“All a man’s ways SEEM right to him, but the LORD weighs the HEART.” (Proverbs 21:2).

Sometimes our willingness to hear and DO the will of God can be hindered or retarded by our ATTITUDES about people or circumstances. For example, suppose that you know that God has prepared you for a particular assignment to a role in another country, another culture. Along the way, in the months and years of preparation, you had an encounter with another man, perhaps a teacher, who really pressed you in and held your feet to the fire for an entire year. Maybe he even held you back and made you repeat a full year’s study. Finally, however, after what seemed a wasted year, you got the message and came to realize real maturity in that particular field of study. So, you moved on into the next area where God is calling forth another maturity. Moving through that, you sense the time has come for the final step into making the trip. But things just don’t jell and you wonder, “What is the hindrance?” You begin to feel that, because you were held back that year, it caused you to “miss the boat”. And you begin to blame that old teacher. THEN COMES THE TROUBLE! You say, “Lord, I’ve met all the requirements; now why this hold-up? Why don’t the funds come through?” or “Why can we not find a house? Lord, You’re the Master of everything; You own the cattle on a thousand hills! Why? WHY??”

So, you go to your pastor. You review the whole history of preparation, and he finds a tinge of rancor, a bit of unforgiveness in your ATTITUDE towards that teacher. God will not accept your move into this important ministry with you carrying that kind of thought pattern over into this new call. Even though all preparations have been made, God will “HOLD-OUT” until that seemingly insignificant matter of ATTITUDE is cleared up.

You see, you may have learned all the lessons the teacher was teaching, but you did not learn the lesson of relationships that God was teaching. The quality of relationships depends totally on the quality of out attitudes regarding those we are put with. And we must learn that God is not in a hurry! He doesn’t measure time like we do. He will cause a delay, making us wait until we alter our attitudes and thought patterns, before He allows us to go ahead in the next step towards the fulfilling of our call. He’ll work us over in some difficult circumstances and only then, when we’ve got our thoughts purified, will He pour out His grace, and we can move on.

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 27, December 1982.