And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. Genesis 4:3
Mom used to say, "Lord! Time sure does bring about a change", as she pondered and looked back on life. We SHOULD see change, and hopefully growth over the years. That is as true in the natural as it is spiritually. In process of time, there should be "going forward", the historical meaning of the word "process". It is important, though, that we remember that the human understanding of time is not the same as it is to He to whom a thousand years is as yesterday. To we mortals time is a duration of seconds, minutes days, years, decades, centuries, etc. The continuum of time to God is such that he knows the beginning from the end. Our life spans are but a breath to He who is outside of time, to Adonai Tzeva-ot, the "Eternal One of Hosts". Truly, God IS the "Ancient of Days"! (Daniel 7:9)
2 Peter 3:8
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
In process of time, Beloved, the people of God should be producing something! There should be a development of fruit, one of which is patience. Why? Because, according to James 1:4, it does a work in us:
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Let me remind you that the "perfecting of the saints" charge to the the five-fold ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. God has work for us to do and we have need of patience in order to do it! To be made "perfect" simply means to mature. Learning patience matures us. In your patience possess your souls the Jesus told his disciples in the Gospel of Luke. ( 21:19) Grow up! Our minds, our wills, our emotions need to be mature as concerns the things of God. Sometimes we must will ourselves to be obedient to God, bringing our flesh subject to his ordinances. We are to have the mind of Christ! ( That is a process in and of itself). We cannot let our emotions rule us. Maturity! In process of time we are perfected via patience to be "fit for the kingdom". To work ministry on that level requires maturity! A novice would find him or herself shipwreck. The Bible is rife with scriptures about patience. James 1:3 reads that "the trial and proving of your faith produces endurance, steadfastness, and patience". Endurance implies that time is a factor...it's in process of time, Beloved. The Apostle Paul knew something about the "trying of faith". In his second epistle to the Corinthians he wrote of his OWN trials which he endured with patience:
But we commend ourselves in every way as true servants of God: through great patience, in tribulation and suffering, in hardships and privations, in sore straits and calamities, in beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless watching, hunger... (6:4)
Paul learned to glory in such tribulations because he understood that they work patience, experience and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul endured by the Holy Ghost, just as we Believers are called to do, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. We may not be called to trials of the degree that Apostle Paul and the early Church suffered, but what I want you to see is that the "experience" he wrote about is key and that it implies maturity. One cannot know God and maturely say He is a healer except they have been healed by him in some way. One cannot know him as provider unless there has been lack and God met the need. Spiritual maturity goes beyond "talking the talk". There is a yoke-destroying anointing on a testimony because such an one has "walked the walk"...with God THROUGH difficult situations. They know from whence thy speak! And difficult situations happen as you, no doubt, know. We live in a fallen, imperfect world. But even in that, good can come from it. Patience and maturity, developed in process of time, is the outcome IF we let patience have her perfect work. The testimony of an over comer is powerful! We have need of patience because it is about more than the Lord walking us through, it is about mature servants of God bringing souls INTO the kingdom of God. In process of time and as we acquire patience we grow in grace. Though we go through our versions of "tribulations", we find ourselves ministering to others with that same God-given grace that brings healing, deliverance, and restoration. Like the Master, we, too, are touched with the infirmities of others. I do not mean human sympathy or even empathy: They, too, must be covered in the blood of Jesus! No, those souls do not need sympathy, they need salvation and the wholeness that comes with it. I am talking about seasoned, mature, empowered people of God walking in God-given authority. Workers together with God doing exploits to the glory of God, the Father. But, there is that process of time from the immature "babe'" in the Lord to the mature/"perfected" one. Cooperate with God in the journey of perfecting. We all know of some in the Body of Christ 10, 15, 20 years who are still immature as concerns God. I hear the Lord saying grow up! "No more milk". It is time for strong meat, solid food. It builds up the Body of Christ. Like Cain in Genesis 4:3, New Testament Christians are to bring fruit as an offering: Our very lives! Lives lived as servant-leaders. Servant-leaders empowered to serve and empower others, who, in turn, empower still others. It is exponential! Let me encourage you to stay in the process. Be not weary in well doing! For in process of time, the Lord who is not slack concerning his promise, will complete the work He began in you. HE will perform it! In process of time, and in the acquisition of much needed patience and maturity, time surely brings about a change. It is a change for the better, and which glorifies God! He "knows what we have need of" and we have need of patience. Selah!
God bless you,