Many years ago, I was enjoying a cup of coffee and a time of sharing, with gospel singer and minister Robert Coleman in his home in Melbourne, Australia, when he said something that caught my attention. In the midst of our conversation , he simply made the comment, “God is slow.”
I immediately reacted. “My God is not slow! My God is faster than a speeding bullet. My God is more powerful than a locomotive. He is able to leap over tall buildings!” Well, I didn’t actually put it in those terms with a description of Superman. But my response to God being slow was to see God as being behind the times, not keeping up with the present, and not reaching for the future. Talk about slow, and you tend to think of a tortoise, not God. Initially, I couldn’t accept the idea that God is slow as it didn’t resonate within me.
Now, I have learned across the years that when you have a reaction to what someone else says, it is either that what was said is wrong and you can’t accept it or else what is said is right and you need to think about it. So that’s what I did, and I became aware of a different aspect of slowness; the concept of slowness in the sense of it not being hasty, not being in a hurry to do something, or not being in a rush. Let’s look at how this applies to God.
GOD IS SLOW IN HIS ANGER
God is slow in his anger to bring judgment upon people. Psalm 103:8 declares, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, the Lord is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.” Aren’t you glad that God is not in a hurry to bring down judgment upon anyone who sins, including yourself? “But beloved, do not forget this one thing that with the Lord one day is as 1000 years and 1000 years it as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promises as someone would count slackness but is long-suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, that all should come to repentance” (2 Timothy 3:8 – 9). Yes, it is good that God is slow to anger in bringing judgment upon sinful people.
GOD IS WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME
Galatians 4:4 tells us, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son born of a woman.” The concept of fullness of time is taken from the experience of childbirth. In the natural, there’s a process called pregnancy, which usually takes nine months. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. God plants a seed in you, a promise, a prophetic word, a vision, but as with a pregnancy, it takes time for it to be birthed.
This was how it was with the coming of Jesus. Over the centuries, the promise was declared that a Savior would come, the Messiah, but it wasn’t until the right time, when the conditions were right, that Jesus was born, and the promise of a Messiah was fulfilled.
Let’s take another example – Abraham.
ABRAHAM – THE LONG WAIT
In Genesis 12, God appears to Abraham and tells him to get out of this country, leave his family, and go to a land that God would show him. This was given with a promise (Genesis 12:1-3):
- I will make you a great nation
- I will bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing
- I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you and through you, all the families of the earth will be blessed
What a word. What a promise. But it didn’t happen immediately. In fact, it was 25 years, and after many further encounters with God that eventually, the promise was fulfilled, and Isaac was born. Abraham himself had even sought to take things into his own hands, and that produced an Ishmael. There is always a process of time in the program and the purposes of God. God is not slow; He’s always on time for the manifestation of the promise, the prophetic word, or the vision to come to pass.
We live in a very fast-paced world where we expect everything to happen instantaneously. We have instant coffee or tea. We have fast-food restaurants. We have instant communication through cell phones, texting, and computers. Constantly, we expect God to be like that too. We say a prayer, or we have a vision, and we expect God to bring it to pass immediately. We have made God a “McDonald’s in the Sky,” where we put in our order, and we expect service immediately. But God is not a “McDonald’s in the Sky.” He is Lord, and He is Lord of time as well. He does what He wants, and He wants us to align our lives with His and flow with His timing. God is not slow; rather, He is always right on time!
SCRIPTURE ON WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME
Scripture has a number of verses that relate to all this. Hebrews 6:12 says, “Who through faith and patience inherit the promise.” Hebrews 10:36 states, “But you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.” Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets that he may run who reads it, for the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come. It will not tarry,”
PREACHING IN PARADISE
Back in the days of the Charismatic Renewal in the 1970s, I was invited to preach by Pastor Andrew Evans in Paradise Assembly of God church in Adelaide, South Australia. At that time, it was the largest Assemblies of God church in Australia and was exploding in numbers. As a result, they were desirous of a building, a brand new sanctuary, but for reasons, I can’t quite remember, they were faced with many delays. On a Sunday night, I preached this message, “God is Slow,” which seemed to speak right into the situation. At the right time, they were able to construct the building, and years later, I had the privilege of preaching in the new church building.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHAT ABOUT ME?
Do you have a promise from God, a prophetic word or vision that, as of yet, has not come to pass? Maybe you are wondering, “God, why is it taking so long? Lord, it seems so slow.” Take heart! God is not slow! Rather, He’s doing what He did with Abraham and what He did with the coming of the Messiah Jesus. He has just the right time for it to be fulfilled.
In the meantime, be patient, be obedient to do whatever He tells you to do, have faith, and hang in there, believing for it to come to pass at just the right time.