Have you ever had a word from the Lord that you felt was unfulfilled? Do you have a promise that you have not seen come to pass? I personally have and I have been talking with friends who have shared similar situations with me recently. I started asking God why is it that some promises seem to tarry. Did I somehow not hear correctly? Did I make a misstep and therefore miss the promise? Is there something I need to be doing better in order to obtain the promise? Is God unhappy with me and therefore withholding the promise? The answer to all of these is no.
In Matthew 6:33 the bible clearly states that the kingdom has been given to us. Luke 12:32 says "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." This does not sound like a angry God who gives a promise and then refuses to fulfill it because of something we did. His promises are based not on who we are but on who He is, so the question still remains why do they sometimes tarry?
I recently heard a sermon that rocked my understanding of waiting on God's promises. The speaker said one sentence that gave me a whole new perspective! He said God never gives us a promise that He doesn't first prepare us to receive because if He did that promise would end up being a curse. I pondered this for some time. During this period I was also doing a bible study on Genesis with a good friend and we had reached chapter 13. The passage that caught my attention is Genesis 13: 14-17
"The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring[a] forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
This caught my attention because God's visit with Abraham where he tells him that Sarah will conceive a son, an heir, a descendant does not happen until chapter 17 & 18! So even though at the time of the events in chapter 13 God is speaking about the promise of descendants and their blessing He continues to prepare Abraham and Sarah to provide the actual manifestation of that promise. Of course we see that they make some bad decisions and the result is the birth of Ishmael. How often do we receive a promise from God but try to help make it happen by what we perceive to be good steps of faith? True faith is in waiting for God to unfold things. It is by leaning into the time of preparation and trusting His timing and His goodness. It is by reminding ourselves that He is a good good Father who delights in giving us the kingdom.
If you are waiting on a promise ask God to help you embrace the preparation time. It’s not just about waiting through it, He wants us to be active and engaged with what He is trying to do in our lives. It’s about the journey not the destination.