that are ahead on our spiritual journey. There may be times that we will see over the horizon but those will be the exception. Sometimes the third step will not be revealed until we arrive at the second!
Our ability to perceive the Holy Spirit’s direction will be reflective of our spiritual growth and development. It takes time for the Word to take root in our hearts. If we will continue to seek God and press into His Word, we will see the harvest. This will require us to first prepare the ground, plant the seed, and give time for the seed to develop. Patience in this process will result in our seeing “the blade, then the ear” and then the “full corn in the ear”.
My wife and I have a relatively new car. We did not follow the time-honored tradition of going from dealership to dealership test-driving vehicles. There were certain manufacturers each one of us have driven and had good experiences with but decided to not follow our experiences.
Our previous vehicle was more than ten years old when the Holy Spirit prompted us to begin believing for the next vehicle. We started in prayer with a commitment to not make any decisions that He did not lead us to make.
Neither of us realized the time that would be required to receive our new vehicle. Months went by with no clear direction being received. There was an underlying temptation to make a move but we had resolved to wait for His direction.
Three letters dropped into my spirit approximately twelve months into the journey. It was clear they were associated with the new vehicle but neither my wife nor I were familiar with them. We searched online and found a manufacturer who had a model matching the letters. Both of us had a witness that this was the vehicle He wanted us to pursue!
He had led us to the manufacture and model but our vision needed to be developed. The vehicle was on a level neither of us would have considered and so I found myself struggling to accept the vision.
Several days after receiving the direction for our new vehicle I was prompted to look in my rearview mirror while driving to work. The person following me was in one of those vehicles! They pulled into the left lane to pass me. I was once again prompted to look in my rearview mirror just as they came alongside me. Once again, I was being followed by someone driving the same vehicle. To shorten a long story, the result was my following one of these vehicles with one in the left lane next to me and another behind!
I do not follow fleeces but the experience driving to work convinced me. We had the vehicle and so now it was time to pray for the plan. It was approximately eight months before that was received.
The Lord led us to print out four sheets with one hundred horses each as the vehicle had a four hundred horsepower engine. The total expected cost was divided by four hundred and assigned to each horse. We began to excitedly believe for our horses to come in.
Weeks turned into months and the money only came in trickles. One year later discouragement was trying to take root in my soul. We were beginning year three of our car project with seemingly no progress and no car. This was surely testing our patience!
At the end of year three, we returned from a work trip with a “leading” to test drive the vehicle we had set our faith on. Neither of us had even stepped into a dealership through the process. I am a tall man and cannot begin to express our shock when I first sat in the vehicle. It was much too small for my frame and I couldn’t sit comfortably in the driver’s seat!
We left the dealership very discouraged. It seemed that our faith had led us to a dead end. The Holy Spirit knew what He was doing and led us to contact another dealership.
I called to schedule an appointment and the salesman told me about another model that he could give a discount of ten thousand dollars if we took delivery on the current year model. This was an unheard-of deal that was being offered because the new year models were being received and they wanted to clear out inventory.
We went to the dealership and immediately knew the discounted model was exactly what God had let us to. Research revealed that God had led us to the manufacturer almost nine months before it was released. He led us to the smaller model to get us on the right path!
I won’t make this story any longer. The money had not yet come in but within nine days of arriving at the second dealership it supernaturally came in. We took delivery of our new vehicle with no debt approximately three years after being prompted to release faith for it.
If we had tried to rush the process our result would have been much different. It took time to prepare our hearts to receive God’s best. In the same sense, it will take time for us to develop and grow to the point where we will be able to unlock and pursue His plan for our lives!
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