When you first receive a word from the Lord, it is tremendously exciting! You want to "shout it from the rooftops" and let the whole world know! But then another desire begins welling up within you—a strong, intense desire to know something: when is this magnificent vision going to come to pass?

That's when we get into trouble! You might even try to project the specific time for this thing to happen, becoming a kind of prognosticator or fortune-teller without knowing what you are actually doing.

Remember that after Habakkuk 2:2 comes Habakkuk 2:3, which tells us, "For the vision is yet for an appointed time...." This statement usually takes the wind right out of our sails, because we come face to face with the hard reality that this great dream God has given us is not going to happen overnight, nor is it going to happen according to our timing, but God's timing.

Those of us in the generation of instant gratification—remote control television, jet airplanes, and microwave ovens—usually receive a promise of God with exhilaration, come bursting out of the prayer closet with great expectations and grand plans, then immediately crash into the wall of "an appointed time."

We have entered into a new dimension of the Christian life called: the patience zone.

The truth of the matter is that most believers, when they receive a word from God, will have to wait, and wait, and wait for it to come to pass—in God's time. But too often, people make sweeping statements about what they are going to do for God, and when they don't see it come to pass in the period of time they thought it was going to take, they become very, very discouraged and begin to let go of their vision.

When a believer gets a word from God and decides in his own mind and heart when it will come to pass, he has opened himself for certain disaster. He may even set a date for the manifestation.

Let me warn you: if God doesn't give you a date or specifically tell you to set a date, then don't set one! When you set a date yourself and it doesn't come to pass, it is extremely embarrassing!

Sad to say, many believers have let go of their dream simply because they were embarrassed.

Although we usually groan at the mention of this godly character trait, patience is the key to victory over discouragement and the way to avoid embarrassment.

What does Habakkuk 2:3 say again? "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

The Word of God is telling us that as we wait, we might think that God has lied to us, and we may be completely worn out, but "wait for it; because it will surely come."

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