Psalm 37:7-8 (NIV)
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
God had inspired a dream of the Promise Land in the heart of the Israelite people. They dreamed of a land that flowed with milk and honey. A land of freedom; A land where they could be free from the whips of the evil taskmasters of Egypt. Scholars say that the journey to the promise land was only a one-two week journey. However it took the children of Israel 40 years to get there.
We find in this scripture that God did not take the short route. When God wants to take you somewhere He may take you on the long path instead of a shortcut. Someone might ask, why did God take the long way which caused a delay in taking the children of Israel into the promise land? This delay was designed by God for a particular reason. Let’s look at three ways God uses delays in our lives.
1. God uses delays to prepare us. The Israelites were a slave people and they weren't prepared for war, and God knew if they went to war they wouldn't be able to handle it. Every dream has its difficulties. God uses delays to get us ready for those difficult times that we are going to face during the course of our journey. These delays are designed to strengthen our faith and make us stronger.
2. God uses delays to test us. Deut. 8:2, "God led you through the wilderness for forty years... testing you to find out how you would respond and if you would obey Him." God uses delays to test how we will respond under pressure and to test our loyalty and obedience to Him.
3. God uses delays to train us because sometimes it takes longer to get Egypt out of us than it does to get us out of Egypt. The culture and habits of Egypt was engrained in the hearts and minds of the Israelite people. God could bring them out of Egypt in one night but it would take years to get Egypt out of them. When you and I got saved we had habits and thought patterns that were of this world. When we got saved those thought patterns and habits came with us. God uses the delays to break those habits and thought patterns and train you in His way of thinking and doing things. The best thing to do when you are in God's waiting room is be patient and let God do His work in your life.
We need to notice that it was God that was leading them to where they were going. Sometimes God will lead us through the wilderness. But I believe that our response determines how long we will stay in the wilderness.
Our test of maturity is how well we handle the delays in our life.
Sadly, the children of Israel flunked this test. They never made it through the delay. Only two Israelites who left Egypt actually got to go into the Promised Land. A whole generation had to die in the desert. The next generation got to go in. Only two of the first generation -- Joshua and Caleb -- got to go in. Why? Because they trusted God to take them.
When a delay occurs in our lives we start acting like God's never done anything for us. Has God done things for you in the past? Sure He has. You can count on Him to do it tomorrow, or the next day... When you act like, "God's not going to bail me out of this one!" you're forgetting all the other times He's bailed you out. Some of the times you didn't even know about it but He did.
What have you been forgetting about God, how He's helped you so many times?
The consequences of forgetting the Bible says is "...they would not wait." Instead of forgetting you need to remember God's promises. There are over 7000 of them in the Bible. God's promises are always greater than the problems you're facing. Ps. 103 "I will bless the Lord and not forget the great things He does for me." You ask, Why isn't God fulfilling the promise in my life? He's waiting on you. You think you're waiting on God? He's waiting on you. He wants you to learn that before He brings the solution He has some things He wants you to develop first; some growth patterns He wants you to put into your life. God's never in a hurry. He can do things immediately, but He's working on a larger agenda. The delays that come in your life do not destroy God's purpose. They fulfill God's purpose in your life. They make you a better person.
God will make a way where there seems to be no way if we will just learn to wait.
Dear Lord, We pray that we will be patient as we wait upon You. Help us remember that Your timing is perfect and that You will supply in the right time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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