If God is preparing you for something big on the outside, you can count on the fact that it is likely He is going to do a bigger work on the inside. If this is not your first rodeo, you can feel free to wipe your sweaty palms before continuing and maybe just take a big inhale and exhale. God sized plans, involve God sized faith and prepares you for God sized work. The endurance in this process is not comfortable.
I think anyone who identifies themselves as a Christian can attest to the fact that Christianity is anything but comfortable. We were born for the discomfort.
So often I have spoken with friends, or even acquaintances, and one of the common questions I have been asked is, “Why isn’t God answering me? I am willing to do anything He is asking me to do and I still do not have any answers…” One of my first responses is is, “Oh my word- BEEN THERE!” Then I pray into whatever conversation or time I have with this person, and let the LORD do the rest. If there is one thing I have noticed though, it is that as soon as we start visiting scripture we are brought to a place that involves waiting. That the most beautiful love story ever written is one that is woven together with story after story, and testimony after testimony of waiting. Waiting patiently on the LORD. Just for a refresher: Abraham waited 25 years, Moses waited 40 years, Jesus himself waited 30 years… and yet here we stand in a posture of having a prayer not being answered immediately, and being called to patience as the equivalent of being given a punishment and hearing a cuss word. (Guilty. I definitely had patience, waiting and endurance on my curse word list for an embarrassingly long time.)
In all of the years prior to these ‘breakthroughs’ God provided for each of the above mentioned biblical characters- God was working. In their waiting; He was working. He was working on their character development, refinement of their hearts, allowing them to learn and practice endurance. God was working on showing them surrendering their will, for His will. He was revealing more of who He was to them as they learned to reposition themselves to a place of true surrender. I do not know if you can relate to this, but I know that it can be much easier to praise God when all is well, but when I feel God is silent all of the sudden the temptation to fear, doubt and worry come parading in like a three man band. When He is not speaking to me on MY terms. When He is not immediately answering MY questions.
The longer I walk with Jesus, I have learned that I am notorious for putting periods where God wanted a comma.
I will be eager to continue writing a story that he already wrote a conclusion for. Times when I have taken God’s plans and set them aside for my own initiative. I have fooled myself far too many times into believing that as long as I said that I was doing such things in the name of God, that it justified the disobedience. As He reveals to me time and time again, there is only one invitation on the table: that is me to surrender my own will to participate in what He is already doing.
Another temptation I have fallen victim to is believing the lies about my identity. We all have those labels, lingering past mistakes or pieces of brokenness within us that make us feel unworthy or incapable. The pieces that we try and ‘hide from God’ because those are our unusable parts. Others are more external. The sea of critics that just wait and watch for you to stumble, are waiting to catch your towel when you are ready to throw it in, for your boat to capsize. We have the doubters and the naysayers. Those who do not understand what it means to live the life you are pursuing. (Insert: may we be faithful in prayer for all of our brothers and sisters; and those who have yet to be reached by the God who saves, heals, restores and redeems!) Regardless, they surround us. All of the time. It is when we need to check our foundation: have you been building on rock or sand? If your answer is sand, or that you truly do not know what your identity in Christ looks like I would encourage you to stop right now; and grab your bible. Learn, first hand, who God says you are. Not what you ‘will be’ or what you ‘could have been.’ Rather who you ARE. Without this understanding you will be paralyzed in your growth.
I encourage you that to step into the full light of Gods plan for you. You have to be so deeply rooted in the Word to be able to understand what the truth is about you. The truth about who you are. If you do not know who you are, who you REALLY are, you will absolutely fall prey to the deceit that the enemy is planting in, through and all around you- seeds of lies. You will start to doubt what you are waiting for. You will begin to doubt that you are loved, that your life is a beautiful story, that His purposes for you are far greater than you could ever imagine. As you learn more about who you are to God, He will systematically reveal to you more about who He is.
In the waiting we will be tempted to start putting periods where God intended to place commas. We are fooled into thinking all has been said, and there is nothing left. Oh let me tell you friends; there is SO much more in store!! So as you read this, my heart cry is that you would ask the LORD to reveal to you any places you may have placed a period where God wanted a comma. Where you have traded endurance and patience for a deceptively comfortable alternative. I promise you, He is waiting. So put your pencil and punctuation down, and allow Him to read to you the most beautiful story that has already been written; your story.