Have you ever been offended against God?
Come on, let’s be honest for a moment. Have you ever felt disappointed with God? I have.
Disappointment with God is possible because of a misunderstanding of what we like to call “breakthroughs”.
We love our breakthroughs. We are all waiting for our “breakthrough”.
We have received a promise or prophetic word from God [or so we perceive] and it has not happened yet. Because our lives are bounded by time and space we feel the injustice of this; God has promised us something and He has not delivered.
The problem is; we believe that since God has promised something there must be nothing more important to Him than delivering it.
And have you ever noticed that the breakthroughs we seek are always of a certain kind – a husband or wife, better job, bigger house, a promotion or raise, physical healing, freedom from worry or low self-image. All things that would make our life more pleasant and bearable. And what could be better than that?
But here is the problem; God is waiting for a breakthrough for you as well, but for Him it’s a different breakthrough and to Him it’s much more important.
We can’t imagine anything more important than our breakthrough because our breakthrough is usually a very good thing, especially in the area of ministry. Imagine God has promised you a powerful healing ministry. You can almost imagine God’s joy over watching you heal people.
You can picture God and Jesus in Heaven talking and all of a sudden God says, “wait a minute, stop and look at this! Bill is about to raise that neighbor’s baby from the dead, oh I love it when he does this. Bill is amazing!! What a healer Bill is!!” Then the Holy Spirit who has been quietly listening says, “Wait a minute; that was ME doing that!!” We forget that God is not impressed with our ministry because it really isn’t our ministry.
The fact is, there is something more important to God than our breakthroughs and that is our character development.
The breakthroughs He values most are character breakthroughs and He is willing to allow us to wait for our breakthroughs if it is the only way to grow our character.
The upsetting fact is that He will intentionally prolong our wait until we have learned what He intended for us to learn. David was chased by Saul for 14 years after he was promised the Kingship over Israel. Joseph was in slavery and/or prison for 17 years before his God-given dreams came true. Paul lived in obscurity for 11-13 years before his life calling began. The children of Israel were forced to wait 40 years in the desert because they failed the test of character at the border to the promised land. All of these delays were IN GOD’S WILL! He had a plan in the middle of all of them. What we have to understand is that He has a PLAN for you in the middle of your wait. The plan always has to do with your character and it usually has to do with one or more of three things: 1] perseverance, 2] humility & 3] thankfulness.
Romans 5:3-4 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”.
The Biblical definition of perseverance is always to do with steadfastness. It is to hold to what you know to do and not quit. It means much more than just continuing to believe for the breakthrough.
It has to do with how you live and act before the breakthrough. Joseph was persevering when he decided to be the best slave he could be in the house of Potifar, and the best prisoner while in the dungeon, and the best interpreter of dreams when a fellow prisoner was in distress.
Tune in next blog post for more stories of Biblical characters and the most important question we need to ask.