The first reason I gave why maintaining our faith is so difficult (Nov 9, 2015 post) was because we live in a disposable world.
This second reason is similar: we want immediate gratification. I know that all good things come to those who wait, but I don’t want to wait. I want it all, and I want it NOW NOW NOW!!!
We are very much like the nasty little Verucha Salt in the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (personally, I preferred the “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” movie with Gene Wilder.) She was the little selfish brat who wanted everything and she wanted it all now. It was all given to her, and as such, it didn’t seem that anything she received had any real value for her.
Faith is something that takes time to develop. It needs to be nurtured, supported, and practiced. Definitely needs to be practiced! Faith is the belief in things unseen. I believe the greatest way to strengthen our faith is to have our prayers answered. What better proof of God’s existence and willingness to help us? But…we need to be patient for our prayers to be answered.
God’s covenant with Abraham was when Abraham was 75, and it took another 85 years before he saw his descendants in the land (his son Isaac was born when he was 100 and his descendants/grandchildren, Jacob and Esau, were born when he was 160.)
Not exactly what one would designate as immediately gratifying.
We need to be patient (hopefully not as patient as Abraham had to be) when we ask for answers to prayer, and when we begin to faithfully obey the Lord. Patience is one of the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5) and it helps us to develop spiritual maturity, too.
But the world doesn’t want patience, or maturity, and especially not anything spiritual (unless it is demonic- that’s all the rage today.) The world says we should have it now, and when we don’t get it to blame God, and to blame those who tell us to wait on God. God isn’t real, God doesn’t care, God’s promises are false- that is what the world wants you to believe. In fact, it wants you to reject God and the idea of God altogether. It’s all about me, Numero Uno, I am my own Messiah, yadda-yadda-yadda.
That’s so much fertilizer you could grow crops to feed a small nation with it.
God exists, and He will answer your prayers so long as you present them faithfully and honestly. What we ask for in Yeshua’s (Jesus) name we will receive, and when we pray in His name we are to faithfully believe it will be ours; when we do, it is ours already. Daniel prayed but it took three weeks before the angel appeared to Daniel because of the interference of the enemy. Daniel was patiently praying, even though the answer was on it’s way the moment Daniel asked for it.
The human sense of timing isn’t always trustworthy (said the man with many children) and we need to trust in God to know the best time for things to happen. I have been praying for reconciliation with my children for over two years since they threw me out of their lives, and I continue to pray. I only hope that God will answer me before I die, and I also know that even if this prayer is never fulfilled, it is not God’s fault. I trust faithfully that God is providing the angels and people to talk to my children, but it is, ultimately, up to each and every one of us to make our own decision about God, and life. So, despite how many times I know God is providing the opportunity for my children to let go of their hatred and unforgiveness, it is their choice to do so, or not to do so.
That’s a hard lesson for all of us to learn- people make their own choices and we can’t force them to do what we think they should. And what makes it even harder: they have the right to make their own choices.
We choose life (Torah observance) or we choose death (purposefully ignoring Torah and choosing a sinful life.) How many times in the bible do we hear God ask us to choose life? Dozens of times.
Just because your prayers aren’t answered right away doesn’t mean the answer isn’t already on it’s way, or already approved but the time to deliver it isn’t right yet. We don’t know when we will receive the answer to prayer or what it will be until we get it, but we can be sure it will be answered. Even if the answer is “No.”
The world and the enemy (not much difference) want us to seek immediate gratification, and if something can’t be gotten here and now it’s best to forget about it, it isn’t worthwhile, and to go for something easier, cheaper, and more immediate.
God is worth waiting for; salvation is worth waiting for; God’s existence should not be based on how quickly a prayer is answered but on the fact that so many others have had their prayers answered. He exists, He is,He always has been and He always will be. When you are a spiritual being with no lineal timeline to live by (as we humans do), then everything is immediate.
That’s the ticket! You want immediate gratification? Isn’t immediate gratification when there is no waiting for anything? When now, later, back then, soon, past, future, present…all occur at the same instant, isn’t that the ultimate form of immediate gratification? Well, you can have that! In the Acharit HaYamim (End Days), after Yeshua does away with the enemy and we are all in our resurrected bodies and the new heaven and new earth are established, time will no longer exist. That’s when everything will be now; there will be no past, no future, everything will be right this very second!
You just have to wait for it.