Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come WITHIN the DAYS APPOINTED…” – I Samuel 13:11
One of the reasons the Scripture is given to us, according to II Timothy 3:16, is for correction and instruction in righteousness. In the past two episodes, we looked at Saul’s blunder in the matter of ‘Waiting on God.’ Today, we will continue with the same thought, so we can be instructed and not become victims of the same blunder as Saul’s.
Time was another factor that pressured Saul to act ‘foolishly.’ When he waited for the TIME APPOINTED for Samuel to come and Samuel wasn’t anywhere in sight, he ‘had’ to do what he wasn’t supposed to do… In the same way, we often think God should do something within a particular time frame in our lives, so we set a deadline for Him. When you put a time frame on your anticipated ‘blessing’ and it doesn’t happen in that period, discouragement and impatience can start creeping in. Once this happens, you will quit waiting and start searching for alternatives.
It is good to have faith, to plan and to set goals, but we must be open to let God have His way and His timing in our lives. We can’t put God in a box or give Him ultimatums. He does not work by our clock or calendar; He controls times and seasons. He knows what is best for us, and if the time isn’t right yet, no matter how much we grumble, whine or complain – because of His love for us – He won’t budge.
Saul’s last blunder from this story is the feeling he had that nothing was happening when something should be happening – something should be burning on the altar. He felt the Philistines would come down on him and he had ‘not made supplication to the Lord,’ so he had to do something. Most times, it is hard for us to handle the ‘not yet’ or the seeming delays of God. We think something must always be in motion, and we must not be seen to be doing nothing, so, we get tempted to make things happen in our own strength. This strategy didn’t work for Saul and it definitely won’t work for us.
Joseph knew that God gave him a dream; he must have felt distraught when he passed through all the trials and temptations at different stages in his life before that dream came to fruition – his brothers almost killed him, they sold him into slavery, his ordeal in Potiphar’s house, his time in prison, the waiting period before he was released, etc. Through it all, he never sought for an alternative; he waited on God till his dream came true. Hebrews 6:12 admonishes us to imitate those who through faith and patience inherited the promise of God for their lives.
In the next episode, we will look at how to “Succeed at Waiting.”
Lord, strengthen my faith and my ability to wait. “Teach me the discipline of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.