By pastor obiageli igboanugo
As Christians, we are always in a journey of either seed time or harvest time. And the seed time is the period where we are waiting upon God, waiting upon the promises of God to come to pass in our lives. And in those times, things might not be so good, it is usually a time filled with trials and tribulations. But then along the line harvest time comes. This harvest time is a time when we begin to see the manifestation of what we are believing and waiting on God for. The common between the harvest and seed period is “Time”, time is a big word. Seed Time can take as long as three months, the next day, a few minutes, a couple of hours or maybe twenty years, they can take time. We cannot exactly pinpoint the duration. The Bible says, “in due time God will answer us”, that due time is left to God alone and is not in our hand to determine the timing. While in waiting we need to be having a good time, we need to be preparing to receive and praise God. Many people may choose to wait in different ways it could either be negatively or positively. Habakkuk 1:12 -17. The book of Habakkuk told us that Habakkuk knew what they were experiencing is as a result of their punishment, they were under Babylonian captivity. And everything is not fine because they were suffering. And their captors who are of wickedness and practicing idolatry are prospering, celebrating and rejoicing. and it’s as if they are doing it with impunity, and there's no punishment and they are rejoicing and things are going well with them. This could be likened to our modern society where Christians see the wicked prospering and it seems like Christians are suffering. Though modern society will make it seem like the wicked are prospering and Christians suffering but God wants to encourage us today. Habakkuk 2:1 says, “I will climb up to my watch tower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint.” The above portion of the bible tells us to climb to our place and stand at our guard post, a place where we can hear from God where we will not be disturbed by what is happening around us, then await to see what he says. It is a place of expectant expectation. And God replied Habakkuk and He said,
Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Then the Lord said to me, write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow incoming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
I believe this is where God is telling us today to wait patiently. You know it is a common saying among us Christians, that God is never late, But the truth is that he is never early. Most times he is never early, the reason is because the period of waiting is a period of preparation a period God uses to prepare us and strengthen our faith in Him. Assume if anytime we ask God for something he just instantly provides, we notice that we do not exercise our trust and faith in God. it is when we are waiting on God, believing that he has answered us, that is the furnace in which our trust in God is developed. There is no other way to develop patience but in the furnace of affliction and trials, and it is not our making, and we cannot determine the extent of our trials or afflictions.
The bible he says in Psalm37:34, “wait on the Lord and keep his way and he shall exalt you to inherit the land. There's an exalting at the end, when the wicked are cut off thou shalt see it.”
Keeping God’s way is very important because while we are waiting on God temptations will come to try and deviate us from God’s will for us. It is also in this period of waiting that so many people are tempted to compromise. So many people are tempted and begin to say “ this is taking too long”, “What do you want me to do?”, “ I can’t sit idly by, I have to do something”. Its just like somebody who is believing God for a marriage spouse, and the enemy is coming out telling them, “very soon you won’t even be in a childbearing age anymore, why don't you do something?” As the enemy is bringing these temptations and because they are already being tempted to compromise, what will happen is most people take the bait and miss out completely on God’s will for them.
Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the LORD; And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” patience is very, very important in our waiting.
If you do not wait with patience, your waiting cannot be effective.
Psalm 62:5 says, “my soul waits thou only upon God, for my expectation is for him.”
Only upon God, not upon people or what they have promised, wait upon God. If you want to truly understand the works of God, you will see that when God is about to bless us, he uses people to bring the blessings. But sometimes, if we are not careful, we get sidetracked by what the people are doing. The very people that were assigned to solve our problems, or to give us our miracle begin to get sidetracked. That is why our waiting should only be upon God, for our expectations are from him.
When we wait upon God, we place all our attention upon the right source. When God needs to move the people that are involved in your breakthrough, God knows how to touch every heart. Remember, the Bible says in proverbs 21:1 “The heart of the king is in the hands of God, like a river of water, he can turn it to whichever direction he chooses.”
In The book of Esther God took away sleep from the eyes of a King. And in that keeping him awake. God made him to do certain things. The Bible says in psalms that God raised over the heathens. So even though they are not Gods children God rains over them, and because God rains over them, God can put it in their mind what to think. When the children of Moab were fighting Edom and against Israel. Elisha was called to pray because at the time they had been travelling for seven days and they began to thirst ? Elisha prayed and told them that by tomorrow the valley will be filled up.
2 Kings 3:22-23 tells us “But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it appear red to the Moabites—like blood. “It’s blood!” the Moabites exclaimed. “The three armies must have attacked and killed each other! Let’s go, men of Moab, and collect the plunder!”
God made the enemies to think they saw red, And God made them to think that the Israelites had killed themselves. But when they went to collect the plunder, the bible says in
2 kings3:24 “But when the Moabites arrived at the Israelite camp, the army of Israel rushed out and attacked them until they turned and ran. The army of Israel chased them into the land of Moab, destroying everything as they went”.
That is the portion of your enemies, God will put certain thoughts in them, that will make them to think what God wants them to think. So, let's not elevate whatever the enemy is doing in our lives right now. God is able and powerful enough to work out things. That is the reason why our expectation should be upon God for our expectation is from him. And even when there seems to be a blockage, God has the power to move them out of the way, either temporarily or permanently.
Job14:14 says “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, Till my change come. We are required to wait and wait patiently”.
So, what do we do while waiting on God?
It is very important to inculcate certain virtues while waiting on God. one of this virtue is humility.
God is putting in us the ability to trust Him, even though we do not understand the situation, even though we do not understand. A woman of God gave an analogy, our time of preparation is like planting a seed on the ground, when you plant a seed in the ground. The seed must first break through the husk for the insides to come out. So, it takes pressure and temperature after which the root starts going downwards, it goes downwards first before it shoots up out of the soil. The seeds that have no roots can be are swept off easily. In the parable of the sower, the seed sown on rocky ground, because there is not much soil does not spring up quickly, but the proper way is for the roots to go down first before upwards. Now, while it is doing all that within the soil, we are not aware and not able to see it all what we know is the seed has germinated and a plant has surfaced out of the soil. And if you now go and dig up that seed to see what is happening, you’ve basically damaged the seed. And that's what a lot of us do mistakenly we will keep thinking, “I want to understand”, “Lord, I must understand the situation”, “Why is it happening this way?”, “ What is A doing?” , “What is B doing?” this is clearly all wrong. Do not seek to understand but seek to trust God in that situation because as it's happening, by the time you're seeing the plants upwards, it has already gotten roots downwards. But what is happening in the ground you're not seeing and most times, it's not God's prerogative to explain to us. So do not question God and ask why instead trust in GODS process.
Psalm 39:5 says, “You said you have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you. At best, each of us is but a breath.”
We are hand breed before God, we need to realize that God has made us and he loves us, God is the potter, and we are the clay. Just as Paul was saying that the potter has the right to make any clay in one way and another in another way. It is the prerogative; it is part of God's sovereignty. When we realize who we are, we now know that he's everything and it is not beholding of Him to start explaining to us. One situation we Christian’s face is when we begin to see others enjoying their harvest while still in waiting for ours, but what we fail to realize is no Christian just wakes up in the morning and it is all good. There must be a process. Just like when people give testimonies they don't really tell you the trials and tribulations they have faced while they waited . So, our job as Christians is to be encouraged that, as others have experienced their harvest, so will we and our time is coming. There should be no room for saying, “God, why me now?, Why is my own not coming” . You don't start asking God questions, because your time is coming. It's as simple as that and That's how it works. Every single one of us will pass through this period.
When a servant has come back from working in the fields, you do not tell the Servant “oh you have worked a whole day you must not tired”, instead you turn to the servant and demand for your food to be prepared, you are to be served before the servant thinks about feeding himself, that’s what a servant does.
Job 17:10 say “when you obey You should say, we are unworthy servants, we have simply done our duty.”
The second virtue God wants us to inculcate while waiting, is trust. We have to trust that God is powerful and loving. The belief that God is powerful means that we know that he is in charge of all happenings, Things are not arbitrary or out of his control. sometimes when we are in a bad situation, or in the backside of the desert like Moses, you will think you've been forgotten or you think that this situation is so overwhelming, that there is no hope and that God cant come through again, you will begin to minimize God's power in that situation. God is capable of both helping and changing things. Do you know the most beautiful thing with God is that when we are patiently waiting, when God comes for that breakthrough, that answer is always sudden, so wait for that sudden to come. suddenly from Prison to Palace, suddenly from a shepherd boy to Prime Minister. That is how God operates.
2 Corinthian 9:8 tells us, “God is able to make all grace abound towards us.”
So God is all powerful and nothing that is happening to us is arbitrary or under the hands of chance. God is in total and complete control of everything. Even if it's not working out according to what you believe or what you have prayed, God is still in control. Trust Him that he is in control.
The understanding will come when you have reaped all you have Sown. God is not bound to start explaining the situations and processes of how he wants to make you successful neither is he bound to tell you what to avoid or how much growth you should have attained before you begin to reap your harvests. But remember, the period of preparation is also the period for preparation to receive our miracle, everything we pass through has a redemptive purpose. Our suffering has a redemptive purpose. The Bible says in Romans 8:28, “God is able to make all things work together for good for them that love God." Everything Is Working for your good. So when you believe that God loves you, it gives you strength, and you know that whatever is happening is not the end of the matter. God still loves you, in spite of what you're passing through. God still loves you and he will turn around every situation. That is when our faith is rooted and grounded in love. According to Ephesians 3, our faith is rooted and grounded, when we are sure of the love of God, when we believed the love that God has for us, it makes our faith rooted. Remember, Mark 4 talks about the parable of the sower of the word, the Bible says that when affliction and persecution arise by reason of the word, they are offended. So because they don't trust the love of God, they don't believe that God loves them. Remember that analogy i gave earlier about somebody that waited and suddenly they say, “I can’t wait any longer I'm out of here because I waited on this God" this happens because they have not perfected the love for God. He said when we are rooted and grounded in this love, we are no longer angry, and the knowledge of his love keeps us from being bitter.
There are certain types of waiting we must consider the first type are those who wait passively. These are the category of people that have told themselves they have waited, and they have not seen, and they have decided to move on with their lives. They tell themselves “I don't want to think about it so I don’t feel disappointed anymore”. The truth is they were not really engaged to start with, they were not commuted to change the situation they just hoped that God will change the situation. And because God hasn't changed the situation, They've moved on. It is more of a “I wish God changes my situation kind of thing”. The other kind of waiting is expectant waiting. Now when a woman is pregnant, from the day she takes in, she is planning for that baby. She is planning but she's not seeing the baby. She knows the baby Is inside of her, she is planning and even buying baby clothes. Every plan and thought would be about the baby. That is where God wants us to be expecting him to move in, expecting him to change our situation.
Every day we wake up, we are expecting that maybe that day will be the day of salvation. He said, Behold, today is the day of salvation. At the end of the day, if it didn't happen, another day is coming. What do you tell yourself at point “I'm getting closer to the day of salvation” you wake up the next day’s again and say again “today is the day of my salvation” by doing this your faith is engaged, completely engaged and trusting God. And the final thing we should keep doing while waiting is to keep thanking God. One thing the enemy does against us while we are waiting upon God is to make problems seem bigger than they really are, making us not to see any other good thing in our lives. We do not see that our children are healthy, that they are growing well, that we are not going to the hospital because of crisis, that we have food on our tables, that we have a roof over our heads and are doing well. The so-called problem has taken over our focus. And this is where Thanksgiving comes in because when we are intentionally praising God for His faithfulness, his kindness, His mercy and his love, It keeps us focused on the goodness of God, It keeps us focused on him. For a thankful heart cannot be a complaining heart. If you are thankful, you cannot in that same heart be complaining, a grateful heart does not harbor complains. Because even though God has not answered what you asked for, you remember that it by his grace you have a Job and feeding well etc. And even if you do not have anything the very fact that you are alive is enough to be thankful to God. Job 14:7 say, “For there is hope of a tree, If it be cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the tender branch thereof will not cease”.
Again, as long as there is life there is hope, your time is coming.