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Are We there Yet?

All things take time, especially when it comes to the promises of God.

James 1:2-8

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. [NKJV]

If you would like to be a person who is seeing the promises of God manifested in your life and you want to be lacking in nothing, you must let patience have its perfect work in you. The Greek word used here for testing is dokimion (δοκίμιον), pronounced da-kē'-mē-on; which means the proving of, or tested. God proves our faith which produces patience and then God makes us complete by his love and mercy working in our lives.

If you have been waiting a few years for God to manifest his covenant with you, beware less you become double-minded and unstable (James 1:8). Double-minded is being divided in interest, wavering, doubting. This kind of person is seeking God out of doubt, thinking, "God is not going to allow me to have that!" or "Why would God allow me to have that?" Verse 7 says, "For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. ."

Not regarding what God would like to do in you and through you will keep you from ever seeing God's promises fulfilled in your life. God wants you to understand Him and be like Him before He starts pouring out his blessings upon you.

You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. [Jas 4:2-3 NKJV]

With God's blessings comes many pleasures, because He truly wants us to enjoy life. When Abraham's servant presented himself to the house of Bethuel, he said, "The LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys." [Gen 24:35 NKJV]. Though Abraham had not seen a complete fulfillment of God's yet covenant, he had witnessed God's faithfulness to supply for him.

God manifests his covenant to those who have endured in life, proven themselves to be patient in life experences.

Exodus 16:4

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

In the Septuagint (which is the Old Testament translated into Greek) the word test here in verse 4 is peirazō (πειράζω), pronounced pā-rä'-zō, meaning to attempt, endeavor, or try. God wanted to see if the Israel was willing to follow Him in the law. Having to gather manna in the way he commanded them was to prove if they would follow his commands. How we approach God each day is our endeavoring or trying that lets God know if we will follow him in faith and obedience.

Are We there Yet?

When my children were young and we were going on a trip, as I would get on the freeway and everyone would settle down into their seats for the long drive, one of the children always ask, "Are we there yet?" I would answer back, "No we just got started." We would go down the road a few more minutes and another one of the children would ask the same question, "Are we there yet?" After several times of answering the question with, "No, we are not there yet", then they start asking, "When will we get there?" The only thing that will jack up the parents anger faster than for a child to keep asking, "Are we there yet?" is for them to ask, "When will we get there?" after already asking the first question.

If you are wondering why God has not given you any indication when He is going to manifest his covenant to you, it is because He wants you to be patient in waiting and not continually ask, "When are we going to get there God?" He does not want us to ask him, "When are you going to manifest your promise to me?" We must first learn to be patient and enduring in life experiences.

God is not slack concerning His promises 1Peter 3:3-4, 9.

3. Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4. and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." ... 9. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

We are always in need, this is true; but God does not want us to remain in an immature state where we cannot live in joy and peace. Our joy is the Lord and our peace comes from the Spirit of God that dwells within us when we have received His spirit.

  • God has given us the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) that we can have His character abiding in us so we can have His joy and peace as a person.

  • God has given us the Gifts of the Spirit (1Corinthians 12:1-10) so we can live in wisdom and knowledge as we help each other.

  • God has given us the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) so we can pray in power and have the abilities to overcome the devil at any time.

These gifts are part of the precious promises we have in Christ Jesus. With them we can endure with patience as we allow God to manifests His covenants in our lives.

Mature Patience

Having maturity in patience is being able to trust God for His timing. God's covenant is His will for you.

The wait is to show you who He is through His faithfulness as He fulfills His promises.

He wants you to come to a place in faith where you ask Him, "Lord, what do you want me to do?", instead of when is He going to do?

Saul of Tarshish was on his way to Damascus with authority by the High Priest take people back to Jerusalem for following the teachings of Jesus. After seeing a great light that caused him to fall to the ground, trembling and astonished he said to Jesus, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" (Acts 9:1-6). From that moment Saul of Tarshish started on his journey to become Paul the Apostle. In Damascus, Jesus told Ananias that Saul was ". .a chosen vessel to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. . ." [Acts 9:15]. This was God's promise (covenant) to Saul. It was over a decade before Saul was sent out by the church in Antioch to start ministering the gospel. Before Saul was able to become Paul, he had to learn who Jesus was. God had Saul in the wilderness of Arabia for three years training him in the truths of the gospel (Galatians 1:18). It took the rest of Paul's lifetime for God to fulfill this promise and have people believe that Paul was a sent out vessel. This is why Paul included in his opening statements of each book in the New Testament with the phrases "called to be an apostle". People struggled with that fact Paul was an apostle at all.

The promises of God are yes and amen (2Corinthians 1:20), but it takes God's timing for them to be fulfilled. We must become mature in patience if we are ever going to see the fulfillment of Gods promises in our lives and ministries. We become mature in patience by practicing patience.

[Heb 6:9-15 NKJV] 9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you." 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Abraham did not obtain God's promise in his life until after he and patiently endured. It was after he had practiced patience enough to become mature (fully grown or aged) at being patient, then he obtained the promise. This is why so often people are much older before the see the promises of God fulfilled in their lives.

Patiently Waiting

Most people in the scriptures waited their entire lives to see their covenant with God becoming fulfilled. They had to patiently endure before they saw their promises in God.

Abraham was 75 years old when God started covenant with him. [Genesis 12:1-4]

It was another 25 years before he saw the promise of God fulfilled in the birth of Isaac. [Genesis 21:1-5]

Isaac was the promised seed that God continued the covenant in him, but it was 60 years old before his seed was born. [Genesis 25:19-25]

The covenant continued in Jacob, but to understand the time lapses you have to go backwards in Jacob's life because his years are not simply stated in the scripture.

  1. Jacob was 130 years old when he stood before Pharaoh after his family moved to Egypt (Gen. 47:9).

  2. This was the same year he learned his son Joseph was still alive (Gen. 45:26).

  3. Joseph was 30 years old when he rose to power under Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46).

  4. 7 years of plenty had finished and two years of the famine had pasted when Joseph revealed who he was to his brothers. That would make Joseph 39 years old at the time he had his father come live in Egypt (Gen. 41:53 - 42:3; 45:1-6, 11).

  5. Take 39 (Joseph's age) from 130 (Jacob's age at the time he came to Egypt) = 91 years, the age of Jacob when Joseph was born.

  6. Joseph was 17 years old when he had the dream that made his brothers jealous, causing them to sell him into slavery. The brothers reported to their father Jacob that Joseph was dead (Gen. 37:2, 18, 25). Add 17 (age of Joseph) to 91 (age of Jacob when Joseph is born) = 108 years old when Jacob is told Joseph is dead.

  7. Jacob was 77 years old when he left his father and went to Laban.

Jacob worked 14 years for his two wives (Gen. 29:20, 27).

He wanted to leave after 20 years and wanted to leave (Gen. 31:41), but agreed to stay and work 6 more years for Laban (Gen. 30:25-36).

Joseph was born just before Jacob started working the extra 6 years (Gen. 30:25).

Take 14 (years he worked for his wives) from 91 (age when Joseph was born) = 77 years old when Jacob went to Laban (Gen. 28:5).

This information shows Jacob was 77 years old before the Lord let him see the fulfillment of the covenant of Abraham in his life.

The descendants of Jacob that became the nation of Israel, had to wait another 210 years (four generations) before they saw the covenant of Abraham being fulfilled, allowing them to leave Egypt and return to the promised land (Gen. 15:13-16; Exodus 6:16-18).

God tells Abraham his "seed" would be afflicted 400 years (Gen.15:13).

This seed covenant started when Isaac was born (Gen. 21:5-10).

Isaac's age at Jacob's birth (Gen. 25:26) = 60 yrs.

Jacob was 130 years old when Israel went into Egypt (Gen. 47:9).

Add the total of Isaac’s age (60) and the age of Jacob when they went into Egypt (130) to show

the total years elapsed in the covenant before they entered Egypt: 60 + 130 = 190 years.

Four generations would pass while in Egypt (Gen. 15:16); Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses (Ex. 6:16-20).

Subtract the years of the covenant before entering Egypt from the 400 years of the entire covenant to

show the span of time they were in Egypt during the four generations: 400 - 190 = 210 yrs.

Moses was 40 when he knew he was to be the deliver (Acts 7:23-25).

He was 80 before he was able to act upon it (Acts 7:30; Exodus 7:7).

He was 120 when he finally got them to go into the land (Deut. 31:2).

David was just a youth when he was anointed king of by Samuel (1Samuel 16:1-13; 2Samuel 2:1-10).

He waited around 20 years to be crowned king, at the age of 30 (2Samuel 2:4).

David wanted to build a temple for God but told his son Solomon would build the temple (2Samuel 7:1-17). David was able to instruct Solomon concerning the temple (1Kings 2:1-9), before he died at the age of 70 (1Kings 2:10).

Simeon waited until the end of his life to see the promise God made him (Luke 2:25-35).

Anna is 85 years old when she was able to fulfill the promise God made her (Luke 2:36-38).

All of these examples show it was not unusual for people to wait (endure) patiently for many years before God let them see their promise. He did this so they would be mature in patience to have a good knowledge and faith concerning who God was.

The covenants God has made with you are for you to see and understand who God is, more than just to have God give you something.

It is more about the relationship in the covenant than the things of the covenant.

God wants us to have the joy and blessings that he created life for; but the greatest part of life is relationships. The greatest relationship you can have is with God the creator through Christ Jesus.

I am not trying to discourage you to think you will have to wait until you are a very old person before you start seeing God moving in your life. Instead I am trying to help you understand why you are still waiting. God is faithful and He will do what He has promised you. He will complete the great work He has called you to, just be patient and grow in the experience you have in front of you. Allow the favor and love of God to supply your daily needs and trust Him for His timing to do all the rest. After all, faith is trusting that God is capable, and we know He is more than capable.

[2Co 9:8-12 NKJV] 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever." 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God. . .

[Heb 6:15 NKJV] And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

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