Delayed Gratification

12/13/2004 4:53 AM
Title: DELAYED GRATIFICATION

S: “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of
Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God
rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded
disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of
Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his rewards.” Hebrews 11:24-26

O: Moses is fulfilling a very important role here. Delayed gratification.
This is not something that we normally want to experience. Moses could have
been gratified in Egypt with his role in leadership and possibly rulership.
He could have had riches, glory, servants, etc. But instead he chose the
task of herding sheep and the tasking of herding people through the desert.

The writer of Hebrews seems to glorify Moses’ decision. In other words, he
seems to make it sound like it was a decided part on Moses’ part to forgo
the pleasures of Egypt, when in reality it just kind of happened that way –
providentially – but He didn’t decide to leave Egypt out of any great
thinking, but out of fear. All the time God had his hand in it though.

But this whole idea of choosing God’s way rather than choosing our own way
was probably still big in Moses’ life. He felt a kinship to the people he
hardly knew – because he knew he was one of them. I do think that likely
Moses had it in his heart to serve God first and foremost. Did he
understand all the ramifications of that? No. Did he understand everything
about who God is? I doubt it.

But that line: “.he was looking ahead to his reward.”

A: That line is a good one for me. I am not to be rewarded here on this
earth. I simply cannot have both. If I am rewarded here, then I will only
be rewarded here.

5″And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray
standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I
tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5
(NIV)

Jesus was clear that those who receive their reward here, don’t need a
reward in heaven.

For me, this pertains to a couple of outright things. I don’t need a great
car here. I don’t need to make a lot of money here. Even though other
issues have haunted me and enticed me, my reward is in heaven, and I can
forgo these so-called pleasures here. I can do this, because I know the
faithfulness of God. I can do this, because I am sure of my reward.

I’m not saying these things are really pleasures, but I am saying that they
appear to be pleasures at times. I don’t need them – my reward is in
heaven.

The problem with the American way of life here is that they simply do not
like delayed gratification. They simply don’t want to be delayed and that
lack of delaying our reward, might be to our downfall. We don’t want to
tell ourselves NO. We don’t think we ought to have to tell ourselves NO.
Instead we say yes to nearly everything that comes around – food, clothes,
music, entertainment, friends, addictions, psychosis, etc. We do almost
everything possible to encourage no lack of rewards.

I think here in Hebrews 11, is a picture of what it means to live for
Christ. I think we have a picture of what it means and how it works. I
think the delay is simply saying – hang on, there is something much better
coming.

Those are good words for me when I’m tired and I want to revert back to my
addictions. Those are good words for me when I am struggling with sin.
Those are good words for me when I am discouraged and want to give up.
Those are good words for me when I feel like the wheels are all coming off –
I am looking ahead to my reward.

P: Lord, thank you that there is a reward coming. Thank you that there is a
reward coming that is truly much better than anything I could ask for or
imagine. Thank you for your faithfulness to bring about those rewards.

Lord, I pray that my family and I will choose YOUR reward and not the
world’s. I pray you will lift us up and get us going with you. I pray you
will guide us and keep us. I pray you will fill us. I pray you will change
us. I pray you will continue to encourage us to be the people who walk with
you. Delayed gratification is much more fulfilling, Lord, than buying and
getting everything right now.

I put myself in your hands. Remind me to be delayed, Lord, and remind me to
listen to you as I am delaying my gratification.

I turn myself over to you. I love you, Lord.

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