The only place in Scripture where I can find God doing something instantly regarding His relationship to man is in salvation. Which is both instant and free:
Romans 10:9-10 (HCSB)9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
Yes, God performed and continues to do miracles that make instant changes in circumstances, to benefit those of us who have accepted that gift of a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus. That gift was given by God’s grace because He wants that relationship with us. but once the relationship has already been established.
Psalms 27:14 HCSB Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.
As children, waiting can seem like agony. We couldn’t wait when school was out for the summer. or for our birthday, or for Christmas. As adults we try to hide our impatience but it’s still there. We want things or want things to happen “quick and in a hurry”. We are used to multitasking and packing each day with so much busyness that we seldom have time to hear the needs of our loved ones much less hear God.
This impatience for results, for productivity is something that we, as Christians, must learn to surrender, will have to learn to surrender. When we are operating at an unrealistic pace, we have no intimacy in our relationship with God because we don’t spend time with Him. We are always in a hurry working for God, and not spending time with Him. When anybody criticizes us or pulls our coattails. about our pace we get angry and say stuff like; “The devil never takes a day off”. Well, “I’m not sure the devil is supposed to be your example.
Quite often terrible things happen in an instant: a car crash that turns your life upside down, a quick word spoken out in anger which breaks a relationship, a split-second decision to give in to peer pressure.
Of course, not all split-second decisions lead to negative consequences, but there is a striking parallel here:
As we are jumping from one thing to the next on a continual cycle of busyness, God is seeking to work against the disorder we have created. He wants to that disorder and make it into a beautifully functioning person and He very comfortable working slowly (or what appears as slowly to us).
From the very moment of salvation, God b to begins to sanctify us--to make us holy--but this takes time and daily repentance, submission, and prayer, all things that themselves require us to be in for the long haul if we hope to see fruit. He is patient in perfecting us because, for any truth to truly take hold in us, takes time.
Sanctification is a continuing change worked by the Holy Spirit in us, freeing us from sinful habits and developing in us Christ-like desires, attitudes, and virtues.
Philippians 4:4-9 ESV Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Sanctification is an ongoing process, dependent on the Holy Spirit’s continuing action in the believer. In sanctification, believers are set apart for the Lord to be continually washed from sin and transformed into the image of Christ.
Romans 8:28-30 ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
God knows our frame, and His patience and lovingkindness never fails, even when ours does.