What Are You Doing in The Meantime?
By Dr. Shana Wise
God has promised all of us blessings, however, there may be a time between when God spoke it, and it manifests. Usually, during these times, God is working on our character, integrity, and relationship with him to receive the blessing. During the waiting period, we have choices, to be productive or not, to make decisions that will affect us and others, and the list goes on.
Let us examine the lives of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph regarding what they did in the meantime before the promises of God started to manifest in their lives.
Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord had said to Abram “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
God confirmed his promises again to Abraham. Read Gen. chapters 15 and 17.
What Abraham did in the meantime (waiting on Isaac):
Some positive things that Abraham did while waiting on God were that he believed in God (Gen 15:6), he became wealthily (Gen. 13:2), he rescued Lot (Gen. 14), he worshipped God (Gen. 14:17-20), and he interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 16-33).
Some not-so-good choices Abraham did while waiting that he lied twice about Sarah being his wife (Gen. 12:10-20) (Gen. 20:2-7), he had a baby with his servant Hagar (Gen. 16). Even though Abraham made these choices that negatively affect him, his family, and other people; God still had a way working things out for everyone.
Abraham received his heir, Isaac, in Genesis chapter twenty-one. Twenty-five years had passed since God told him to leave his father’s house and go to a land where he would make him a great nation. Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac was born.
The lesson that we can learn from Abraham’s wait is that we do not need to help God out with His word, God will perform it in His time. We can also learn to be productive during the waiting time. This includes our homes, finances, our family, and most importantly, our relationship with God.
1) Has God promised you something from a long time ago and like Abraham, you feel it's impossible because so much time has gone by, and you have gotten old? Do you still believe God can make it come to pass for you?
2) Have you ever tried to help God out and it didn’t turn out well? What lesson did you learn from it?
3) If God has given you a vision, how are you diligently working on it?
What Jacob did in the meantime (before returning home to the land of Cannon)
Jacob had to leave home because he received his twin brother Esau’s birthright and the way he did it caused a rift in the family (Gen. 27). Before he left home, his character and integrity were not the best. He was a deceiver, liar, and manipulator through his actions towards his brother and father (Gen. 25:27-34, Gen. 27). Jacob went to live with his uncle Laban, and it was during that time and afterward that God began to work with and bless Jacob.
Jacob worked for 14 years for Laban, and he married his daughters and had many children (Genesis chapters 29-30). He became wealthy and encountered and worshipped God. (ladder to heaven, wrestling with God, built alters). His name was changed to Israel.
Twenty years had passed before Jacob returned home to face his brother Esau. They had a peaceful reunion and Jacob and his family settled in the land that God had promised to his father and grandfather. Jacob was 77 years old.
Once again, we see that Jacob, like his grandfather Abraham, worked and became wealthy during the waiting period. He also started a family and had children. Most importantly, his relationship with God grew.
1) How are you growing within your family and/or community while you are waiting on God?
2) Jacob built alters to symbolize his worship of God. What are your current relationship goals with God?
3) During the time of waiting God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. How has God changed you since you have been walking with him?
What Joseph did in the meantime before he was reunited with his family
Joseph was one of the favorite sons of Jacob. His brothers were jealous and envious to the point that they hated him and sold him into slavery (Gen. chapter 37). It would be twenty-seven years before Joseph would reunite with his brothers, father, and family.
During those twenty-seven years, Joseph was a faithful servant and Potiphar’s house, and he did not sin with Potiphar’s wife (Gen.39). He was thrown in prison, and he interpreted dreams there (Gem. 40). After years in prison, Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh that changed his situation from living in the prison to living in the palace.
He was appointed by Pharaoh to rule over Egypt and help the economy for 14 years and beyond (Gen. 41). He had a wife with two sons. Most importantly God humbled him and developed his character and integrity.
1) How has God humbled you over the years?
2) Joseph had the gift to dream and interpret them. He learned over the years how to submit his gift to God (Gen. 40:8, 40:16). What gifts has God given you and have you submitted them to Him?
3) Joseph was a slave and a prisoner before he was promoted to a royal position. The scripture stated that God was with Joseph (Gen. 37:2, 39:21, Gen. 41:38-39), Are you in a seemingly bad situation in life, if so, what are you believing God for? Do you see God with you even though you may be going through a hard time now? How is your attitude through the process?
You may be in a waiting period with God, but I encourage you to grow, learn, and be productive during it. You will make mistakes but learn and grow from them. God has a way of working all things out for our good (Rom. 8:28). Through it all, with our participation, God is developing and molding us for his use on the earth. Like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, we all have a blessing and calling in our life. These men had a personal relationship with God and we should do the same.
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About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotionals Acts of Intercession and Chief Women Arise, The Impact of Your Election, and Basic Ministry Training Manual (all available on Amazon). She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets. Shana is married to Deacon Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.
For speaking engagements email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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