Wait upon the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart take courage. Yes, wait upon the Lord. –Psalm 27:14
God’s times are not yours. He doesn’t use the Gregorian calendar. His alarm clock is broken. He doesn’t keep regular hours.
Lose the stop watch. Take a hammer to the timer. God is not going to order His actions by your schedule. Forget about showing Him your day-planner. He’s not impressed.
God in Heaven has His own plans, His own schedule, and His own purposes.
“Most great ministries are made in the crock-pot, not the microwave.” –Allan Taylor
For those of us not culinary-gifted, it helps to remember that Mama will put something in the crock-pot and leave it on all day. It’s an electrical cooking container, is plugged into the electrical socket, and it simmers all day long at whatever level of heat she chooses. In the evening when she comes in from teaching or running errands or seeing after Granny, the family’s meal is ready.
The microwave, on the other hand, turns out its product in a few minutes.
But the results ain’t the same. Ask anyone.
Pastors are notorious for wanting to get this church built and growing and successful by next week.
–We don’t have time to wait. In the “Snuffy Smith” comic strip, the main character used to have a saying: “Time’s a-wastin’!” That fairly well describes the haste with which we run our church schedules.
–We don’t have time for the long haul, the slow procedures, the time-consuming studies and preparations.
–There are young preachers who refuse to attend seminary because a master’s degree requires an average of three years. And masters are given only after the bachelor’s degree, which requires four years on the average! And they don’t have time for that!
Such short-sighted thinking results in shallow efforts, short pastorates, and sickly fruit.
The old saying is you can grow a squash in a few weeks but it takes many years to grow a great oak tree. It all comes down to deciding what you’re trying to do here.
“The essential thing in heaven and earth is that there be a long obedience in the same direction.” — Friedrich Nietzsche The rest of the quote goes: “There thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”
This is true in any endeavor. It’s true of the follower of Jesus Christ. “He who endures shall be saved,” said our Lord in Matthew 24:13.
It’s true of pastors. The greatest churches are those whose pastors have stayed for many years. It involves consistency, repetition, and demonstrated faithfulness.
The church to which I belong, the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, just gave over $600,000 to our Christmas offering for foreign missions. They do this every year, so it’s not that big a deal. And this year, they will be sending mission teams to spread the gospel in several states and in the countries of Denmark, Haiti, Peru, Guatemala, Russia, Zambia, Moldova, and “central Asia,” which means several countries which cannot be named.
How does this happen? Answer: It’s the result of a long, long emphasis on mission involvement that started in the 1800s. It’s not a new phenomenon.
Stay with the program. “Do not grow weary in well doing….”