Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are We There Yet?--Patience

Last week we studied the topic of patience. As one of the fruits of the Spirit, it is something we need to operate in to drive the enemies out of the Promised Land (which is our hearts).   We looked at the story of Abraham, since he is credited in Hebrews 6 as a man who, through faith and patience, obtained the promises.


Throughout Genesis, from the end of chapter 11 to chapter 21, we see the progress of a man from receiving a word from God to fully realizing the promise of that word. We found that God reaffirmed the word to him nine times in various different ways before it actually came to pass.  At various times, He followed God’s direction only partially and got delayed in realizing God’s promise while he continued to develop faith and patience.


God makes a Covenant with Abraham…He uses a method Abraham will understand.  He has Abraham use a list of animals that are never used anywhere else in scripture. Other people in Abraham’s day would use these animals when a covenant was made, and the people would walk a figure 8 around the halves (infinity sign) to show it would last forever.  A firepot with a torch goes between the pieces.


When God’s promise finally came to full fruition, it was because Abraham had truly connected in faith. Along the way he made MANY mistakes — some of them huge (disobedience, fear, lying, adultery, laughing at God—which results in their son being named Isaac which means laughter…).  He renames Abram and Sarai along the way to add the name of God to each of their names.  When we read Paul's words in Romans 4 we see this story of a many who, without wavering and without considering the impossibility of God's promise, obtained all that was promised. As we read what Paul said, we have to wonder if he had read the same story we read. In fact, he did. He read the story from God's point of view. In the end, God is not concerned with all the mistakes we make along the way. He focuses on the moment where we persevered and obtained the promise. 


What does this have to do with a lesson on patience? Well, Abraham obtained the promises through faith and patience. Certainly his own faith and patience were instrumental. But, what I see in his story is the power and the depth of God's patience with us. He did not move on to someone else to fulfill His will when Abraham blew it. As long as Abraham continued to get back up, it did not matter how many times he fell.  God is truly patient with us, just like God was with Abraham, allowing him to sometimes make the same mistake more than once.  Yet, God still fulfills His word to Abraham.


But then how does this relate to us displaying the fruit of patience? Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is just that — of the Spirit. YOU don't have that kind of patience with yourself, with others, or with the Word of God. However, if you are born again, HIS patience is inside of you waiting for you to give it permission to do its work in you.


To listen to the entire sermon go to and click on online media. To learn more about Living Word Ahwatukee, visit



To listen to the entire sermon go to and click on online media. To learn more about Living Word Ahwatukee, visit