Once upon a time there was a young man named Joseph… (Read Genesis 37-41 for context). Joseph was his fathers favourite son who made Joe a coat of many colours. His brothers despised him for his favour, even more so, when God gave Joseph two prophetic dreams of influence and power. They decided to throw him into a pit, sold him to Ishmaelite traders, who sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph while favoured by God was falsely accused of rape and sentenced to prison in Pharaohs jail. Two servants of Pharaoh were sent to prison for committing offences against the king and they both received two prophetic dreams, which Joseph interpreted by God’s gracious gifting in his life. Joseph was forgotten by the cupbearer whose prophetic dream saw him established back to his original position and Joe was left in prison for another two years.
Joseph was in God’s waiting room where you get prepared by God to fulfil your calling. Joseph is often characterised as a perfect individual but even he needed to be refined and prepared by God for his ultimate calling. All of us know what it’s like to wait in a waiting room. It can sometimes be very painful. Just as there are waiting rooms in the natural, so too are they in the spiritual and every persons waiting room is unique and looks different to anybody else’s. If we don’t recognise our waiting room, we will respond inappropriately to the season God has us in.
In God’s waiting room you watch other people’s dreams come to pass while yours is at a standstill. In God’s waiting room, you find it easier to interpret other people’s dreams, than you do your own. In God’s waiting room, no one who enters your life does so by accident. In God’s waiting room, you grope for mans attention rather than waiting for God’s timing. In God’s waiting room, you will want to complain about your hardships. In God’s waiting room, you will feel forgotten. In God’s waiting room, you are being prepared for your calling.
All of the above happened to Joseph and will most probably happen to you if you accept the invitation to the school of the Spirit = Gods waiting room. But the good news is that God will only keep you waiting in his room as long as is necessary to prepare you for what he has for you to walk in. Many are called but few are chosen. The few who get chosen to walk in a higher calling do so because they postured themselves for growth while in Gods waiting room. Will you accept the invitation?
Hebrews 6:12 ‘Through faith and patience we inherit the promises of God.’
We live in an instant culture – people want instant muscles, wealth, success, love and satisfaction. So much so that if we don’t get what we want instantly, we move on very quickly to something else that we can get our hands on. Problem is, life isn’t instant, nor an event or destination but a process, a journey, a story. Life unfolds incrementally not as one complete package.
Prophecy plays a pivotal role in our lives to reveal Gods promised intent for our future. However, we need to partner with the prophetic and in between the promise and the fulfilment, we must prepare. Both the Holy Spirit and Satan is involved in the process. The former to equip and position us, the latter to resist and destroy us and God’s purposes for us.
There are 2 fundamental keys to fulfilling the promise of God in your life. Many of us have heard about the importance of faith but not enough of us have heard about its twin partner = patience. Faith must be partnered with patience for the promise to be realised.
Patience perseveres with the confidence faith provides (Hebrews 10:35-36). When we refuse to be patient, we damage our confidence and delay or even possibly abort the promises of God. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, whereas impatience is a fruit of the flesh and one that the enemy can use to destroy us and others around us.
Faith possesses the promise of God in our spirits now but patience matched with faith possesses the promise of God in our reality in the future. Faith and patience looks like actively waiting on God (Isa 40:31) but it also looks like praising and thanking God in the meantime (Hab 3:17-18).
What promise have you received from God that you have either let go of or are struggling to believe in? Don’t lose heart. Partner your faith with patience and you will possess the promises of God.
Read Genesis 16 for context.
Genesis 16 is the account of Sarai, Abram and Hagar. It’s got a plot line that would rival any episode of ‘Days of our lives’. Sarai and Abram have received a promise from God many, many years before but they have grown impatient and frustrated with God’s apparent memory loss of his promises to them. Due to their impatience and impetuosity, Sarai comes up with a bright idea, to help God’s promises to come to pass. She offers her husband, her very own maidservant as a wife. Just brilliant! Of course, Abe being a red-blooded, half moron male decides it’s a brilliant idea as well and ends up sleeping with Hagar and ‘kaboom’ ‘WW1 the prequal’ begins in the centre of the household. Some principles that emerge for our benefit today are:
- Don’t misinterpret delay as denial – We live in the space-time continuum, God doesn’t. He exists outside of it. His purposes are established in alignment with his timing which is, in the grand scheme of eternity, perfect. God makes everything beautiful in its time. Some promises of God come to pass quickly, some take a lot longer to come to pass and we being finite, impetuous human beings want everything the moment we conceive the idea or hear God’s word to us. When God’s promises delay we conclude that we heard wrong or that God is not interested in us anymore because we must have done something wrong. To conclude this would be to conclude wrong.
- When you misinterpret God, you try to accomplish in your own strength what can only be achieved in God’s strength. That which is born of the flesh must be sustained by the flesh. That which is born of the Spirit must be sustained by the Spirit. Too many of us are tiring ourselves out, unnecessarily, because we are pursuing things, God has never sanctioned or ordained for us. Attempting short-cuts to get close to God’s promises only ever ends up in conflict and frustration. It causes conflicts in relationships and it actually delays what God wants to do anyway.
- Cutting corners on God’s promises leads to bitterness and more pain. The ‘Hagar Highway’ only ever takes you into bitterness and more frustration. Near enough isn’t good enough. Good enough isn’t satisfactory from God’s perspective. God has plan A and he intends to bring plan A to pass. Don’t settle for short-cuts when deep down you know you are just being immature, impatient and finding it difficult to trust in God (Prov 3:5-6).
I know exactly what delay feels like, because I have lived in delay most of my ministry. Trust me, shortcuts never provide the answers you are looking for. They are simply a mirage. Instead, run to God. Ask him the hard questions, remind him of his promises. Do what he’s asking you to do right now with what he has put into your hands. Stop complaining to others and start complaining to God. The funny thing is, he can take it from you way more than you think he can. He may even give you the answer you are looking for.