So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. 2 Peter 1:5 - 9 (TMSG)
For the next several days we will camp out with Peter’s advice for the growing Christian. Or, more accurately, his advice on how to grow a Christian.
Now, it’s sometimes counter-productive to start in the middle of a conversation; kind of like engaging the devil in spiritual warfare without heeding the advice to “put on the whole armor of God”! You can get hurt!
But, in this case, I want to start where I’m weakest… in the middle of Peter’s teaching on how to grow in Christ; he calls it passionate patience!
I’m a person who would rather be in the middle of the pain of a root canal without anesthetic than waiting for the root canal to begin.
My typical motto is: Bring it on…let’s git’er done
But there is so much I miss by not being patient. Without patience you will miss the larger context of all God has done to help you grow in faith and wisdom to use your faith.
What has God done?
Listen again to Peter’s bold statement:
Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
God has wiped my slate clean; that’s what He’s done! Truth be told, He has wiped it clean every day of my life since I trusted Christ as Savior. He forgives me constantly; that’s no small thing!
But my lack of patience, my increased anxiety, worry, doubt….these things rob me of the calm assurance a forgiven, patient believer experiences – and uses – to invest his life and grow in all the ways God has called me to be and do.
It’s hard to be passionate about patience. Or is it that it’s hard to be patiently passionate? Doesn’t passion preclude patience? If you’re passionate, you’re hard-driving, moving things along, white-hot for the kingdom…aren’t you?
I think that’s where we miss the mark. It’s not the temperature of your activity that determines faithfulness; rather it’s obedience to God’s will for your life which is the measure of genuineness in your faith commitment.
When you’re settled, confident, assured – not in self-ability, but in God’s faithful promises – you are settled enough to be patient, to wait on God’s timetable to fulfill all those promises.
For You, Today…
Have you checked your patience “fuel tank” lately?
Here’s how: Answer this – How willing are you to release your hold on the best you now have in order to receive what God desires you to have?