Impatience: Annoyance at being kept waiting, not willing to wait for something you’re eager to do. Impatience comes from unbelief. People aren’t willing to wait in the present for God to help or work things out. Fear comes with impatience. People don’t worry about what’s going to happen in the future. Esau is an example of impatience. He was only thinking about the present situation and he didn’t care about the future.
Genesis 25:29-34 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint…Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
Esau would have inherited a double portion of his father’s possessions and been the leader of the family. He would have been in line for the priesthood through Abraham. None of those things had any value to him. Impatience happens when you want something now and aren’t will to wait. Esau became profane or godless because the things of God meant nothing to him. If we get hasty and impatient like Esau, we won’t enjoy the inheritance of God’s promises.
Hebrews 12:14-17 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness…trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For…when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Esau found no place of repentance because he was without godly sorrow. The enemy wants us to get impatient because things aren’t going our way. He wants us to act in haste, instead of waiting for God’s timing. God knows the perfect timing. If we aren’t willing to wait on God, we’ll be annoyed and act in ways he isn’t pleased by. Absalom was impatient too. He hadn’t seen his father David for two years. He sent to Joab to come twice so he could send him to David. When Joab didn’t come the second time, Absalom retaliated by sending servants set Joab’s barley field on fire. He wanted his way.
II Samuel 14:28-33 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king’s face. Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come. Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. Then Joab…came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire? And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king…now therefore let me see the king’s face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me. …when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground…king kissed Absalom.
An impatient person gets bitter and retaliates instead of waiting on God. The Israelites were impatient, complained, and found fault with Moses repeatedly. Moses fell on his face, prayed for them, and God changed his mind about destroying them. Moses didn’t choose but God sent him at 80 years old to lead them. At 118 years old, he fell on his face to pray again.
Numbers 20:1-6 Then came the children of Israel…and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. And there was no water…and they gathered…against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses…saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And why have ye brought up the congregation…into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And…to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. And Moses and Aaron went…and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.
It’s not always easy when God asks you to be patient. God wants us to practice patience so we glorify him. God heard when the people complained and he was angry. God is listening to everything we say. God was leading the people all the time and wanted them to wait for him to work things out. When someone is in our life that we feel impatient with, we need to thank God they are helping us learn patience.
Numbers 11:1 And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
If we act impatiently, we will act contrary to the way God wants us to. Moses acted with impatience because he didn’t believe what God said. He hit the rock instead of speaking to it. We’ll do our own thing if we act impatiently.
Numbers 20:7-13 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock…and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink…And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation…he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them…
If we don’t wait for and follow God’s counsel but start making our own plans, leanness in our soul will always follow.
Psalm 106:13-14 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
There are consequences for not waiting on God. Moses couldn’t go into the promise land. Later he asked if he could go, but God said don’t ask again and that he wasn’t going. He would only let Moses see the land.
Deuteronomy 3:25-27 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
God may tell us “no” about some things. We may do well in our experience for many years and then get impatient. Moses knew exactly what God said to do, but he got impatient so he didn’t do it. When things happen and we feel impatient, we need to pray. God will give us grace for every situation so we can handle it right. When the impatience rose up in Moses, he didn’t handle it like God said or wait on God. We have to wait on God, control our flesh, and let him give us directions.
We need to stop doing some things that aren’t important. Sometimes the things we feel are important aren’t important to God. If we write down what makes us feel impatient, we can be mindful and not let them cause us to act impatiently. People are more impatient that have short attention spans or who get angry easy. Sometimes people that get bored will be impatient. When someone breaks a promise we may get impatient with them. When someone moves too slowly, we may be impatient. If we have too many things to do, we may feel overwhelmed and be impatient. If we blurt out things in anger and impatience, there will be a reaping. We can’t take back the hurt of our words, even when someone has forgiven us. We need to check our heart if we’re impatient a lot. God wants us to work on our impatience and to keep under control.
I Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)