Let Patience Rule

delivery

When we know the desires of our hearts, yet don’t see them happen the way we’d like, we’re easily discouraged.  Everything seems to be against us when our focus is on what we don’t have.  God never intended for our hopes and dreams to taunt us every time we thought about them, for they aren’t meant to be a burden to us.  Matthew 11:30 tells us: For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Our only burden is to believe, while God carries the burden of making the promise come to pass.

To trust God with our dreams, we need to know that our dreams are His will—that He wants those dreams for us.  We must know that unless God or we have chosen for us to stay single, then we’re free to desire marriage.  God promises that when we make Him our greatest delight, He will give us the desires of our hearts. As long as our desires aren’t purely selfish (James 4:3), we can confidently ask Him for such blessings!

1 John 5:14-15 is God’s promise: Now this is the confidence that you have in Him, that if you ask anything according to His will, He hears you. And if you know that He hears you, whatever you ask, you know that you have the petitions that you have asked of Him.

Yes!  No more worries!  You ask and He gives!  So, like…where’s the guy?

Human nature wants things yesterday.  For example, we wish that the outfit we ordered from the Amazon would arrive tonight.  We want the pizza we ordered to show up on our front step within two seconds.  Now is the key word.  Unfortunately, UPS has to load our orders into a truck that has to be driven miles to deliver that new shirt and skirt to us.  And Pizza Hut has a hard time faxing pizzas.

I John 5:14-15 says that God hears our prayers when we pray.  The moment we placed our order, He sent a message to the warehouse to load up our merchandise with our name on it.  We need to understand, however, that everything we order in life may not always show up for our eyes to see right away.  God may send the answer by fax or e-mail.  He might choose to send it overnight by a FedEx jet.  Or He may choose to make the delivery by snail mail.  Regardless of the speed of delivery, the stuff is still ours.

There’s a time and a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  God will never hurt us by sending the answer when the time isn’t right.  Either He may have some people and situations to organize first, or maybe He needs us or the other person to mature before we get into a relationship. What will we do if it doesn’t happen as quickly as we thought it would?

One night as I drove away from a church service, I quietly prayed for a husband.  I hadn’t been very consistent about believing for one in the past, but that night was different.  I had just left a prayer service and I was spiritually sensitive.  Somehow, I just felt that it was time for me to send my petition—seriously—to heaven.  In response to my prayer, I distinctly heard God speak to my heart, “Request granted.”

I know that God heard and answered my prayer that night, but when my dream didn’t come true weeks later at the conference (see “Special Delivery, Part 1” under “Trust” category), doubt crept in for a season and challenged my trust in God’s promise to me.  My head screamed for answers.  Did God mess up somehow?  Or was I just supposed to wait (oh, please, God, no!)?  As God worked me through my doubts, I realized that the whole situation—or at least my immature response to it—was an obstacle sent to stop my faith.

No matter how strong our trust, we will be faced with challenges that come along to break our focus.  Most of the time, the discouraging part is the timing.  It’s the devil’s way of getting our focus off the promise and onto the circumstances around us.  If he can get us discouraged, he can stop our faith.  If he can stop our faith, he can keep us from receiving the answer to our prayers.  But no matter whether it takes a long time or a short time, we still have our answer: God heard and responded with “Yes!”  Like a package in the mail, that response may take some delivery time.  That’s when we have to hang on to the promise and not get discouraged.

My lifeline during this time was verses like these:

. . . that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises  (Hebrews 6:12);

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:36);

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4).

Though endurance and patience were hardly favorite words in my vocabulary, a “perfect work” occurred when I put those traits into action.  I didn’t want to fall short when it came to relationships.  I wanted that relationship to be perfect and complete with every part of God’s blessing and goodness.  To see that happen is going to take some patience.

One of Andrea’s (see “Hand It Over” post under “Surrender” category) favorite Bible verses is Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him… (Psalm 37:7).  “Resting” was hard to do while Andrea waited.  In spite of the difficulty, the “resting” that took place when she wrote the poem was the key to God setting things in motion for the desires of her heart to be given to her.

People who are willing to be patient are the ones who see their dreams come to pass.  On the other hand, those who lose patience think the package got lost in the mail and go chasing after it themselves.  Often, the delivery truck is just around the corner.  Sometimes, when the delivery is at the person’s front door, no one is home to receive it.  The impatient person is trying out relationships that were never sent by God, and in the process, miss the delivery of God’s chosen altogether.  Letting patience rule has great rewards if we’re willing to let it have its perfect work!

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Heart Like You by Love and the Outcome

If God were to take a microscope to our hearts, what would He find?  A heart engrossed in the desire for a relationship?  A heart craving romance?  Or would He find a heart like His, a heart that beats for His glory and is dedicated to His cause?  That’s the kind of heart He’s looking for.  That’s the kind of heart that is fulfilled with His perfect will . . . the perfect man and the perfect timing ordained by Him.

Things to Consider Before Saying “I Do”

 

 

Marriage-Feature-Image

Years ago I sat in a class  on marriage taught by my pastor at the time.  I was an avid note-taker during church, and kept these notes for years.  Every single young lady would benefit from considering these points! – Christa

Things to Consider Before Saying “I Do”

Proverbs 24:3

Build your house (not just physical) on wisdom, knowledge, and understanding so your judgment isn’t clouded by emotions.  These are the principle things.

Are you the right person?

 I Thessalonians 5:23

  • First, BE the right person.
  • People, not marriages, fail.
  • DO NOT marry to overcome the inadequacy of your character or personality.
  • Flaws will be magnified in marriage.
  • Become WHOLE (though not perfect) person in your own right.

Are you and your friend spiritually prepared?

Luke 6:46, Psalm 127:1, 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Ephesians 5:22-24

  • Will you allow Jesus to be the Lord of your marriage?  By allowing Him lordship, it will ensure success for your marriage.

Are you and your friend emotionally prepared?

Being Emotionally Prepared Will Be Evidenced By:

  • Bringing selfishness under control and being “others-minded.” Philippians 2:4
  • Acting out of commitment rather than feelings.

Two Kinds of People:

 

Convenience People

(emotionally immature)

Commitment People

(emotionally mature)

Emotion-based Character-based
“What is easiest?” “What is right?”
“When I feel good, then I’ll do it.” “When I do it, then I’ll feel good.”
Controlled by moods Controlled by priorities
Selfish mindset Servant mindset
Life and lips disagree Life and lips agree
Looks for excuses No excuses
Outwardly influenced Inward conviction
Quits during tough times Continues during tough times
Whines Wins

Commitment – the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the mood in which it was made is gone.

Commitment is based on character, not on outward circumstances.  You’re committed to a covenant.

Malachi 2

  • Repeat your commitment to each other and your emotions will grow.

Are you and your friend morally prepared?

  • Moral purity should be an established part of your life before marriage.

I Thessalonians 4:1-8

  • You can’t go back and make a brand new start, but you can start where you are and start a brand new end.

Are you and your friend financially prepared?

  • Statistic: Four more failures in marriage because of money than because of immorality.
  • Statistic: 80% of divorces between people 25-30 based on financial difficulty.
  • Get a grip on Biblical stewardship BEFORE marriage.

Luke 16:10-13

Keys:

  1. Establish God’s ownership over possessions, and establish your stewardship over what he’s entrusted to you.
  2. Put God first in tithes and offerings.
  3. Be a faithful steward of the rest by budgeting and living within your means.
  4. Use wisdom.
  5. Borrow responsibly.

Recommended Book: The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples by Larry Burkett

Is the Young Man:

  1. Committed in taking the lead in ordering finances?
  2. Willing to provide for the needs of his family? I Timothy 5:8
  3. Is he able to keep a steady job?
  4. Is he committed to acting responsibly to his and your elderly parents? I Timothy 5:4

Have you considered your friend’s family background?

  • When you marry, you marry their family.

I Corinthians 7:36-38

  • Fathers have the discretion of giving their unmarried daughter in marriage. He has the authority.
  • The man leaves his family, but the daughter is under the covering of her father until she marries.
  • The stronger the character background, the stronger your friend’s character will be. And vise versa.

Background Check:

  1. Childhood happiness
  2. Relationship with parents
  • This is a VERY important issue.
  • What your friend has experienced in their past determines what their home will be like. That is their only frame of reference.
  • Exception: If a person gets radically saved and receives revelation on how it’s really supposed to be.

Do you understand you obligations to the marriage, and are you willing to keep them?

Romans 7:2

Ephesians 5:22-24 – woman’s obligation to submit

Ephesians 5:25-29 – man’s obligation to love

  • Can the woman submit for the rest of her life? Can the man love – lay down his life for this woman – for the rest of his life?

Do you and your friend have a conviction for Biblical child training?

Ephesians 6:4 – father’s obligation to train

How do your parents and leaders feel about your proposed marriage?

Proverbs 23:22, Hebrews 13:17

  • Listen to the voice of God through your parents. Listen to your pastor’s counsel.

Do you honestly have the permission of your Lord, and the inward witness of the Holy Spirit?

  • Divorce never ends. The pain keeps going in the years to come.
  • Do you pass the Scriptural eligibility for remarriage?

Scriptural grounds for divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Unbeliever abandoning a believer

Matthew 19:1, Proverbs 3:5,6, Colossians 3:15

  • It takes character to make a successful marriage.  It may take longer to find a charactered mate in this world that’s becoming more and more uncharactered.

Wait to:

  1. Mature
  2. Find a charactered mate