What To Do When You’re Forced To Wait On Your Dream
This month, I really have it on my heart to write to you about the process of waiting while you’re trusting God to bring to pass a dream or desire of your heart for which you’ve prayed.
Waiting can be one of the most exasperating, frustrating, and wearisome things you and I face in life, especially if we’re waiting for something we thought should have already happened! Time and time again, we get excited because we think something wonderful is finally about to occur, but then it gets pushed back and is delayed. This can be difficult on our emotions — even more so if the manifestation of our desire has been delayed several times. Delay can also be hard on our pride, especially if we’ve already told our close friends and family members that what we’re anticipating is close to being fulfilled.
Have you ever worked intensely on a business deal, for example, that you sincerely sensed God was working in — but something kept happening to push victory out of your reach? You knew that deal would bring great resources into your life and, ultimately, to the work of God’s Kingdom. But although success was so close you could “taste” it at times, something occurred each time to delay your celebration. That kind of experience can make you feel like you’re on an emotional roller-coaster. One day you’re flying high because you believe your dream is finally coming to pass — then the next day you find out your dream has been postponed once again.
If you’ve ever had an experience like this, you know what a huge disappointment and letdown it can be! You also know that it is not only disappointing, but it can also be embarrassing. Perhaps you told certain friends and family members that something big was practically at your doorstep. But then you had to face them and explain that things didn’t turn out as you expected. This can be frustrating, especially if this is not the first time your dream has been delayed. It can almost make you want to stop telling people that your blessing is coming, even though you know God spoke to you and promised you a victorious outcome.
Can you relate to the scenario I’m describing? Most of us have been in a similar situation at some time or another.
So what do we do when we’re forced to wait for our dream to come to pass? If we want to see the fulfillment of what God has spoken to our heart, waiting is an unavoidable part of the process. Certainly, we could throw in the towel and simply give up — but if we did that, it is almost certain we would never see the dream transpire that God has placed in our heart. In spite of even multiple setbacks and disappointments, we must make the decision to keep pressing forward — and dare to believe that He is a covenant-keeping God and that His every word proves true (see Proverbs 30:5 NLT).
That’s exactly what you must do if you want to reach your desired destination: Keep pressing ahead. Don’t let the devil discourage you and thus prevent you from finally realizing your dream!
Waiting is one of those things none of us likes very much, but it’s an unavoidable part of life. Therefore, we need to know how to let God work in our hearts while we wait for the answers to our prayers to be manifested and our dreams to be fulfilled. Often God uses our time of waiting to prepare us for the future. He works to transform or change us on the inside to get us in the spiritual condition we need to be in not only to receive, but also to keep what He has promised.
Even as I write this letter, I can think of people who seemed to quickly attain their dream in life, forging ahead of God in their eagerness to succeed — but later they lost their dream because they didn’t have the inner strength of character necessary to retain such a victory or achievement.
Although a delay can be due to a devilish attack, I have learned that sometimes a delay can be God in His grace giving us time to pray, press in, mature, and come up to where we need to be so we can manage the victory God gives.
In First Samuel 1:2, we read about Hannah, who was childless and wanted so deeply to give birth to a baby. Her adversary provoked her, made fun of her, and made her feel like she was “less than” other women because she couldn’t bear children. Year after year, Hannah went before the Lord to seek Him for her heart’s desire. But years passed, and she still hadn’t given birth to a child. The Bible says Hannah was so inwardly disturbed that she traveled to the house of the Lord to pray, and she “wept, and did not eat” (1 Samuel 1:7).
Finally, the day came when Hannah wanted a child so badly that she rose to a new level of commitment and made a vow to God. This was exactly what God had been waiting for! The child Hannah was going to bear — the prophet Samuel — was so important to God’s plan that He had to wait for Hannah to come to this new and higher place of commitment first before He entrusted this child to her. Hannah thought she was waiting on God, but in reality, God was waiting for this new level of commitment to arise in Hannah’s heart!
The Bible says Hannah prayed to the Lord, “And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life…” (1 Samuel 1:11).
(For an in-depth study on Hannah’s vow — her prayer of consecration — see the May 15 Sparkling Gem from my book Sparkling Gems From the Greek, Volume 1. If you don’t have a copy of this book, you can order it by calling 1-800-742-5593 or by going to our online store at store.renner.org. On the website, you can also find this archived Gem entitled, “The Most Common Word for Prayer in the New Testament” on my blog.)
I want you to see that Hannah finally came to a place of surrender with the Lord. When God heard her prayer and her vow — when He saw that she was promising to completely surrender that little child into His hands — her surrender caused her waiting period to end.
First Samuel 1:19,20 says, “And they [Hannah and her husband Elkanah] rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel.” For Hannah, the process of waiting was over.
You see, once Hannah’s personal commitment and walk with God came up to the level it needed to be, she quickly received what she had been waiting for all those years. Once she was in the spiritual condition God desired for her to attain, it didn’t take long for her dream to come to pass.
When I feel like I am in a “holding pattern,” waiting for something that God has promised me, I take authority over the devil, exercising my God-given right to assure that the enemy is not hindering me or God’s plan for my life. But I also take a good look at my own heart to see if the Lord is waiting for me to come to a new and higher place of consecration, commitment, and surrender. I realize He could actually be waiting on me!
If you’ve been waiting a long time for a particular desire of your heart to manifest, certainly you need to take authority over the devil and tell him to move off the premises of your “promised land” — your promised blessing from God! But after you do that, you also need to enter the presence of God and allow the Holy Spirit to open the recesses of your heart and soul. Let Him show you any areas where He may be waiting for you to come to a new and higher place of commitment to the Lord.
And don’t despair during this time of waiting. Instead, use the time to strengthen your foundation, reinforce your spiritual life, and develop personal integrity. In other words, do all you can do inwardly so that once you receive the manifestation of God’s promise, you will have the inner character to keep that blessing.
I know waiting can be hard — that is why I am writing to you about this subject today. I pray my letter has been an encouragement to you. What are you waiting for today? May Denise and I and our team be praying with you about the things you’re believing God for? Would you take a few minutes to write down some of those needs and heart’s desires so we can get into agreement with you about them?
Denise and I always count it such an honor to pray with you, and we ask that you would continue to pray for us. We are so thankful for your participation with this ministry through your prayers and financial gifts.
We really do love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families