by Steve Early

I am sure many of you have heard the prayer, (written in jest); “Lord, please grant me patience and I want it now”.  Doesn’t this parallel current demands for instant gratification”?  The 24 hour news cycle, instant grits, movies on demand, social media, and the list is endless.  

In the early 1970’s, before many of you were born, I had a required reading in school, FUTURE SHOCK, by futurist, Alvin Toffler.  Briefly, this book depicted a society facing rapidly increasing technological improvements that would radically change the way we live our lives.  To put things into perspective, I didn’t own a hand-held calculator until 1972. This was a warning that many would have difficulty adapting to this rapid rate of change.  

The harder, but more predictable life that defined our parents and grandparents, evaporated at amazing speed.

So some are wondering,,,where is Steve going with this?  We have a sneak preview in Daniel 12:4 pointing to an increase in knowledge near the end of time.  The rate at which technology is increasing is outpacing our abilities to cope emotionally and ethically, with no clear vision as to unintended consequences.  So what are we as Christians supposed to do as we encounter a present-day Ephesus, with many of the similarities that young Timothy faced?  In reference to fruit of the Spirit, we should turn to the Master Gardner and see how He exercised Patience.  

God was patient with Adam and Eve after they sinned. What about the Israelites and their many ungodly ways in the desert? He was patient with the pressing multitudes after finding a woman in the act of adultery. But note, there is a limit to his patience.  Consider Noah and the people of his day.  After Abraham’s cries for mercy, Sodom and Gomorrah paid the price.   Patience is a gift of God for believers, as are the other eight qualities of the fruit of the Spirit.

However, we must remember that because God had us on his mind before the foundation of the earth, we received the unearned gift of salvation.  Therefore, these are powerful Spiritual Gifts and not just good character traits.  Now to employ these gifts, we must “Walk in the Spirit” as explained in Gal 5:16 and this will insulate us from the desires of the flesh. Now, as we begin to tend this fruit garden in earnest, realize that we have the power of The Holy Spirit. This will take the rest of our earthly life so………  Be Patient!

Prayer prompt.  Father God, I am in awe of the wisdom in Your Word.  Your word proves true over and over and points us continually to The Savior we all must have.  Thank you for being so patient with me and never giving up on me.  My transgressions are so many and your grace is so perfect that it covers even the ugliest ones.  Help me as I learn more about these spiritual gifts.  I know that I need to walk in the spirit more and produce fruit so that others can see the benefit of creating that personal relationship with Jesus.  Lord, I pray that you will create opportunities or divine encounters where the power of your Holy Spirit overshadows my weakness in _________________ and_________________.  May these efforts result in a Brilliant “Heaven Roars” Board, signifying that you are calling your people unto yourself.


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