Isn’t it interesting how at one point in our life we can be so passionate about the promises of God, and at other points its all we can do to muster up any feeling at all?
As a fresh college Junior I was just getting to know this “new” person, the Holy Spirit. My main thoughts in this season were, “Whaat?! What have I been doing with my life until this point?!” He became real to me in a way that I never knew I needed. I had a box for God and Jesus and God fit in real nice and oh ya, this nebulous “Holy Spirit” existed too.
I really started to see the full life that can be had in Jesus. I was fresh. Freshly awakened to his goodness, freshly inspired by the many possibilities that now were open to me in God, freshly passionate about all things pertaining to him.
I wanted all the promises and God of course gave them to me. I’m sure he was way more excited to finally have me more than I was, he had of course been waiting my whole life for this moment where I could know him more intimately.
That’s it right? You have the promises and then BAMB! Things are done. You have arrived. You’re fully complete.
This is when I am so thankful for the grace and patience of God. That mindset is simply indicative of being young. You aren’t tried yet. You haven’t gone through the hard situations to show you how much growth you need. Your foundations haven’t been tested.
When we are in God’s timeline of growth, there is a clear process for the promises he has given us.
Some think that just because they don’t see something happening, it means it wasn’t true. That they may have gotten it wrong, therefore making the promises given them null and void.
This is not the case friends. There are just seasons where God is making us into the people to claim the promises he has given us.
I would venture to say this happens in seasons of waiting.
So often when we are in seasons of waiting we don’t see much of anything happen. Many (*cough* me) encounter periods of “dry-ness” and get even more discouraged. A few months turn into a few years and you’re left with not much of anything outwardly to show for your work.
We start to question things that we used to truly know were true – “Did God really say that?”, “Maybe I’m not supposed to do this..”
My church community is talking about building your root systems in God right now and it’s so true. In these seasons of waiting, you’re not going to see much of anything outwardly. You will be sometimes doing things over and over again, going through the motions essentially with seemingly no forward movement.
You end up feeling like, “Is anything I’m doing matter?” or my personal favorite, “What am I doing with my life?” Despair and hopelessness can become quick friends.
Want to know the problem here friends? No one taught us that truly going deep with God looks like refinement FIRST and fulfilled promises SECOND.
Guys. We saw huge Christian leaders make it big and then what happened? A lot of them crumpled under the weight of their “fame and glory.” Why? Because they didn’t have a strong foundation, a strong character to pull them through.
They skipped the process.
What process is that? The process of waiting.
While we wait, God does some pretty incredible things in our hearts.
Many times, God gives us vision for our lives, aka, promises. We get excited, say, “YES!” and then get confused as to why it doesn’t happen right away.
God isn’t going to set you up for failure. He wants you to succeed more than you do. Like a good father, he is going to lead you through necessary life experiences for you to grow.
He’s going to allow you to be stripped down so that you can see that there were some not so good things living in your heart. Things like pride and selfishness. Things that are unhealthy. Ways of seeing the world that are faulty. He’s going to get rid of all those things so that you can be built up stronger once those things are gone.
When you go through your day doing mundane things over and over again, God is asking the question, “Will you do ALL things as if you were doing them for me?”, “Will you be faithful in the little?”, “Will you submit to my process?” Make no mistake, he will humble you. You are not as important as you think you are. You don’t know as much as you think you do.
It’s all about establishing God as the king of our hearts and dethroning ourselves.
Waiting can drag on, it gets old real quick. It can look like nothing is happening. Our weak hearts can feel forgotten. Life can very well feel meaningless.
It’s not meaningless though friends. God is allowing your roots to truly go deep in him in this process.
He’s giving us an opportunity to answer these questions, “Will you glorify me in all you do?”, “Will you stay if I ask you to stay?”, “Will you be faithful with this seemingly insignificant assignment I’ve given you simply because it’s what I want of you?”, “Will you trust me even though you don’t understand?”Then, once we finally catch on that we aren’t forgotten, that this really is for our good; once we see that God has a purpose in every season and place we are in, we can realize that he knows better. We can lead our hearts to trust him. To trust his timing, his process, and his wisdom.
We learn to be submitted. We learn to be faithful. We learn that we really can do things even when we don’t feel like it.
Then, sometimes surprisingly so, (or in my case, crazy fast and unexpectedly out of the blue) he suddenly lets us move forward.
Dormant vision, forgotten dreams, dusty desires left on the shelf are resurrected and he says, “Well done good and faithful servant. Now you’re ready to move forward.”
Now when he gives us all the things, we can put them in their proper place and perspective. We know that it all pales in comparison to belonging to God. Those things are good, but having God in my life is the real prize.
Make no mistake, growing experiences are still in your future. The difference now though, God is leading the show and not you.
Submit to the process, it’s a good one.