Patience: The Key to Prayerful Planning
The money muscle that you must exercise while you prayerfully plan is patience. I know this is not what you want to hear, but prayerful planning requires waiting on the Lord. And great things happen during these times of anticipation.
“In the same way the sun never grows weary of shining, nor a stream of flowing, it is God’s nature to keep His promises.” – Charles Spurgeon
I am well aware that my timing is not God’s timing. I am not very patient, and God is extraordinarily patient. Waiting is not easy, but it is a muscle that can be made strong.
It is always best to wait upon the Lord.
As a dad, I always think about the answers I gave my kids when they were young. God created us in His image; therefore, I believe our loving Father put those answers in us. As a dad, my three go-to answers were yes, no, and wait!
Oh no, God could be telling me to wait? Yes, He can, and He does. This realization completely changed my expectations for immediate resolutions. But, just like my kids would ask me, I many times ask God, “Why?”
I love my children, and I would only have them wait if there was a reason that not waiting would not be best. For example, when a child pulls your hand to go, they may not notice the bike coming down the sidewalk across your path. You say “wait” to protect them.
Other times, you tell your child to wait so that they learn to build up that patience muscle. I’ve seen that dad with his son coaching him at the baseball diamond. He says, “Don’t swing too early. Get a good look at the pitch. Wait till just the right moment.” But then, the kid flails away far in front of the ball because he couldn’t wait. The professionals do it, too (as a batting coach somewhere sighs).
Patience Strengthens Your Relationships
And so we get anxious, and we decide to get ahead of God. I’ve done it with employment, investing, spending, and, yeah, pretty much every area of finances. Learning how to wait can save you lots of money.
As I mentioned in a previous post, planning to tithe on purpose is a must. But, what about tithing time?
In the introduction of his book A Tithe of Time, William Jordan states: “Christians today tend to be too busy and too stressed. We have lost the patience to ‘be still and know that (He is) God’ (Psalm 46:10). The result of our busy, stressful way of life is that most Christians struggle to hear the ‘still small voice’ of the Lord.”
He continues, “We are desperate to know God’s will and purpose for our life, and we complain that God doesn’t speak to us; yet we Christians often give God a little time on Sundays and not much else.”
But what are we supposed to do while waiting? Well, this is where relationship trumps religion. God loves you so much that He wants to commune with you.
Thankfulness Requires Patience
The Lord wants to spend time with you, hear about your feelings, and listen to your requests. But He also longs for you to worship Him and thank Him for all He has done for you. Giving Him a little time only on Sunday doesn’t sound like much of a relationship.
We have so many reasons to be thankful. I don’t know about other countries, but here in America, we are so blessed; yet we have gotten so spoiled. Take time, in the waiting, to give your Lord and Provider thanks.
What if you only called your mother on Christmas and Easter? How would that make her feel? Would she feel loved? But that’s often how we treat God.
If you only came home to your spouse on Sundays, your marriage would suffer. You could say, “He knows I love him,” but I’m reasonably sure that most people could see your actions are not matching your words. However, I see this scenario play out for churchgoers all the time.
As you are waiting, use this time to study His Word. You might even find the answer to your concerns there. Don’t leave out scripture memorization. For, we can forget so much of the Bible even if we regularly read it. It will help you along your Christian walk to have verses committed to memory and deep within your heart.
Waiting Renews Your Strength
Here is a verse you should memorize today if you have not: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
The website, Knowing-Jesus.com, gives some wisdom regarding this verse. One part of it says, “It is faith in His word that is needed to soar with wings as eagles. It is trusting God to bring to pass all He has promised, even when our senses and logic seem to suggest the opposite or appear to contradict His promised truth. Those who wait on the Lord are those who have the assurance and inner confidence that the promises He has made to His people, and the things for which we hope, are a matter of fact and a present reality…that cannot be contradicted by senses, emotions, reason or fear.”
After prayerfully planning, whether it is your monthly budget, your estate plan, your five-year financial forecast, your business’s balance sheet, etc., you should set it aside for a period. During that time of waiting, pray about it, meditate on God’s Word, and let God speak to you.
As you “mount up with wings as eagles,” you can visualize the plan and the solutions through a different lens and from a different vantage point. When you see your dreams on the other side of waiting, you will see them significantly improved.
This post is an excerpt from the book Biblical Faith Meets Financial Strategy. Grab a copy today!