<<procrastinate, postpone>>

We should not hold back from giving to God what is rightfully His and/or what we have promised – being punctual to honour our word should be a priority (Eccl 5:4). The Psalmist said, "I will hasten

Have you been putting off a task you should attend to? Decide on an action plan NOW

and not delay to obey your commands" (Ps 119:60). We often procrastinate, putting off difficult or large jobs until ‘tomorrow’. “If you wait for the perfect conditions you will never get anything done” (Eccl 11:4). While we should not rush into things without being certain this is God’s will, planning the best approach, and considering the possible consequences or outcome, once we know this is the way God wants us to go and believe the timing is right, we should make a start and consistently work at it. Discipline, planning, good stewardship of time, and obedience to God’s will are all involved. Be persistent, keep busy for God and thank Him, even in the trying times, confident that He will complete that which concerns you (Phil 1:6).

When things appear to be taking a long time to happen, we may think God has forgotten. When we can’t get another human to budge, we often become impatient and try to get things moving by our own efforts This frustration or impatience can precipitate action against God’s will and cause major problems. The Bible provides several examples: Abraham’s son Ishmael (born of his slave girl) was not the promised son, resulting in conflict between the Jews and Arabs ever since (Gen 16:1,2,16; Gal 4:29); King Saul took over the priest’s duty because he was tired of waiting for Samuel to arrive and consequently lost his kingdom because he wouldn’t wait a few hours (1 Sam 13:8-14). Impatience often leads to disobedience. During trying times and delays, God is testing our patience and obedience – will we trust Him in spite of the circumstances?

Although we want an instant response, there is always a time delay between the seed being sown and the harvest. Good responses to delays, build character through waiting – as we

Remaining faithful in delays builds character

hopefully anticipate the ultimate outcome. The faith principle involved is believing ‘God is not slow in fulfilling His promise’ as He works according to His timetable not ours (Ps 90:4, 2 Pet 3:9). These reassuring words were given to an OT prophet, 'even though the outworking of God's plan seems slow in coming to pass, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay' (Hab 2:3). This calls for an ongoing God honouring obedient walk with a confident trust that what He has said He will do – as He always has done in the past (Num 23:19; Isa 46:10,11).

Some people say they will receive Christ at a later stage in their lives but have still died as sinners, having never got around to it. The Bible is clear, “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2).

See also: actions/activity, anticipation, frustration, hope, patience, procrastination, time/timing.