The Fear that Makes us Impatient

When my son Maximus was learning to talk as a little boy, one of the first sentences I remember him learning to say is, “Waiting is boring.”

He’s right. But learning to wait is one of the most powerful habits to develop. It develops patience, a powerful arsenal in the Kingdom of God. James says if you have patience in trials, you are “perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:4)

The Work of Pressure

At the same time, it can be one of the most challenging traits to develop. I know I can be incredibly impatient. Which is probably why I’ve had to go through experiences where my patience was stretched, incredibly.

Looking back at my journey, I have found that impatience and fear like to work together, making me feel like I need to come under pressure. That pressure is fuel for fear’s assault.

Yet in the midst of these temptations to come under the pressure of fear, God is seeking to build patience in our lives. That is because God is never panicking. He is never under pressure, nor is he under some force of stress.

Fear and Impatience

So what keeps us from operating in the power of patience? We could list a lot of things, but one big one on that list would be . . . fear.

  • Fear of missing out.
  • Fear that too much time has passed.
  • Fear it will never happen.
  • Fear coming out of our timeline not being met.

When fear gets our attention, pressure comes upon us. When pressure kicks in, we take matters into our own hands and force things to happen. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to kick down the doors. But so often we push into things out of  pressure based on fear, not on the leading and movement of God.

God’s Timeline

Of of the reasons patience is so critical is because God works on His timeline. Because of this, it is not uncommon that He often through at the eleventh hour. Just when you think things are not working, God reveals his power, but there is a lot of waiting along the way.  

We can see this pattern in the life of Abraham, the man who was promised to be the seed of a great nation of inheritance and blessing. This process began when Abraham (at that time he was Abram) heard the Word of the Lord and stepped out in obedience. This move of faith was unquestionably intense, for it required Abraham to leave his country, his father’s home and his people to step out, not knowing where he was going.  

For those who step out in radical obedience, fear will come in its strongest fury to completely wipe out our stamina and faith. Yet it is faith that pleases God and pushes back fear.

The level of risk usually corresponds with the level of faith that is built into us as we hear the word of the Lord and step out, trusting that He will meet us all along the way. Abraham’s radical obedience was not only met by God, but the promise that began with Abraham sent forth a spiritual legacy that is still in operation today by faith. Abraham’s message to those who face fear I believe would be this: Stepping out in radical obedience by faith will bring an inheritance for generations to come!

The Test of Patience

Yet before you become overwhelmed with stories of greatness, recognize that Abraham certainly had shortcomings along the way as He walked with God. His promise, given by the Lord was laid in the fact that there would be a child coming from his seed and the womb of his wife Sarah. Yet they were both old in age and way past the usual time of giving birth. Yet as God brings this promise, he reminds Abraham not to give in to fear.

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. Genesis 15:1

Initially, Abraham believed, but would later struggle with fear and impatience because the promise did not come in the time that he estimated in his natural thinking. Motivated by this fear, Abraham is driven to have a child with Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden, and named him Ishmael. Yet this child was not the fulfillment of the promise. Isaac, born of Sarah would be the child that brought forth the promise of God.

Do you ever notice that fear always seems to point to the areas where God has not shown up yet? Meanwhile, God is at work behind the scenes, orchestrating in the heavenlies a work that cannot be fabricated with human hands.

As you believe and trust Him by faith with patience, not only will you overcome your fears, you will walk into greater lands of promise than you ever knew existed! My encouragement to you through the lesson of Abraham is this: always look for the Isaac in your life, the promise of God at work. Stay laser focused on that, and let patience have its perfect work in your heart. 

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