Sometimes I can get in my own way. It’s not intentional, it just happens. I get in my own way when I try to set up goals and deadlines that counteract with God’s timelines. When things don’t work out my way, I tend to feel down and bummed out. However it’s at those times when I remember who I can turn to. It’s in those times that I’m reminded of who’s actually in control of my life.
I write for God, not myself. I do things on His time, not on my own. He says when I’m ready to move onto the next level, not I. He orders my steps, it’s not the other way around. On my own, I can do nothing; but with God, I can do everything.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
It’s not always easy being patient and waiting. Faith can sometimes waver because it seems like God is taking too long. We know it’s worth it if we just keep the faith and believe it’ll happen, but being merely human doesn’t eliminate our constant, nagging need to check the time. It’s in this period of waiting that I’ve realized that it can be quite productive. Instead of checking life’s clock, it’s more productive to reflect on things like:
- How far have I come?
- What blessings has God already done for me?
- What am I doing right in my life?
- What areas do I need to improve on?
- What things can I change?
- Who needs to be in my life?
- Who needs to be removed from my life?
Reflections can be very conducive to the overall master plan. They help us refocus our goals, applaud ourselves for what we’ve already accomplished, see just how much God has already blessed us with, as well as re-evaluate if we have the right players on our team. There may be many things that we want to achieve and many goals that we wish to conquer, but we can’t rush the process. Just like love, things take time. We all have been through a lot and feel like we’re ready for the next level in life; however, God’s timing is not our timing. We may feel like we’re ready, but only God knows when we’re actually ready. In the meantime, we must have faith that all the things we want to happen will come to pass for the Bible says,
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT)
God knows all that I want to do, see and achieve. He knows these things not just because He’s almighty and powerful, but because I constantly write them down, speak them out loud, pray about them and put them into action.
“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.” (James 2:26 NLT)
Why is there so much pressure and emphasis on “us” doing it all and getting it all done by a certain timeframe or age? God didn’t design us to live that way. We are not meant to carry ALL of the weight by ourselves. We are not meant to be in complete control. None of us created the world around us; therefore, none of us are in sole control of our lives.
“By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” (Hebrews 11:3 NLT)
We can get so overwhelmed and caught up with timelines, deadlines and getting things done, that we forget that it’s not about us. Alone, we accomplish nothing but with God, we achieve everything. We can set up our own agendas, put together our own road maps for our lives, but nothing happens without God’s imprint. Society can try telling us what we should do with our lives, what career choice(s) we should pursue, when we should get married, when we should have children, etc.; yet again, nothing happens unless God says so. The Bible shows us that many great people rose up and conquered their dreams but it was only when God deemed it the right time for them to do so. It was by their faith that kept them going even when trials got tough and the deadlines they set for themselves had passed.
“It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.
It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying–“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith–for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.
It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.
It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.”
It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.
It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.
It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.
It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned.
It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.
It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets.
By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” (Hebrews 11:4-5, 7-9, 11, 17-18, 20-34, 39-40 NLT)
I’m learning to appreciate the setbacks. It’s okay to be delayed because God is paving the way to something bigger and better. Sometimes a delay can be a lifesaver. I’d rather spend my time delayed, patiently waiting on my breakthrough than to rush something that’s going to be my downfall. We may not be able to see the outcome while we wait, but God knows what’s to come for us all. We just have to keep the faith, hold tightly to what is true and stay focused on the prize (God’s Kingdom).
So my prayer this morning is that God gives each and every one of us the patience, courage and endurance we need to get through our delaying season. May His Holy strength seize us and fill us wholeheartedly with peace and joy. May we be filled with the Holy Spirit who guides us and keeps us focused on the endgame. May we all receive our just rewards as we continue to walk by faith. In Jesus name I pray all these things be counted done, to God be the glory, Amen.
Sincerely with love,
Travel photography by IG user: @lovegreatbritain , @photosofbritain