The Dangers of Instant Gratification

Carter Conlon

George Müller (1805-1898) was an evangelist and the director of an orphanage in England. He was a man of great faith and when asked how he could accomplish so much with so few resources, he replied, “Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.”

Our society is obsessed with instant gratification. We do not want to wait for anything, and many Americans find themselves in debt because they think they need the latest car, house, gadget — right now! This has created a generation that is immature, rebellious and feeling entitled to just about everything — without working hard to gain what they need or want. But instant gratification is not in God’s dictionary because it does not produce faith and trust in him. In fact, it doesn’t produce anything of spiritual worth, nor does it produce godly character.

The prophet Isaiah said, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). He will answer our prayers, but in his perfect timing and in his perfect way. Waiting is not easy but God tells us to be persistent in our prayers, believing that he will indeed answer at just the right time.

Maybe you are tired of waiting for God to answer your prayers and beginning to lose heart. Jesus tells a parable about a widow who repeatedly came to a judge looking for justice from those who had come against her. Finally, the judge said, “Because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me” (Luke 18:5). Then Jesus said, “Just as this ungodly human judge granted the request of a persistent widow, how much more will God answer you (and fight for you) if you call out to him” (see 18:7).

God does not ignore our pleas. His character is love, so in all ways he does what is in our best interest even though we might not see the answer right away with our natural eye. God has decreed that your prayer will be answered, so trust in his Word while you pray in faith!

Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. In May of 2020 he transitioned into a continuing role as General Overseer of Times Square Church, Inc.