Bible Study

When the Righteous Become Restless

Michael Beck

We become distressed and overanxious when we see ourselves as losing time and opportunity.

My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. (Psalm 102:11)

When restless we are tempted to say, “I can’t afford to wait on God, He moves slower than I can bear!” In impatience we then “set in motion” plans of our own that bring us nothing but woe.

Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:
That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! (Isaiah 5:18,19)

When we become overanxious for the purposes of tomorrow to be realized we become “hasty in spirit” and “exalt folly.”

Abraham was overanxious to see the manifestation of God’s promise. He listened to faulty counsel because he was “hasty of spirit.”

Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. (Genesis 16:1-3)

When we do not have the patience to wait on God’s perfect timing, we often end up “settling” for something or someone other than that which is God’s best and perfect will for us.

Abraham had to learn by “eating the fruit of his own way,” that it was not only through faith, but through patience that promises were inherited.

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:12)

Jacob was overanxious to obtain God’s blessings. He rightly loved the good things of God, but moved in unscrupulous haste to obtain them.

And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. (Genesis 27:18-19)

The lust of the flesh does not recognize times and seasons. It only asks: “Can I do this?” and “Do I want this?” God uses prisons and wildernesses to subdue the restlessness that is in the lust of the flesh.

Moses was overanxious to fulfill God’s call. He prematurely sought to enter ministry without adequate preparation.

And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. (Acts 7:23-25)

Anxiety over being “behind schedule” in fulfilling a call can end up costing us an even greater delay.

Because God has the power to bring to pass His precious promises, grant us His greatest blessings and properly prepare us for our special calling, we need to wait on Him in confident expectation.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation…
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him…
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (Psalm 62:1,5,11)

Those that trust and entrust themselves to an all wise, caring and powerful God, are preserved from the follies of a hasty and impatient spirit.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.