I feel restless. I'm a go and a doer, and I am happiest when I am making things happen. But I feel like I'm in a season of waiting for that next thing. I am tempted to be jealous about seeing others start and go after their dreams. But in my soul I feel God telling me that he needs more time with me first before my next assignment. So I'm trying to be OK with that and enjoy it.
So far in the waiting, it's been emotional for me, because it's been quiet, and in the quiet he has been teaching me things about myself that I don't love. Like that I am arrogant and that I derailed some of the other dreams, for the time being, because I had a desire to prosper over God's glory. The most dangerous part of it was that it didn't look that way on the outside. To other people it looked like a massive step in faith. Has it always been that way? No. I initially moved forward in things with a sincere and pure heart. But where I fell is in spiritual maturity. Because with spiritual maturity comes the ability to recognize when Satan is tempting us outside of God's will. For a really normal Christian woman, that is not going to be something outrageous. For me it doesn't look like drugs or alcohol or anything out of my character. Satan is smarter than that and he wanted it to slip under the radar. So Instead he tried to take something, like the desire to make a name and a living, to distract me from building the name of my father.
Coming to this realization and sharing it is humbling. Not in a sweet "oh this old thing?!" kind of way, but in a painful and dramatic "why are you stripping this out of my life, God! I thought I was doing it for you!" kind of way.
And in all sincerity I have always believes that I work towards things for the Lord. But, I also believe that every big thing I've ever done for God publicly has been distorted and damaged along the way (by the enemy) to profit myself with praise. I believe that was an easy entry point for Satan because of my past, upbringing, and my personality. Because of my desire for praise, I was a shiny new target that he hit the bull's-eye on.
"If we don't die daily to need of personal praise, it will be the slow killing of our calling." - Beth Moore
My past has taught me how to fight. Survive and protect. This can also be known as learned behaviors in personal, emotional survival mode. Survival is good. We all want to make it out of every day alive (hello toddlerhood), but is it worth costing us reliance on our God? Where this hurts my journey to fulfilling purpose is when I begin to see things slow down, I rev up. When things get quiet, I make noise. When things are calm, I run to the next logical thing I see, even if it's not God. Satan knows that. He knows me. He knows my past. My tendencies. My flaws and weaknesses. He knows me – but he doesn't get me.
When God says wait he doesn't dangle the next step in front of us, instead he says – be faithful. God needs more time with me. Just me. Not me and a shiny desire that excites and distracts me from him. He needs my heart fully and deeply connected with him before he can trust me with alife-changing gift. He needs me to be excited about him, his word, his love. That has to be my prize.
So, my waiting is my training. It's my core training.
I'm love God so much – for so many reasons, but specifically because of how he has weaved our faith journeys into simple every day lessons like this one... Our bodies we can train, we can put in the hours and we can lift weights. We can run until our legs fall off. But if we don't build our strength from our core to our outward extremities, we can only go so far. So when we think about our next big thing and we get discouraged with the wait, we have to remember that we are in training. The longer we are trained the greater the dream, the greater the glory for God, the greater the impact, the greater the responsibility, and the stronger we will be. And we have got to be ready for that or we, like me, derail it before we can even see the fruit from it.
In these times of waiting we can not shrink back our zeal for the Lord. We could be one prayer, one hour, one minute away from our father showing up in revealing the next thing.
My dream gets derailed when I replace my faith with busywork. When I stop looking up and I look around.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.
These verses are humbling to me because the land of promise is almost always a lot less glamorous then we think or hope it will be. Sometimes I think we don't even know we are in our own land of promise because we are looking or scrolling around, and while we are in tents like Abraham, others are in beach houses, nice new cars, and are living perfectly successful and beautiful lives.
Ifeel convicted in this. For me I've had to guard myself by deleting social media apps on my phone, but there's more to this...
What if I run past my land of promise because I am chasing what I think is my inheritance?
What if I miss this? What if I miss a deeply connected relationship with the only man who can fulfill every need I've ever had? Because I'm too antsy, motivated, or arrogant in thinking I know best.
Waiting is sometimes annoying, oh yes it is! Can I get an AMEN! But when we continue to run to the next thing I think we are missing the biggest gift of all.
By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.
If we don't build our faith in this wait, if we don't strengthen our core with a beautifully deep connection with Christ, then when it's time to cross our own red sea road, we will drown in the deepest waters because our faith wasn't strong enough.
We want so badly for our land of promise to be pretty and easy. We want to eat oreos and not gain weight (real life confession). We want to buy nice things and not go broke (also a real life confession). We want to binge watch Netflix instead of studying God's word, and not go spiritually bankrupt and feel disconnected from our Savior when we need him most. We want to get what we want and what we think we need, and God not challenge that plan. I mean is that not too much to ask!? Isn't life hard enough?
I am tempted with these thoughts daily. I have chosen Oreos, spending money, Netflix, and MY WAY. But they're like paid best friends... They aren't your friends at all. They turn their back on you in an instant. Even if you sell you soul to them, they can't provide you with the abundance that God is waiting to give you.
James 1:17-18 (NLT)
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
Waiting won't look glamorous, and it will be imperfect. In the meantime get in good with the one who holds all the riches, and you might just find a love so deep with your father that it will make the wait seem more like a gift then a grievance.
My hope is built on nothing less, and I am counting on it.