Most of us have probably realized at some point in our walk with Christ, that His ways are not our ways. And that God’s perfect timing can often equal a really long wait for us.
The Bible says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day (2 Peter 3:8-9). God has set plans in motion from before the beginning of time. He is patient and not willing to let anyone be lost. As He weaves his plan throughout the generations, we get to become one of the threads that will make a beautiful tapestry symbolizing his amazing will.
The only question now is are we patient enough to wait on God’s timing?
There have been many times in my life when my actions clearly showed my impatience and unwillingness to wait. Even though I wanted to do God’s will, I wanted to push through and make it happen. Isn’t that what we are told to do? Just do it! Make it happen! The Bible takes a different look at this. It doesn’t say to do nothing or to sit idly by, but it does clearly show that God oftentimes provides transitional times in our lives where He is preparing us for how He will use us.
Years upon years ago, I read a book by Dannah Gresh that challenged me in a way I had never thought to pray before. She referenced that many times God puts something on our hearts to do. He wants us to do it, but we need to ask WHEN He wants us to do it. What is your timing, Lord? Is it now? Is it later? How do I need to work toward this? I had never thought about asking the when before formulating a full game plan on how to achieve it. I just did it! That was my mentality.
But again, as I’ve studied my Bible over the years, I’ve noticed how often God calls someone to something and then prepares them for it before they get to that spot.
Joseph is a perfect example.
God told him through a dream that he would rule over his brothers and parents. Yet it was about twelve years later that the dream finally became a reality. In the meantime, he learned how to serve others, stay faithful in all circumstances, glorify God in the midst of trials, and become a humble servant of the Lord.
David’s wait to rule.
David was literally crowned king but then had to go into hiding and run for his life until God removed Saul from power. He learned utter dependence on God and how to trust God in all circumstances. Most importantly, in my mind, David learned that God’s authority trumped the authority God gave him. When he had the chance to kill Saul (who was trying to kill him), he refused and let God’s timing prevail. He knew it was not his place to overthrow one whom God had put in that position.
The deliverer first had to be delivered.
Moses knew his calling was to deliver God’s people from Egyptian slavery, but God had to refine him first. Forty years after Moses initially tried to help his brothers God finally called him again.
So often Jesus referenced “his time.” He knew God had set a time and a place for him to begin and end his ministry. From birth to the age of thirty, Jesus was being prepped and primed but so were those around him. Reading closely through all these stories and every other story in the Bible, we see a constant theme…God is priming all our hearts to be ready for His timing.
So what do we do while we wait?
Are you in a priming stage right now? You may be wondering what you should do while you wait.
Don’t grow weary or tired!
We are called to be molded and humbled so that we can truly be useful to the Lord.
Pray about His timing!
We should pray about more than just opening or closing a door. Pray that you will be ready for God to call you into action.
Be in God’s word!
We don’t want to miss our calling or confuse it with something outside of God’s will. Staying in the Word gives us clarity and helps us to correctly discern the Holy Spirit’s calling. The Bible says to test the spirits. Why else would it say that except for the fact that the devil will try and deceive us to keep us from God’s will? He will not make it easy for us and will sometimes even put a “knife” in our hands like he did David and make us think that God has provided an opportunity that in reality God would never want us to take. The devil’s tricky but staying in the Word will keep us from being deceived.
We must humble ourselves before the Lord. Just because God gives us a calling does not mean we have the right to bulldoze others to get it accomplished. God’s will is to bring as many people to Him as possible. Will people be repelled by some of what we do? Probably. They were repelled by Jesus and so we can expect that ourselves too. Not everyone wants to believe that God’s way is better than theirs. However, there is a difference between leaving a wake of dead souls in our path when trying to accomplish a goal and taking care of the souls that God sends us to shepherd.
Lean in and hold on!
If you are in a time of refining and waiting right now, lean in and hold on. Trust that God is preparing you and when it’s time to go you will know, because God won’t let you continue waiting any more. You will be pushed out of that waiting comfort zone and into an adventure He has called you to.
Waiting does not mean idleness! Wherever we are or in whatever life stage we are in, we are called to serve God. Just like Joseph was faithful during all his years of slavery and those around Him saw something different in him, we are called to act and serve even while we are waiting so that all we come in contact with may also come in contact with our Lord and Savior.
Lord, we thank you for using us as part of your plan. We pray for patience, wisdom, discernment, and courage as we wait on you while you are molding our hearts to better serve you. We thank you for loving each person so much that you do not want anyone left behind. You are patient and loving; we pray for the same in our lives. Help us to lean into you even when we don’t understand what we are going through. Help us to trust you when our lives are difficult and nothing seems to be working out right.
We trust that you will redeem all those difficult moments in our lives for your good and precious will. May our hearts be humble before you so that we can serve you well. In the One who was the ultimate example of a humbling servant and waited until the exact right time to come to earth to do your will – Amen!