As a minister, many people come to me for counsel and advice. Much of the time, however, many of them argue with me, reason against the counsel, and usually go forward with their plan anyway. I have seen it, time and again, that it is in these situations where things often go awry, and people wonder why God has turned against them. What it really boils down to, however, is they were impatient, they were looking for the quick and easy way, and thought they knew better than God. In no way am I saying my counsel and advice is from God Himself, but reasoning through the scriptures, counseling by God’s word, and, following the mandate of Paul in Ephesians 5 by speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, it can’t go wrong. Most of us don’t heed godly counsel and advice because we want things now, we want it in our own time and in our own way, and we do nothing but demonstrate our impatience with God’s timing.
Let us, however, consider that impatience is the opposite of Faith. Nothing in life is easy. Nothing about following God is easy. Jesus promised trouble would come. Abraham waited, not only for Isaac, but also for a promise he would never see: that His offspring would outnumber the stars, and that they would inherit the land which God had told him about. The prophets spoke, preached, and died waiting on the promise of messiah, the apostles spoke, preached and died waiting for Jesus’ to return. All of them (and us, if we have the faith), looked forward to the Kingdom that would never end where God dwelled in the midst. Faith is about patience. It’s about waiting on God’s promise to be fulfilled, and trusting that God will fulfill every one of His promises, even if we should never see it this side of heaven. Faith is looking forward to God’s promises fulfilled, even should we suffer and/or die in the process. So which one are you demonstrating: faith or impatience? Let go of your control, trust God, and wait patiently for His promises to come to pass. He always keeps them, even if we don’t see them on this side of eternity.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.