Saturday, January 26, 2008

Streams in the Desert - Jan 26

“I have begun to deliver …Now begin to conquer and possess. Deut. 2:31

The Bible has a great deal to say about waiting for God, and the teaching cannot be too strongly emphasized. We so easily become in patient with God’s delays. Yet much of our trouble in life is the result of our restless, and sometimes reckless haste. We cannot wait for the fruit to ripen, but insist on picking it while it is still green. We cannot wait for the answers to our prayers, although it may take many years for the things we pray for to be prepared for us. We are encouraged to walk with God, but often God walks very slowly. Yet there is also another side to this teaching: God often waits for us.

Quite often we fail to receive the blessing He has ready for us because we are not moving forward with Him. While it is true we miss many blessings by not waiting for God, we also lose numerous blessings by overwaiting. There are times when it takes strength simply to sit still, but there are also times when we are to move forward with a confident step.

Many of God’s promises are conditional, requiring some initial action on our part. Once we begin to obey, He will begin to bless us. Great things were promised to Abraham, but not one of them could have been obtained had he waited in Chaldea. He had to leave his home, friends, and country, travel unfamiliar paths, and press on in unwavering obedience in order to receive the promises. The ten lepers Jesus healed were told to show themselves to the priest, and ‘as they went, they were cleansed.’ (Luke 17:14). If they had waited to see the cleansing come to their bodies before leaving, they would never have seen it. God was waiting to heal them, and the moment their faith began to work, the blessing came.

When the Israelites were entrapped by Pharoah’s pursuing army at the Red Sea, they were commanded to ‘go forward’ (Ex. 14:15). No longer was it their duty to wait, but to rise up from bended knees and go forward with heroic faith. Years later the Israelites were commanded to show their faith again by beginning their march over the Jordan while the river was at its highest point. They held the key to unlock the gate into the Land of Promise in their own hands, and the gate would not begin to turn on its hinges until they had approached and unlocked it. The key was faith.

We are destined to fight certain battles, and we think we can never be victorious and conquer our enemies. Yet as we enter the conflict, One comes who fights by our side. Through Him we are ‘more than conquerors’ (Romans 8:37). If we had waited in fear and tremling for our Healer to come before we would enter the battled, we would have waited in vain. This would have been the overwaiting of unbelief. God is waiting to pour out His richest blessing on you. ‘Go forward’ with bold confidence and take what is yours. ‘I have begun to deliver…Now begin to conquer and possess.

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