Remember the admonition of Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” To be as wise as a serpent you must learn to be as patient as a serpent! To be patient is to be steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity.
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry
Snakes cannot afford to move around often in search for food. Anytime they venture out, they are in danger of death. An observation of snakes shows how they can patiently wait for food. Snakes can lie in wait patiently. Sometimes, they lie in water, waiting for the prey to come by for a drink. If you patiently observe the surface of a pond, you may see the head of a snake rising partially to the surface to take a breath every few minutes. They let the hours pass. Animals come and go. Night comes, day comes and still the serpent waits patiently. In fact, sometimes, a couple of days pass! The snake lies patiently in the water till some animals come to the water to drink. The vibration of feet and silhouettes of animals are detected by the patient serpent. Even then, the snake still takes time with which of them to have for dinner, Finally, it chooses its prey and strikes when the drinking animals least expected!
The serpent will not eat if it is not patient. Neither will you have many of the things God has ordained for you without patience. Dear leader, can you wait patiently for great opportunities?
WHAT YOU CANNOT DO WITHOUT PATIENCE
1. A leader cannot have victory over his enemies if he does not learn to wait patiently for the Lord. Learn to sit down and wait for the Lord to act. The ability to sit and wait determines whether you pass the test of patience. We must wait until the Lord makes the move. Can you?
The Lord said unto my Lord, SIT THOU at my right hand, UNTIL I MAKE thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
2. You cannot be a godly person if you are not patient because God is a God of patience. Impatience is the opposite of what God is. Impatience a sign of ungodliness. Is it your plan to be a godly leader? Then patience must be one of your traits.
Now THE GOD OF PATIENCE and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
3. You cannot finish your calling if you are not patient. Your calling needs patient work adding block by block until the whole house is built. Every leader has a vision to fulfil. Whilst you need to put great pressure on a lot of forces to see the vision come to pass, you also need patience to see all your visions and goals executed. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and LET US RUN WITH PATIENCE the race that is set before us,
4. You cannot reap your harvest and receive your rewards without patience. Many people give up just before the reward is due. Don't be such a leader! And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
5. You cannot become a man of experience without patience. A minister must allow trials and tribulation to produce patience in him. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that TRIBULATION WORKETH PATIENCE; and PATIENCE, EXPERIENCE; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
6. You cannot be a perfect minister of the gospel without patience. Through patience, you will be perfect and entire, wanting nothing! It is possible to get to that point where you want nothing!
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But LET PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK, THAT YE MAY BE PERFECT and entire, wanting nothing.
Patiently waiting is one of the secrets of a serpent and must be one of the secrets of all leaders. A snake will lie patiently in wait for its prey. Snakes are masters of patience and masters of ambush. Just as the snake obtains food through patience, a minister will get what he needs through patience. We often refer to the patience of Job, and I daresay, we must be respectful of the patience of a snake.
By Dag Heward-Mills
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