"...that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:12 (NKJV)
In over 32 years of full-time ministry, I have watched many well-meaning Christians miss out on promises, which God intends and purposes them to have, over one issue - time. When they first start out believing in a particular promise they may have in their mind a certain "waiting period" for God to work. Then, as time rocks on, these dear saints begin losing their grip on the confidence of that promise. Ultimately, they tend to derive their own "doctrine" when it comes to receiving promises from God.
You begin hearing things like, "I've been praying for years for this thing to come to pass," or "you never can tell when God is going to answer your prayers, but He never gets in a hurry." However, there are Biblical contradictions to these conclusions: Peter declares in 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (ESV)
So, to which do we give loyalty to? If we receive by faith, we must walk by faith. Receiving God's promise by faith claims, "I have it NOW on the basis of what God has said and done." Once we believe we receive, then our words, actions and behavior must coincide with our believing. Our beliefs must dictate our thoughts, words and actions.
Faith and Patience. Patience is the ability to remain the same regardless the distraction. Have you ever lost your patience with someone? What does that mean? It means that another's actions drew a response from you that is not typical behavior. You may have lost your temper when typically your temper is in check. You may have said things you would not normally say because you lost your patience.
The spiritual force of patience is already within the Christian believer. You don't have to pray for it. Many will advise against that. But, as a believer you already possess a sufficient amount of patience to hold your thoughts, words and actions on steady course against any distraction - from the devil or from man.
- God's Word works for me!
- God is working on my behalf because I believe Him!
- I am patient, unswerving and steadfast regarding His promise to me!
- I am not moved by the devil, people or even my feelings!
- I am moved by what I believe and I believe it will be to me just as the Lord promised!