As a child, decisions don’t really matter because you have your elders, parents, guardians to direct you. When you become an adult, the decisions you make matter and can change your circumstances for better or worse. I believe these principles (pray, wait, listen, accomplish) are necessary for believers to achieve their God given destiny. How is your prayer life? Are you willing to wait and be patient? Do you listen when God speaks? In order to accomplish and achieve great things, we need the first four steps.
Too often, we end up getting caught in the wrong things, the wrong place, wrong crowd, and wrong people because we failed to consult the maker of the universe. Proverbs 4:10-12 says “hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly wisdom (which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God); I have led you in paths of righteousness. When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered and when you run, you shall not stumble”.
There are times when I didn’t wait on God and the end result was pain. In 2015 after I got my Master’s degree, I began to wonder what I am going to do next. You see, people think life is supposed to go a certain way but as a child of the most high, I have learnt that Gods ways cannot be my ways (Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD). So I started in prayers to ask the Lord if it is his will to start a PhD, because that was an obvious and clear choice. Day in, day out I continued to ask the Lord. I sought to ask friends and family and majority thought it was a good idea to get a PhD. Now you will ask, how do I know God’s will and if it is really him speaking? I tell you it is the peace within your heart. In John 14:27, Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. Philippians 4:7 says “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. Now, I didn’t have peace about starting a PhD, but I let my pride come in, and I told God this is all I have ever done and I am good at it. So I forged ahead and got registered in January 2016. In April 2017, the stress took a toll on me and I had a miscarriage. That became a terrible time for me and I began to blame God for not saying anything. The Lord replied “child if you had spent some time in my word and waited to hear from me, you would not be in this position”.
In everything, I bless God because the negative situation taught me how to follow those principles. Friends, God has no business helping you accomplish what he has not instructed you to do. Most people do not see the need to pray, they get impatient during a waiting period and without hearing from God, they go ahead and execute plans, business deals, enter marriages etc. Nothing is too big for God, and your prayer doesn’t always have to be logical to be answered. God is interested in your daily life and wants to help you thrive. An interesting character in the bible for me is Joseph because he had an extraordinary gift of trusting and waiting on God.
At age 17, Joseph was sold into slavery, he endured the tortures and hard labour, but he never stopped communicating and waiting on God. From one prison to the next, Joseph waited and waited. He could have given up, taken the opportunity Potiphar’s wife presented, and he would never have reached his destiny. Joseph understood the principles of waiting on the master and listening to his directions. After thirteen long years, at age 30, Joseph became the prime minister and second in command to Pharaoh of Egypt (Genesis 41:37-44). God is the author and finisher of our faith, he understands your needs and he wants to walk with you.
The world is a fast place, everything has to happen fast and now, so you are tempted to give in to man’s wisdom. I encourage you to pray, wait, listen to God, and you will prosper. God is never too early or too late, he is always on time. I remember when my husband and I were planning our wedding, which was to happen on the 24th of September 2016. It is not an easy thing to plan if you are from an African culture, as many of you will agree. We were able to pay for certain things, and it looked like life was going our way. On the last week of August, we ran out of funds and could not pay for the catering, cake and provisions for my family coming from Nigeria. We started to get frustrated about everything and with everyone. Then the Lord said “I sure haven’t heard from you guys since you started getting busy with the wedding”.
I tell you, we begun to read every Psalm in the bible, praying and waiting that he will bring us out of this mess. By the 10th of September, we started getting impatient and wanted to get a loan from the bank. Then the Lord revealed to my husband Psalm 46:10 (Be still and know that I am God) and Isaiah 26:3 (You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you). So we focused on praying and meditating on the word of God. On the 15th of September, the Lord came through for us and my husband received a bonus, which was more than enough to pay for what we needed. If we hadn’t waited on God, taking the loan from the bank would have really set us back financially.
I believe this is a special message for someone; you could be waiting to get married, deciding which job appointment to choose or waiting for a child. There was a couple married for 5 years with no child (true story). Day after day, they prayed and kept waiting on God for a child. The in-laws started putting pressures, all their friends had kids, and doctors had no solution for them. It seemed as though God was quiet at that time. While the husband was willing to pray, wait and listen to God about their issue, his wife got impatient. In certain parts of West African countries, the pressure to have a child just few months after the wedding is high. If it doesn’t happen, the woman is called a witch or accused of deliberately not wanting a child.
Now, one faithful Sunday, his wife decided to turn to a different power for a child and visited a witch doctor. What she did not realize was that her prayers were going to be answered in church that very day. While her best friend knelt before the altar, she saw an angel with a baby walking across the room looking for someone. The angel spoke to her and said “I brought her baby today and she is not here to receive, what she has rejected will be given to someone else”. Friends, she missed out on God’s best because she bowed to the pressures of the world and did not wait on the Master.
Everyone is running a different race, what others achieve at 40, you could achieve at 20. What others receive in double, you could get in triplets. When others pay double, you could pay single. The Lord has us all on the palm of his hands (Isaiah 49:16), and no matter the place or situation you find yourself in, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray, wait on him, listen and I declare that you will find everlasting strength and peace even in our fallen world, Amen….