In last weeks post, I was brutally honest about the things that are occurring in my life; as you probably know my life has been a tiring trek through highs and lows since the end of September and I think it is solely because my future is truly unknown. I am a senior in high school and within a year I will be sitting in a college classroom, listening to a professor lecture and taking notes until my hand falls off. And while I cannot wait for these days beyond my high school and home, the issues for me are this: I don’t know the college I will be attending, I don’t know the professor, and I don’t know the plan.
This is a problem because I’m a planner. I love knowing the in’s and out’s of my day. Sometimes, you can find me being spontaneous, but I prefer to know the plan exactly. As you can probably guess, this is where I encounter the most issues in my faith. When I do not feel like I know the plan, I grow irritated, and I long more than anything to hear God’s voice, because when I know the direction He intends for me to move in, I feel comfort. However, I really have found that God does not always work this way. This lesson has really been solidified for me throughout the first half of this year. I have gotten horrible with waiting on God. I want to move without Him, but we are not supposed to do this.
So, what am I to do?
Well, I thought it would be useful to share the things I have learned through my walk with God recently in regards to moving in His direction; this post is a build up of last weeks, as a side note.
I have learned that God isn’t a On Demand kind of God.
He also isn’t of this world. For many of us, we have whatever we want, whenever we want. We are so used to things being 100% accessible, 100% of the time.
And this is a detrimental mindset to have in our walk with the Lord.
I am so guilty of this, guys. I think, “God… haven’t I been waiting long enough for this answer?” “God, I am growing so weary and I want my answer right now.” It doesn’t work like that. We can’t expect God to speak when we want Him to and to stand by when we don’t. We can’t expect God to act like an American, giving us everything we could desire whenever we desire it. Learning this lesson has truly shook my foundation and He constantly reminds me of this every single day. If I had it my way, at the beginning of September I would have been accepted into my dream school without any waiting, tears, stress, or doubt. But in these moments, God truly tested me. I am still waiting to hear back from many colleges and while I have not gotten accepted into my dream school just yet, I was accepted to Berry College on Monday evening. This was so unexpected and when I received the letter I did not have any words to speak.
At the beginning of the school year in August, I was reading 1 Peter because it caught my attention and there is a verse here which I found very awe-inspiring. He writes this letter to encourage individuals to persevere through trials and tribulations, even though they are being persecuted for their beliefs. In 1 Peter 4:12-19, he writes…
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process with glory just around the corner… So, if you find life difficult because you are doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust Him. He knows what He’s doing and he’ll keep on doing it.
1 Peter 4:12-19 (MSG)
Peter is essentially saying that even when we are in darkness that reveals no sign of light, we have to remain hopeful. We have to remember that through trials, our faith is being tested, and we are becoming more like Christ.
Through finding this verse and God testing me, He has proven that you reap what you sow when you wait on Him. And I have found that waiting on God looks like this...
Being ready for God and all he has in store is kinda like a phone booth. You enter the booth, willingly, because well, you know you have to make the call to Him eventually and you hope maybe it will lead you somewhere amazing. So, you put the change in the slot. You paid your price. The price? You decided to follow Him. You left your entire life behind to pursue him. You left your past self, ideas, desires, dreams, thoughts, and identity to seek something greater, beyond yourself.
You dial the number, halfway hoping to reach something. “Maybe God will pick up… I don’t know. Do I really want Him to?” Doubt overflows. You are thinking about all that could go wrong. You are thinking He doesn’t love you. You can't stand the idea of being open and honest before Him. You're worried about His plan for your life. You don't really want to do this… stand in this phone booth and speak to the Creator of the Universe. You don't feel equipped for anything He has chosen you to do.
It rings a little longer. You wait. A little longer, now. Longer… And then the line cuts off. You can't reach him. It beeps. Says, "we're sorry. The call you are trying to make cannot be connected. Please try again later."
That's what kept your call from reaching God.
Maybe it's fear. Maybe it's anxiety. Maybe it's unhappiness, regret, depression, resent, someone else holding you back, or shame, but whatever it may be, why do we let interference keep us from being ready when God calls and says, "move?" Why do we let things that shouldn’t keep us from God’s choice for our lives, keep us from His choice for our lives? He's on the line. He's called you and he's waiting for you to press "accept." He’s waiting for you. And if you don't accept this call, He is just going to call another phone booth, hoping for an answer from somebody who is willing to answer. Harsh isn't it? No. It isn't. God just wants available people. You don't have to be perfect to do his will. So, what do you need to do? Don't let your past anything keep you from accepting His call, His purpose, or His plan. Learn to be available and don't rely on your ability. Say yes. Press accept. Take God's call. Lean into Him and cast all that baggage aside, because you don’t need it anymore. You are redeemed by His grace. Don’t waste it; lean into His promise and surrender your baggage to Him. Accept an interference free call. Because you'll be amazed at what a "yes" to God saying "move" will do in your life.
Humans. Are we naturally compassionate or selfish? Arguably, we are selfish and have thrived in a society of "me, me, me," for generations; the narcissism never seems to end. But, is this behavior really behavior helping us thrive spiritually? Is this the way God desires for us as a Church to live, always wrapped up in ourselves? If you open His word, there you find an answer to this question and I discuss it in this weeks post.
In faith, we get to feeling stuck in the rut, feeling distant, feeling as though God is stagnant or absent, and being unsure of what to do next. This obvious silence and distance is often what turns people from Jesus, but we must persevere and remember that we live on God’s timing in God’s world.