By Matt McMillian, used with permission
…God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.
After Pharaoh released the slaves, God had a promised land for them to inhabit and to flourish as a people. However, God knew they wouldn’t be able to take the land away from those who currently occupied it–that is, immediately. Most of them still had a slave mentality and needed to first have their thinking changed.
Although they could have possessed the promised land sooner, it took forty years before they finally did. God’s timing wasn’t forty years, Israel’s was because they kept hesitating. But God’s timing wasn’t immediate either. His timing was perfect.
We all have hopes and dreams, we have God-given desires in our hearts in which we are driven to accomplish. Sometimes the enemy talks us out of them, and other times it’s people and even our own stinking thinking. But just because our aspirations don’t come to life instantly, that does not mean they go away!
To be clear, there is no pressure on us. I’m not referring to salvation, but instead, human ambition. Our hearts are complete in Christ, but the other endeavors we long to come to fruition on a daily basis, we want to hurry up and happen already! God, however, is in no rush. To Him, time does not exist. One day is the same as a thousand years (see 2 Peter 3:8). So what we think is taking forever, He does not.
God also doesn’t allow us to see the exact timing of His plan for our goals. God is not against our ambitions, He is the one who gave us the drive for them! His Spirit combined with ours has caused us to want what He wants, and vice versa! (See Psalm 37:4, 1 Corinthians 2:16).
That thing, that idea, that goal–He knows very well your eagerness and desire about it! Frustrating as it may be, not knowing how God will allow our passions to play out can become intense in our minds. His Holy Spirit wants us to stay driven, but to do it properly. First of all, with love. Love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves. If we have goals that cause us to not love, then we need to re-evaluate those goals.
The Spirit of God who inhabits us woos us to be motivated lovingly, peacefully, joyously, patiently, and under control. So when uncontrollable people and circumstances head our way, He speaks to us gently about those situations and people.
When we stop squirming, be still, and listen, sleepless nights turn into deep-sleep nights. Restlessness, fear, and anxiety, turns into a sense of strength and calmness. When we know that God is well aware of all our situations on a deeper level than even we’re aware of them, solace comes to a troubled mind.
Friend, please be sure to realize one thing: the enemy will attempt to use our mistakes against us. He’ll spout off, “Just look at how bad you screwed up today! It’s no wonder God isn’t answering your prayers!”
But our loving Heavenly Father will quickly rebuttal him, “My child, the more mistakes you make the deeper my love for you goes. Don’t listen to those lies, my grace is infinite.”
Vulnerability is not something that comes easily to most, but it’s essential to trusting God’s timing. When we think things should be changing a lot faster–even to the point of us stepping in to do God’s job–humility will always lead us back into His loving arms. Not that we’ve left Him or that He’s left us–we are one. But by way of allowing Him to embrace us in our deep times of pain–as we wait–we soon realize the unconditional love of the Father.
We get to swim in the ocean of His grace. We get to hear the whispers, “I’m here.”
Like a loving parent with a baby who wants to run like the wind, yet cannot even stand, God knows what we are capable of in each stage of our lives. He protects us as we grow through His timing. He disciples us. He trains us. He hones our individual skills, gifts, and talents by way of one word… “Wait.”
He’s talking to you, too. He’s saying, “Trust me. Wait.”
So today, my friends, know this: Wait confidently! No matter how long it takes, wait for God’s perfect timing with faith! Wait and know that He loves you more than your human mind can compute! Wait and know that He is in complete control and you are His child!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, as I look back over the years of my life, at all of the different times of waiting, I can see that you were helping me grow into my true self–and you still are. When I thought my waiting was going to be the end of me, I can now see you were working everything out for a greater good! Thank you for teaching me how to wait! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of them are tired, Dad. So many have been waiting a very long time for their goals to come to life. Reassure them today of who you are! The Great I Am! Alpha and Omega! God Almighty! Our Dad! Teach them how to trust you during their waiting periods! Teach them how to go deeper into your grace, and to GIVE this grace away to others! Help them to stay focused on the truth of their identity in Christ, as well as the bigger picture, eternity. This trip to planet earth is so short! You are currently preparing us for a life in heaven which we cannot comprehend! We trust your timing! We trust you, completely. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 3. Get your copy here!