Hopefully, this article finds you abundantly blessed. But if it doesn’t, read on. You might just find out why. Ah, yes, I said the magic words. Everyone is interested in how to be abundantly blessed. My joy in being a minister is helping Christians find what they have in common, and building on those strengths, to draw the body of Christ together, as well as teaching them what belongs to them as a member of the family of God. As you know, it’s always my desire to build up, not tear down. However, I find it occasionally necessary to put some of our “sacred cows” on the altar, thereby tearing down false beliefs that hinder people from being blessed. Did you know the Bible says in Habakkuk 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…..? Listen up! God is talking about “His” people, not the devil’s. Why are they being destroyed? Now that I have your undivided attention, I’d like to invite you to grab a cup of coffee, or latte, or expresso, or whatever your drink of passion is, and sit down, and let’s get to work on getting you blessed.

The Lord has been speaking to me lately about endurance. It is written in Matthew 10:16-22:
Mat 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Mat 10:18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
Mat 10:21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Jesus spoke some hard words to His disciples here. He said they were in for hard times and persecution. Most Christians don’t want to hear that. We’re already suffering from two maladies, a “bless me, bless me” and also a “microwave” mentality. First, let’s look at the “bless me” attitude. We tend to be in a relationship with God for what’s in it for us. And forget the persecution for His Name’s sake, thank you.

Jesus told His disciples that not everyone was going to be overjoyed that people would want to live for God, or to hear the Gospel being preached to them. In fact, some would be so violently against it, that they would chase Christians from city to city, and they would be beaten, imprisoned, maybe even killed for the Gospel’s sake. Of course, we know that didn’t stop those who later saw the resurrected Jesus. They knew no matter what they had to face, it was worth it to have their names written in the Book of Life. Some were sawn asunder, tortured, burned alive, and other horrible things. Surely you don’t think they would have gone through that if they weren’t convinced of Jesus’ words. Blessing or not, they were in for the duration. And I guess that’s what keeps me going when the going gets rough. Though I have never “seen” Jesus with my eyes, I know the Bible is true, and that’s enough to motivate me.
But when the devil turns up the heat under our little frying pan, are we going to bail out, because we perceive the blessings aren’t there, or are we going to endure to the end, sure and strong that God has things under control? Remember, Jesus said he that endures to the end shall be saved. He said what He meant and meant what He said. The phrase I heard one time during a movie was “Patience, Grasshopper…” Patience is not our strong suit. We are not real good at waiting. If you don’t believe me, take a small mirror with you, and the next time you’re stuck in a long checkout line at Walmart, get it out and look at yourself. Art thou smiling? Hast thou peace, or tappeth thou impatiently with thy foot while thou waitest?
Which brings me to the “microwave” mentality. In our “instant gratification” society, we want everything “right now”. Don’t have the money for your purchase? Why wait? Charge it! A generation ago, people saved for major purchases. Not so anymore. We have become a debtor society because of our impatience. Everything nowadays is instant…email, fast food, instant coffee, instant relationships, and if it takes more than a few hours, forget it! Now, I’m going somewhere with this.

People go to church to find God. Many will hear a minister teach who has been walking with the Lord for a long time, and think, shouldn’t I be able to be there by tomorrow? Why should I have to study and pray for years to get where he or she is at? Isn’t there a shortcut? Can’t I listen to a tape or two and be ordained into the ministry by next week? Can’t I just buy my ordination? Well, there are places out there who will ordain you for a price, who don’t really care if you are living for Jesus or not, but do you really want it like that?
Don’t get me wrong, God isn’t against shortcuts. He would much rather you take the short road to Him, instead of the long one like I took. I’ve been told it was only a thirteen day journey for the Israelites across the wilderness into Canaan, but it took them forty years. He wanted to take them the best way into the Promised Land, but they wanted to take a shortcut. You’ll notice they left Egypt with an abundance of gold, because God saw to it that they left their captivity with riches. He’s just that kind of loving Father, who wants His kids to have nice things. But when Moses was up on the mountain with God for an extended period of time, the people got impatient, and made themselves a short cut, called “the golden calf”. As a result of that shortcut, they lost their riches, and Moses took all that gold and ground it up into fine dust and threw it in the river. So much for that shortcut. And so much for their gold. And so much for their trip to the Promised Land. That generation died in the wilderness.

 Abram was told by God that he would have a son, so Abram and Sarai had a plan…a shortcut. They decided to use Hagar to bear him a child, instead of waiting on God to perform His promise. And Ishmael was the result of that shortcut. God said of him in Genesis 16:12, “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Sounds like the old “pain in the behind” thing to me, how about you? Did that sound like Ishmael was a blessing to people? But because Sarai and Abram didn’t wait on God, they had this to deal with, as did all future generations. Why wait? Because we tend to do stupid stuff in our impatience, that’s why! And don’t think impatience affects only you!

We’re getting to the point. Be patient, I’m working on something. When we pray, and don’t see something happen right away, most of the time, we give up. Healing is a real good example of that. I’ve prayed with thousands of people who had high hopes of healing, that is, until they woke up with no change in the morning, and they became disappointed. Healing doesn’t always come instantly, although sometimes it does. The minimum we are promised is “recovery” in Mark 16:18 if we are believers.
Am I advocating letting the devil stall you out of having what you are praying for? ABSOLUTELY NOT! There is a huge difference between waiting on God with patience and never seeing your blessing because of lack of knowledge, but that’s another teaching. What I’m saying is this; you must know your Bible, and know the promises God has made to us. Know that God is not limited to time as we are. I can guarantee you that your clock runs fast, compared to God’s. He is always on time, but we always think He is late, or at least not quick enough. When we perceive things aren’t going quickly enough, we tend to give up, using the flimsy excuse, “Well, I guess it wasn’t God’s will after all…..” Hello??? Does that sound like YOU??? NOW……the REST of the story…..

Let’s take a look at Joshua chapter 14. Here’s the best example of patience I can see in the Bible. We’ll pick it up in verse 6.
Jos 14:6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadesh-barnea.
Jos 14:7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
Jos 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
Jos 14:9 And Moses swore on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s forever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.
Jos 14:10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spoke this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
Jos 14:11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Jos 14:12
Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spoke in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
Jos 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
Jos 14:14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

Most people won’t stand on the promises of God 45 days without seeing results, let alone 45 years like Caleb did. By the way, did you know the name Caleb is roughly translated “Dog”? Why “dog”?? A bit of digging (no pun intended) into Hebrew shows that they see a dog as being of “one heart”, in other words, loyal to the uttermost. And we could use “loyal” a little more in our Christian walk. Loyal means not giving up when it looks like it isn’t working. Here Caleb was sent into the Promised Land to spy it out with eleven other men when he was forty years old. He saw the land was good, and that they could indeed take the land. But the nay-sayers said NAY! They always do. That’s why they’re called nay-sayers. But Caleb didn’t throw his lot in with them. His heart was fully with God.

 And forty five years later, at age eighty five, he still wanted his mountain! His heart had not given up on the promises of God, or Moses. He held fast to God’s promise and time wasn’t going to blow him out either. So what else was to be done, but to give Caleb his mountain? After all, he wasn’t going to give up, so Joshua gave it to him with his blessing. And now you know the rest of the story.
You see, hanging in there and not giving up paid off for the “ole dawg” Caleb. And it will pay off for YOU if you will not give up, not give in, and not go away.

Why wait? Because good things come to those who wait.