HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
I want to use this theme Developing God’s Purpose For Your Life for this message which I will break down in a few parts.
Exodus 13:17-22 and Deuteronomy 8:2
Have you ever had a God-inspired dream that didn’t happen as quickly as you thought it should? Yes, you had worked at it, but it seemed that many obstacles came against you. Finally, you gave up in despair. The dream lay dormant. I have always found the following quip to be an encouraging thought. Don’t give up!
Between failure and success, the point is so fine,
We sometimes do not know when they touch the line.
Just when the pearl was waiting for one more plunge,
How many a struggler has thrown up the sponge.
Then take this honey from the bitterest cup,
There is no failure except in giving up.
God had inspired a dream of the Promised Land in the heart of the Israelite people. They dreamed of a land that flowed with milk and honey. A land of freedom; A land where they could be free from the whips of the evil taskmasters of Egypt. Scholars say that the journey to the promised land was only a one-two week journey. However, it took the children of Israel 40 years to get there. This same journey may take us more than forty years the way things are going. When I look at the Scripture where Jon said, “He came to His own and His own received Him not”. I ask the question where does that leave this generation. No wonder only a few will make it to that great reward.
Exodus 13: 17, “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:”
We find in this scripture that God did not take the short route. When God wants to take you somewhere He may take you on the long path instead of a shortcut. Someone might ask, why did God take the long way which caused a delay in taking the children of Israel into the promised land? This delay was designed by God for a particular reason. Let’s look at three ways God uses delays in our lives.
- God uses delays to prepare us. The Israelites were a slave people and they weren’t prepared for war, and God knew if they went to war they wouldn’t be able to handle it. Every dream has its difficulties. God uses delays to get us ready for those difficult times that we are going to face during the course of our journey. These delays are designed to strengthen our faith and make us stronger.
- God uses delays to test us. Deuteronomy 8:2, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” God uses delays to test how we will respond under pressure and to test our loyalty and obedience to Him.
- God uses delays to train us because sometimes it takes longer to get Egypt out of us than it does to get us out of Egypt. The culture and habits of Egypt were engrained in the hearts and minds of the Israelite people. God could bring them out of Egypt in one night but it would take years to get Egypt out of them. When you and I got saved we had habits and thought patterns that were of this world. When we got saved those thought patterns and habits came with us. God uses the delays to break those habits and thought patterns and train you in His way of thinking and doing things. The best thing to do when you are in God’s waiting room is be patient and let God do His work in your life.
I want you to notice that it was God that was leading them to where they were going. Sometimes God will lead you through the wilderness. But I believe that your response determines how long you stay in the wilderness.
Your test of maturity is how well you handle the delays in your life.
Sadly, the children of Israel flunked this test. They never made it through the delay. Only two Israelites who left Egypt actually got to go into the Promised Land. A whole generation had to die in the desert. The next generation got to go in. Only two of the first generation — Joshua and Caleb — got to go in. Why? Because they trusted God to take them to their destiny.
When you’re going through the delays in your life, there are four things that you don’t want to do. If you do these four things it will prolong the delay. Don’t fear; Don’t fret; Don’t faint; Don’t forget.
I will talk about each of these four things separately over the next four days and pray that you will get a good grip on the entire message. So when you are experiencing delays in your life be not dismayed it may be in the plan of God for your life.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW ……