Unfortunately, one of my life’s mottos is "Ready, FIRE, Aim." I don't like to wait. I'm guessing, neither do you. This is proven by my ninja like grocery store checkout system. I won the Bronze metal in this event back in the day. Get your items. Make careful observation of the various the checker-outers. Make mental notes of their speed, accuracy, posture and competency. Scope the competition to see if grandma has her fanny pack full of coupons. Skip her line. Chose correctly. Complement the checker-outer on their mad skills PRIOR to them scanning even one item. This is key. It builds confidence and turns them from good to great. Assist with the bagging. Pay. Head to car while looking over my shoulder at the other pitiful folks still in line.
Trust me, my counselor says that I've come it a long ways :-)
Waiting in line is one thing.
Waiting in life is another.
Are You Enrolled In The School of Delay?
The school of Delay. Ugg. Even typing that is difficult. But this is God's plan. This has always been God's plan. Although the dream is real. It is not real IN US yet. That is when God enrolls our names into His famous school. It is in this school where our patience is tested and our perseverance is maxed. Our Heavenly schoolmaster registers us into classes like Loneliness 101, Failure 201, Frustration 301 and Benchwarming 401. God does not do this out of hate. Quite the opposite. His motive is maturity. His method is Delay.
When I first became a Christ follower at the age of 16, I started reading the daily devotional called My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. This is one of the most powerful ways to start your day. Out of all of the daily gems in that book, one diamond stands out to me among the rest. As a young high school jock, this was the catalysts that helped me gain a perspective of God's lifelong vision for my life. This devotional came at perfect timing amidst a summer of frustration. I needed clarity. I needed a dose of reality. This message was just for me, springing forth on July 6th. I pray that you will have a “July 6th” moment today! Here it is...
“Vision and Reality”
"And the parched ground shall become a pool." Isaiah 35:7
“We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.
"Life is not as idle ore, But iron dug from central gloom, And batter'd by the shocks of doom To shape and use."
God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.
The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don't lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.”
You might need to print this off and read it everyday like I did. You can do that here. You might be in the “valley of humiliation” today. This is where you have tried something and failed. You feel the weight of people’s scorn as they try to associate you with a project that didn’t go well or an attempt that wasn’t that great. However, you have translated their association with a “project” for your “person.” You think that YOU’RE a failure because something that you did might have failed. Stop that thinking right now. YOU are NOT a failure. Yes, a project or ministry or book or job might have failed. Heck, it might have been a glorious failure! But that doesn’t make YOU a failure. God might have needed to take you through the valley of humiliation to teach you this one lesson in his school of Delay.
You might be going through the “fires and floods” that are “battering you into shape.” Although you feel like a whipping boy tossed around in some cosmic chess game, you must realize that God’s putting you through these fires and floods for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Like the child who sat on the floor looking up at his mothers cross stitching thinking it was an absolute mess, it wasn’t until he got up and saw from her view that it made sense. We are that child. We look up to the heavens and we wonder why our lives are in such a mess. The tapestry of life is everywhere and it makes no sense. From our perspective, our Heavenly Father is nuts. However, from His perspective, He is working everything out according to His perfect plan. I’ve heard it said, “When you can’t trace the hand of God, you can trust the heart of God.” Are you going to trust Him when you are in the fires and floods?
Have you “escaped from His hand” are are trying to “batter yourself into your own shape?” Many of us do that, don’t we? We think that our way is better. Our way is faster. We don’t need to wait. We justify our “Ready, FIRE, aim” actions with excuses like “I don’t have time to wait!” “If I don’t do this NOW, then it won’t get done!” “I know that I’m not ready yet, but I’ll learn as I go!”
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