In spite of all the miracles that were performed by Jesus right before the eyes of the Pharisees, they were always still looking for more signs as they followed Him everywhere. Even though they had seen many miracles which attested the Sonship of Christ Jesus to them, they never even bothered to believe in Him.
They merely continued to monitor everything that He was doing, with the aim of finding any fault in Him. They could had positioned themselves in the Covenant blessing of Abraham together with Him, by putting their faith in Him. But they never did.
They saw Jesus as a threat to their positions of authority among the people. They were therefore prepared not to put their faith in Him. They had faith, but it was only in their traditions and history. They were scrutinizing His miracles for criticism, but they never had faith in them.
The Scripture says on one occasion, as they approached Him with another testing question, by demanding for a miraculous sign from Him; Jesus had responded to them in this manner:
“But He (Jesus) sighed deeply (groaned) in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”
Mark 8:12 NKJV
They had seen so many things about Jesus to the extent that, their lack of faith in Him had become a stumbling block to them for the Kingdom of God. Jesus had to search within His spirit before responding to them. Some other translations said that He had “groaned in His spirit”.
In other words Jesus was praying as He searched for an answer to give to them. Jesus was always praying. He never allowed what was going on in the world around Him, to affect His ability to communicate with His Father in Heaven.
He knew the Pharisees very well, and He knew that they were looking for a way to trap Him with the question. We can see Jesus doing exactly here, what Paul said to us about prayer and intercession:
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Romans 8:26-27 NKJV
Jesus ministered on the earth as the Son of Man. He was just like me and you. He often got tired and needed some rest. The scriptures says that on one occasion He was so tired, to the extent that He fell asleep on the boat with the disciples (Matthew 8:23-24).
Jesus knew what it means for us to be weak and unable to do certain things. He understands our feeble nature. He can identify with our frailties and infirmities, even though He was the Son of God.
On this occasion with the Pharisees we can see Him doing what we sometimes do, before answering questions from people. If He had opened His mouth to speak without searching within Himself for the answer, He could had made the same mistake that we often make.
But the scripture says that He groaned in the spirit. He first of all decided to search for the answer which the Father had placed within Him. He was the Word of God in the flesh. He had to pull out of the abundance of the precious promises of God’s word within Himself, so as to find the appropriate answer for them.
This is why the Word of God is so important in our lives as Christians. If He had responded like people in His time normally did, He would had landed in trouble immediately.
Jesus never needed the opinions or ideas of men, so as to give them the answer that pleased His Father. All that He needed was the word of God. There are Christians today who would had relied on their personal opinions or ideas; but Jesus was searching for the word of God within Himself.
No Christian life is ever fruitful without the living Word of God in it. Your prayer life is ineffective without God’s word in your heart. You need God’s word in your heart, so that you can be able to do what Jesus did here before answering the Pharisees.
A Christian who is groaning in the spirit, without a solid foundation of God’s word in his life, is just like an empty noisy barrel (1 Corinthians 13:1).
In the end the Pharisees got the answer that they never expected from Jesus. They were expecting to use the occasion to affirm spiritual authority over Him within the community. But we can see here that Jesus never gave them the opportunity that they were seeking.
Our Christian world today is not different from theirs. There are certain Christians today who are always seeking after miracles, instead of seeking the truth from God’s word that can set them free. They have faith in God to perform miracles, but they are seeking after what Jesus had authorized them to be doing, in spreading His gospel to the end of the earth (Mark 16:15-18).
Be patient while waiting for any possibility
In most cases they are not being patient enough to be waiting before the Lord, so as to receive instruction and direction from Him. Their lack of patience has produced the blessing of “Ishmael” in their lives. They are seeking after miracles, when they are the ones who had been set apart and anointed by Jesus to be performing miracles.
The Pharisees could not hold to the teachings of Jesus, because they were doing what these Christians are doing today also. They were waiting for the coming Messiah; but He was right in front of them, and they could not receive Him with their faith.
They were not being patient enough to wait, so as to learn from Jesus; in order that they might believe in Him. The Pharisees saw themselves as being more important than the people, whom they were supposed to be serving.
Many are seeking after miracles today also, instead of releasing their faith to become fruitful, in the blessing of the Lord with their Christian life.
An unrighteous business man for example, who has just started his business, knows that he has to wait for a turnover in his business. He is not seeking a miraculous sign for his business to grow. He has faith in it that it will yield him a great return. He sees himself blessed and prosperous in that business, even though he knows that he has to be patient for the business to grow.
He had invested in the business with absolute faith in it to succeed. He has entered into a covenant with himself and his investments that he will get a harvest.
Troubling times may come, but he is not even concerned about troubling times; because he had entered into a covenant within himself and his investments. He knows that the covenant which he has entered into, is able to prosper his business in the midst of troubling times.
He is confident that he will overcome the times of trouble, and that his business will come out of the troubles stronger than when it begins. He knows how to wait till the very end for his prosperity to physically manifest, because he is sure that he will make it.
This unrighteous business man is covenant minded in his business dealings, because he knows how to wait like the eagle. He understands how the basic principles behind covenants. He knew that he must have faith in his covenant for his business to grow:
“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
The waiting time of righteous Joseph in Egypt was like this also. Joseph was not waiting for a miraculous sign to get out of the jailhouse of Pharaoh. He had the covenant promise of God in his heart. He believed that his dream would come to pass.
God had to bring a famine into Egypt, because of the dream in Joseph’s heart. Joseph knew that his dream was bigger, than the famine that was going on in Egypt. The Lord eventually had to give two dreams to Pharaoh, so as to bring the dream in the life of this young Hebrew man to come to pass.
It’s amazing how God can move the hearts of kings and great peoples, just because of the dream that you have. God moved on the heart of Pharaoh to favor Joseph. He ended up being a powerful man in the nation, where he had previously lived as a slave.
There is only one thing for you to do now in your own situation today. Wait for the renewal of your spiritual and physical strength, like that of the eagle. This was what Joseph did, until the time came for the fulfillment of his dream.
Don’t get estranged from your Covenant oath
When we are waiting on the Covenant promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives, we are to wait with patience, because the waiting process itself is meant to establish us firmly in the Covenant with Him; so that we can be stronger in faith as we are inheriting the promise.
If you are not standing strong in your Covenant with God, how are you going to be standing when the forces of hell attacks your faith? A solid foundation of faith in your Covenant promise will protect you when the enemy attacks.
Do you know that God is more interested about you getting stronger in the Covenant relationship with Him, than the prayers that you are saying all the time before Him, for the things of this world which you are more concerned about?
The things that you are concerned about are so insignificant to the hosts of heaven. You and your relationship with your Father in Heaven is more important to all the hosts of heaven, than the troubles of your life. When you begin to understand how much God loves you, then you will begin never to worry again about the troubles of your life.
Those who can’t wait to get stronger in their relationship with the Father, are like “strangers to the Covenant of the promise”. The flesh is very much active in the demonstration of their faith, for the fulfillment of their Covenant promise.
That’s why the Apostle Paul said:
“that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Ephesians 2:12-13 NKJV
Paul was referring here to those who do believe in the blessing of Abraham, but who has made themselves strangers to their Covenant with God. Self alienation from their Covenant relationship with God, has made them strangers to the promise for them in it.
The deceitfulness of this world had made them hopeless and restless in it, instead of being Covenant minded in their relationship with God. They are blessed, but they can’t tap into their blessing, without first accepting Jesus as Lord over their lives.
The absence of patience has made them strangers today, to the Covenant promise of God. There are a lot of Christians today who can only accepts Jesus as their Savior. But they won’t accept His Lordship over their lives. And they are struggling in their Christian lives because of this.
Don’t ever allow anything in this world to push you into the extreme, of loosing your patience with God so as to inherit His Covenant promise. People around you (including well meaning Christians), will give you all kinds of suggestions and their personal opinions about your situation in life.
But they are not really meant to take the place of God in your life. You can learn to practice what Jesus did above in answering the Pharisees.
You can do this by being watchful while listening and waiting before the Lord. He will answer you, if you are only spending enough time to be praying in other tongues, than what you are doing right now.
Going through your spiritual gestation
You can reposition yourself to receive unlimited resources from God, by becoming more intimate in your personal relationship with Him.
The world and the suggestions or opinions of people are limited in their wisdom to help you. They are unable to give you what God is about to give you, by releasing your faith in Him. Wait on the Lord!
Don’t try to help God to do what He wants to do for you. It takes time for any spiritual gestation to be completed. God’s supernatural promises requires a gestation period for it to be fulfilled in our lives.
The gestation period of a baby in the womb of the mother, can’t be compared with God’s promises in our lives as Christians. The Lord is the One who alone sets the gestation time for each one of us. As the scriptures says:
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:8-9 NIV
Your gestation period in inheriting the promise of God, may be different from what you are seeing in the lives of other Christians around you. Don’t let the devil push you to the extent of comparing your portion in God’s blessing with others.
You are unique in the presence of the Lord. The time that has been set for you by the Lord is different from others. You can’t be comparing yourself with others, like apples with oranges during your gestation period. Apples and oranges are both fruits, but they don’t ever taste alike.
In the same way you are a Christian like others, but you have a different assignment from the Lord to the world, that may be different from theirs. Your waiting time for the promise to manifest is different from theirs. Be patient, and wait for it.
A pregnant woman patiently waits through the period of gestation for the safe delivery of her baby. She knows how precious that seed of God’s creation in her womb is. The period of gestation for her baby may not be easy for her. She has to bear the weight of responsibility for her child with grace and elegance.
When you are carrying God’s dream within you, you are truly consumed with everything that has been revealed to you by the Lord about it. It may seem impossible initially, especially if you are carrying a dream, that the world around you has never seen before.
It may seem impossible, but by living a lifestyle of faith in God, what seems so uneasy becomes possible. Faith in God’s Covenant promise makes it possible.
The moment you begin to release your faith into the Covenant promise of God, the situation begins to change and gets transformed. Anything can happen when you are carrying the dream of God by faith.
As the angel Gabriel said to Mary as she entered into the gestation period of God’s Son inside her womb:
“For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”
Luke 1:37 AMPC
There will be doubters and the Thomases to your dream. This is why you do need to be patient in the presence of the One true God, who gave you the dream. He alone will give you the strength to carry it through the period of gestation, to a safe delivery of it with the manifestation of His power.
If the Lord can be patient with you, then you can be patient also. Think about the years you were still living in sin. But in your sinfulness God was patient with you, while He gently brought you to Himself. He got you saved. He healed you and delivered you from the destruction of the devil.
You have nothing to loose therefore by waiting in His presence with patience. Your waiting time on the Lord is the process of being adjusted and repositioned to inherit the promise.
And it may initially seem like it is not doable. But if you will not take your eyes away from the precious Covenant promise to you, what may seem undoable will supernaturally open the door of possibilities into your life.
Just as waiting may be tough and rough for an eagle on the mountain top, it’s going to be tough and rough for any Christian who is waiting to inherit the Covenant promise of God. The toughness and roughness are meant to give you the spiritual strength to resist the enemy, and to be able to carry the blessing in the Covenant promise.
Jesus never said that the Christian life will not be tough and rough. But He said that it is possible. In fact He promised you persecution with your promised inheritance (Mark 10:29-31). Wait for it!