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There is nothing more exciting than receiving a word or a dream from the Lord!

When we first wake up to the call of God on our lives, there is a kind of natural excitement that floods over into our souls—total bliss and happiness—that we have finally discovered what God wants for us!

But when that word or dream doesn't quickly come to pass, or come to pass in the time frame that we expected, and when the dream thieves begin to assault and malign what God has told us, that natural and easily-attained "happiness" can just as quickly dissipate and dissolve in the fact of discouragement and opposition.

And when those emotions of happiness and bliss begin to wane, we can find ourselves asking the question, "If I really heard from God, just how long am I supposed to wait for this thing to come to pass?"

Further Insight & Support
I frequently hear from people who ask such questions. Though they are sure that they heard from God, they need further encouragement, further instruction, and further insight on how to receive that promise.

Often they say, "I know that God spoke to me! It was the clearest word that I've ever received in my life. Even my pastor agrees that I have heard from God. My spouse is in agreement, too, but nothing has happened yet. Am I doing something wrong? I'm really trying to do everything right. I've been careful to make the positive confessions of faith, I have given my tithes and offerings, I have prayed and sought God, I have even stepped out in faith and begun to take measures to see my dream come to pass. How long am I supposed to wait? Am I to put my whole life on hold until this thing comes to pass? Please tell me, what am I doing wrong?"

It is easy to hear from God and to receive a divine dream for your life. That is the easy part. It is another thing to wait and see that dream come to pass. You must deal with all the dream thieves—time, the devil, friends, family, yourself and your own insecurities—and all of these working together can muster quite a fight against your soul!

The Importance of Patience
Sometimes discouragement sets in because you thought your dream would happen quickly, and it didn't. Perhaps discouragement sets in because you thought others would rejoice with your vision, and they didn't.

When God speaks to your heart and imparts a dream to you for your life, you will deal with obstacles that have never been a problem to you before. And when all of this begins to happen, we must remember Hebrews 10:36. It says, "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."

Patience is the ability to remain steadfast, to continue pressing in and pressing on with a calm assurance and a bold confidence, regardless of the adversity or the length of time that has transpired, knowing that what God has said will surely come to pass.

It is absolutely essential that you have patience in order to receive a promise of God. You will never fulfill the will of God for your life without patience.

Initially, when you first heard from God, you may have had a tremendous passion for the dream He had birthed in your heart. You took a strong stand on His Word, but as you waited, and waited, and waited, and it never manifested, you began to lose your passion.

Then disappointment and discouragement set in and your flaming desire for this word to come to pass began to grow dim. Slowly, and little by little, your commitment began to falter.

It is during these times of waiting, and standing after you have done all you know to do, that patience must come forth in your life. However, the Bible tells us that patience works with a partner.

In Hebrews 6:12, where the Holy Spirit exhorts us to be "followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises," I want you to particularly notice that it says "...through faith and patience...."

The word "through" is the Greek word dia. In ancient Greek grammar this word dia indicated what we call "instrumentality." You may say, "What does that mean to me?" It means that our promises, our dreams, our word from the Lord, can only be achieved through the instrumentation of faith and patience.

In other words, faith and patience are the actual instruments through which the promises of God are received for our lives.

Though there has been a great emphasis on faith during our generation, and it is an emphasis that we have dearly needed, I want you to notice that this verse does not exhort us to be followers of them who through "faith, faith, faith, faith, faith, faith, and more faith received the promises."

Rather, the scripture is very plain to say that we are to be followers of them "who through faith and patience received the promises."

While we must develop our faith and make faith a strong emphasis in our lives, we must also remember that faith must be accompanied by patience, another major player, another key instrument, in order for the promises of God to be received.

On the other hand, there are many sincere believers who are long on patience, but short on faith. They could write the book on patience and waiting. But neither does this verse say we are to follow them who through "patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, and more patience received the promises."

Though waiting is involved in receiving your promise, this is more than the waiting game! You must have more than patience in order to achieve God's plan for your life. Faith must be coupled together with patience.

To emphasize faith alone would be unfair to those who are striving to do God's will and to attain God's plan for their lives. However, to emphasize patience alone would be unfair, too. It takes both faith and patience to achieve God's will for your life.

This verse does not say, "who through faith alone," or "who through patience alone," but "who through faith and patience...."

Faith and patience are both key players that work together to defeat the dream thief of time and see your dream, your vision, your word from the Lord come to pass in your life.

Source: Dream Thieves by Rick Renner
Excerpt permission granted by Albury Publishing

Author Biography

Rick Renner
Web site: Rick Renner Ministries
Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart’s desire to enter full-time ministry.

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