Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, in Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 43 years, have three sons-Josh, Mark and Nick, three daughters-in-law--Leah, Vanessa, and Sarah, and seven grandchildren. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2007 Jun 10
This morning in Sunday School David Langerfeld mentioned that there are too many “microwave Christians.” We want everything fast:
Fast spiritual growth
Fast answers to prayer
Fast solutions to our problems
But God doesn’t work on our schedule. David mentioned that Moses never got to enter the Promised Land during his lifetime. Because of his sin, God told him he would see the land but he would not enter it with his people. So he saw the land from Mt. Pisgah and soon thereafter he died. Now run the clock forward 1400 years. When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain in Galilee, who shows up by his side? Moses and Elijah. So Moses made it to the Promised Land after all. Just not the way he expected.
Our prayers will not all be answered before we die. That may be a disheartening fact until we remember that God is not bound by time the way we are. We see a tiny sliver of reality. God see the big picture, and he knows how all the details of what we call the past, present and the future interlock in a perfect tapestry of divine design. So while we pray in the present, God is already at work in the future, and sometimes the answer comes after we are in heaven with the Lord. But what may seem “late” to us is right on time in God’s schedule.
Microwave Christians get impatient with God when he doesn’t run the universe to fit their schedule. But he has already shown in creation that the things that endure take time to grow. Flowers bloom today and wither tomorrow, but mighty redwood trees takes centuries to reach maturity. In the 18th century William Cowper caught this truth in a hymn called God Moves in a Mysterious Way. The last three verses remind us not to judge God by human standards:
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
Just as Moses finally saw the Promised Land, we too will finally see many answers to our prayers. Some we will see on earth; others we will see in heaven. When the time has fully come, whether on earth or in heaven, “he will make it plain,” and we will see that his plans have worked out for our good and his glory. Be patient, child of God, and do not rush the Lord. He won’t be rushed, and if we try, an upset stomach may be the reward for our impatience with the Almighty.