My friend Terriny Lloyd recently asked this question, “When is it my time to see success in every area of my life?”
One of my favorite scriptures is Habakkuk 2:2-3 in The Living Bible: And the Lord said to me, “Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others. But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”
Success is a Process
This scripture suggests that God’s vision for our lives is not fulfilled overnight. It requires a process. Just ask Joseph, who waited for 13 years in slavery and prison before becoming a ruler in Egypt and saving his family and people from famine. Just ask Abraham and Sarah, who waited 25 years for their promised child Isaac. Just ask Moses, who waited for 40 years before bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt. Just ask Jesus, who waited for 18 years before starting His earthly ministry.
We are all waiting on the Lord for something that we cannot do by ourselves. Maybe we are waiting on God to save a wayward child, to fix a broken relationship, to give life to a barren womb, to bring a spouse, etc. Of course, we know God is faithful, that He is good, and that He loves us, but it is challenging to wait on the Lord to move, to act, to deliver, and to rescue.
God has much to say about how we wait. Biblical waiting is not passive, but active and aggressive. We are to fill these moments by waiting on the Lord in faith (Proverbs 3:5-6), waiting in prayer (Psalm 35:17), waiting patiently (Psalm 84:11), and waiting dependently (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Our Actions in the Wait Impact Our Success
According to Joshua 1:8, we are responsible for our own success: This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
More than any other practice, meditation on God’s Word positively impacts our beliefs, which impacts our thoughts, which impacts our words, which impacts our actions, which impacts our habits, which impacts our values, which impacts our destiny. Coming up higher by spending time with God and in His Word renews our minds and changes us into the image of His Son Jesus. This is His ultimate definition of success in our lives.
In the case of Abraham and Sarah, their wait time lengthened because they tried to rush God’s timing. On Sarah’s advice, Abraham laid with their maidservant Hagar and had the baby Ishmael. We are paying for this decision today, as Israel (Isaac’s descendants) is constantly facing attacks from the Arab world (Ishmael’s descendants). Because they did not wait on God to do it, we are having to wait on God to fix it.
God’s Timing is Always Perfect
God orchestrates events to happen at exactly the right time in our lives. It is not our job to figure out when God will do it, but to not give up until we see God’s promises manifest in our lives. As we trust and keep our eyes on Jesus, we will enjoy more life. When we trust God, we can rest and relax. When God does it, it is perfect.