Patience Is Key to Reveiving Blessings

by Wayne Barber

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Patience is not gritting your teeth and bearing it!

We all know that God is the author of patience. Galatians 5:22 tells us, "but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience"!

What does patience involve? Let's look at patience in the life of Caleb.

In Joshua 14, God is working in His almighty power in the lives of the Israelites because they returned to obeying Him. Now that they are yielded to Him and to His will, their enemy is completely helpless before them, as they possess the land that God has given to them. God had told them that no man would be able to stand before them. No man could take what He has given to them if they considered every step holy unto Him. (What a beautiful picture this is to us as we seek to possess the life that God has given to us in Christ!) Once Israel listened to God, there was victory after victory, as they possessed the land.

In Joshua13, Joshua has grown old. God outlines for him the portion of land that has not been conquered. God mentions Joshua's old age, then tells the Israelites to divide the land. Joshua was probably under the impression that the land wasn't to be divided until it was all conquered. But, God wants the land divided now. The general boundaries were given for the land the tribes were to possess. The tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe, was not to receive any inheritance. They were to be supported by the tithes and offerings of Israel. Then, Joshua 14 begins to deal with the remaining tribes.

Tucked into this chapter is the awesome story of Caleb. God had given to him a promise and Caleb now wanted, more than ever, to possess it.

Before the land was divided, Caleb came to Joshua with a special request regarding a promise from Moses that was made to Caleb 45 years earlier. (Joshua and Caleb, you recall, had been two of the twelve spies who had surveyed the land of Canaan when Israel had its first chance to possess what God had given to them. Caleb had seen the land he wanted, and it had been promised to him by the Lord "because hehath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it" [Num. 14:24; cf. Deut. 1:36].) Caleb now reminds Joshua of this promise from God for which he has patiently waited.

Here is Caleb's secret: He had chosen to fully and wholly follow God. He needed nothing else. His lifestyle was so apparent that even God said, "He fully followed Me!" How would you like that to be said of you by God Himself?

God is not just concerned with the whole nation, but He is concerned with the individual, and what each possesses-what is ours in Him. However, He wants us to experience His patience as we journey with Him.

What God promises He is faithful and just to accomplish in our lives, but it will be in His time. We must stand on His promises, but we must wait with His patience.

We must be satisfied with God! We will only have patience to wait upon His promises when we learn to be satisfied with Him and Him alone.

The result in Caleb's life was powerful. Not only would Caleb possess the land, but, the Scripture says, so would his seed! The result of our willingness to be satisfied in obeying God and waiting patiently upon Him will not only result in our possession of what He has promised us, but our children will also be blessed!

Patience involves learning to trust His timing. "Now behold, the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today" (Josh. 14:10).

Remember, God's delays are not denials. Even though Caleb had waited 45 years, he was not forgotten. God's timing is perfect, and He fulfills His promises. His timing in our lives will be trusted if we are experiencing His divine presence.

God's patience also involves resting in His strength. God's strength sustained Caleb as He waited all those years. Joshua 14:11: "I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in."

You can experience divine patience when you trust His timing, rely upon His strength, and are satisfied with Him alone.

Wayne Barber is senior pastor of Hoffmantown Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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