The Sweetness of Delayed Gratification

Caramel cinnamon and streusel scents abounding… Apple pies are a staple for Thanksgiving and this year was no different. But as I walked into the kitchen I found the whole pie eaten on the ground… my dog Emmie stood over it with his puppy eyes.

I replaced the pie and kept this in mind. Later in the day I felt the Lord telling me “don’t eat it.”

I said okay.

That evening the night dwindled down. The dishes were washed & I sat down looking at the lights on my little Christmas tree.

That’s when I heard the Lord say… “Now, I want you to eat a piece with Me. Just Me.” 

Waiting on God makes every gift better.

When you’ve given everything to Him, He gives back. And when He gives… it’s most satisfying. It’s not about the pie. It’s about submission. Patience. Rejecting indulgence. Experiencing satisfaction. Love.

Pure love tastes good because of yielding to the other, not looking to our own desires. “Love is patient,” 1 Corinthians 13:4.

We don’t need anything else but what He gives us. He is enough.

Delayed gratification sweetens the gift.
But indulgence ruins it.

Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”

We must wait upon the Lord if we want to truly experience pure satisfaction. I’ve experienced the best gifts from the Lord come when I’m not expecting it. And everything He gives is pure. Everything He gives is satisfying. 

You can enjoy the gift when you know it came from God.

Bask in sweet moments with God.

And everything He gives.

He loves to give good gifts. He’s a lover. A giver. He’s not looking to take… He’s looking to give. But if we let our flesh indulge, we ruin what God meant for it to be.

Emmie ate a pie that wasn’t cooked & he felt the stomach ache following.

Likewise, indulgence robs you of an ecstatic experience and uproots the garden before it blooms.

But delayed gratification proves maturity and produces supernatural rewards. 

I’m reminded of Judges chapter 7 when Gideon chose men for war against the Midianites.

It highlights the contrast of self-control and indulgence.

God said in Judges 7:4 “take them down to the river so I can test who’s worthy to fight.”

2 groups result: Those who drank from the river head first. And those who lap the water carefully using their hands.

The latter group is chosen.

300.

And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” Judges 7:6-7

I asked God why did You choose the ones who used their hands? God said… they were watching out for the others.

They were alert. Smart. Courageous. They were alert in case an enemy came upon them. And they were willing to deny their own needs so that they could ensure the men surrounding them were protected.

That is the mark of a true warrior.

Sacrifice.

Leadership.

Selflessness.

God chooses these 300 men to fight the battle against the Midianites and sends the rest home.

The 300 win the battle! And they showcase the strength of God on their side even when outnumbered by the enemy.

That same night the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand.” Judges 7:9

I love the parallelism here of the “hands” imagery in this passage.

The 300 men chosen were patient and courageous to use their “hands” to drink water… and now God is giving the enemy into their “hands.” God is honoring their hands, literally and symbolically. God goes on to say in verse 11 “your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” 

What we do with our hands is seen by the Lord… the good that you do is noticed and I feel the Lord wanting to honor that… You have power in your hands given from God and nothing will stand against you.

Honor the Lord and He will honor you.

your hands are fit for battle

for the King’s are resting on you

more than human

made to bloom in

fields of victory

When you deny your flesh and wait on God, He empowers you supernaturally.

Delayed gratification not only produces a reward, but it also develops godly character. The Bible says in Galatians 5 that “self-control” is a fruit of the spirit. And we grow spiritual fruit from being connected to the vine, Jesus Christ, just as John 15 teaches.

You can only deny indulgence if you have a spiritual power source flowing within you… Jesus Christ, whom you actively pursue in a close relationship.

It’s through knowing Him deeply that we find everything we need and can live from this place of fulfilment and wholeness, not lack. Lack produces impulsive behavior but fullness produces patience and satisfaction.

Honor is given to those who put others interests before their own. It’s what Jesus did for us… He led through serving. He sacrificed His own life for us. And He was given the highest reward.

When you sacrifice your own needs, God blesses you.

He won’t leave you empty…

The flesh wants to tell us… take what’s yours… take more… more… more… but the Spirit says… wait… pause… pray… give… give.

I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Know God’s word and your heart will crave it… and want to follow it… because you’ve tasted the sweetness of a love that surpasses all pleasure.

Fleshly pleasure will ruin you if you don’t let God crucify it.

Proverbs 17:21 says, “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.” 

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,” Ephesians 3:18

Don’t let indulgence spoil what God wants to give.

In Judges chapter 7, God had more to give to the Israelites who went to battle. But their own indulgence caused them to get distracted by their thirst and lost sight of the battlefield. They were not trusted to lead. So they were sent home.

Only 300 were willing to delay gratification and live by the Spirit.

Your purpose awaits you and you don’t want impulse and indulgence to keep you out of it.

Be patient to wait… prioritize others instead of yourself… and like the 300 who were chosen, you will step into your destiny and see God prevail on your behalf.

God gives abundantly.

There’s a difference between indulgence and abundance. One is pure. One is impure. Indulgence is an impure action that stems from human flesh. Abundance is a Holy Spirit action given from a pure, perfect God. Abundance is a supernatural gift. But indulgence is a rushed impulse. One satisfies. One leaves you dry.

Rely on the Lord and you will experience abundance. And you won’t need to act in indulgence.

Jesus said, “I have come to give them life and give it in abundance.” John 10:10

God wants to teach us how to enjoy what He gives, and not indulge in it for more, lest we ruin the blessing unfolding meant to satisfy. God gives exactly what we need. And He doesn’t tempt us with indulgence. He is specific and spot on with His gifts.

God sees into the depth of our hearts and He sees what we really need… that’s why we must wait on Him, because no one can satisfy like He can. He knows the exact remedy and the exact thing you need.

Let God be your provider… your giver… And you will always have what you need for that moment, that day, that season… producing contentment in your spirit that cannot be shaken.

Keep your eyes on the Lord. Wait on Him… He will unleash His greatest blessing on you. For He is the greatest blessing. 

 

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Galatians 5:16

 

Questions for Today:

  1. Who did God choose to fight the Midianties? Why?

2. How does delayed gratification sweeten the gift?

3. Why does self-control produce godly character?

4. How does indulgence rob you of the best experience?

5. What next step is Jesus asking you to take in your relationship with Him today?

natalieedwards18

lifeandgod.com Twitter: @paladinnat

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