May 24, 2010

Thinking Ahead

Well, I am starting to think ahead, and am planning out the next few weeks (Lord willing!) I have been in the wait-and-see mode for the past several months, and finally have made the move forward, into the "action" phase of God's plan. I had been misled into thinking that waiting was normal, that waiting was what I was to do. Yes and no. I mean, while this is typically a good thing to do, sometimes we can wait when the Lord has clearly said to go. We think we must wait until all the little 'ducks are in their rows.' Sometimes, though, the little guys just waddle in and out, and waiting for them to line up might waste precious time. Sometimes the Lord sends us packing, even without all the ducks lined up. He knows how to get them in order, in their places -- and needs us to move on down that road -- while He does what only He can do.

This is where I have been, misled into believing that I had to wait for everything to come to pass BEFORE I could start walking. Some how walking out ahead was like "walking ahead of God." Really, this was not the case at all, because even in the Bible, Jesus often sent His disciples out ahead of Him. Often this was to test their loyalty, their willingness to go and do what He asked of them. Mostly, it was so that they could experience His Power at work through them, without Him being present all the time. It was sort of like when Mom sends you to the store for the first time. She already has planned the trip out, but gives you a bit of leeway so you can test out your wings. God does this too, especially when He is getting ready to send His servants out on a mission. He prepares them, educates them, empowers them, and then sends them out on small little journeys so they can get their feet wet, and learn to trust and rely on Him, even when He is not physically with them. Though in our case, we are blessed because we have the Holy Spirit of God always with us -- we are never really alone.

However, sometimes we get our signals mixed or through fear/doubt, we sit on the sidelines long after the coach has "sent us into the game." That was me for a long while. I was waiting for the "go" when I had already received it. I just thought I needed to wait until everything was set. I was mistaken, because once I stepped out and started walking, it was like everything I was waiting for started to fall into place. I think this is what is means when we say "faith without works is dead." In some ways, our faith is dead if we don't put it into action and start using it. I mean, we can believe all we want to, but unless we demonstrate what we believe, we really cannot be empowered to do good work. Why would we need empowerment if we are always going to stay parked in the garage? Think of this way: you have a fine car and keep it locked up in storage. You look at it, wash and care for it, but you never put any gas into it because you don't intend to drive it. Why keep it? It is just a big piece of metal, pretty yes; but, useless unless you actually get in it and drive.

It is new knowledge for today, at the least for me. I realize that God expects me to use the gifts He has blessed me with, and I am supposed to get them out of storage and put them into work. If I simply keep them locked up, then I am no better than that person who keeps their perfectly good car locked in their garage.

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