I have a very dear friend who has a very similar walk with Christ as I do. I had the pleasure of spending several, long overdue hours with her a few months ago. As we speedily shared our journeys to catch up with each other, she said something that really stuck with me regarding delays in “our” timing of promised breakthroughs when we have to rely on others doing their part. She jokingly said the problem is that they obviously didn’t get the memo.
As I’ve shared before, my family has been holding firmly to the hope we confessed as we trust God to do what He promised (Hebrews 10:23). It has not been easy by any means. The journey has been long and the path full of obstacles causing us to wonder often if we heard God correctly as our promises seemed to constantly elude us.
We’ve finally gotten closer to our promised breakthrough in a few areas, but it hasn’t manifested in full effect yet. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel as my hope rises. But as another delay in each area came over the last two months, I got discouraged and found myself grumbling. I remember complaining to God that it would be great if we could just count on Him only. But since we are here in this world to be in communion with each other, to influence each other’s environments in positive ways, to advance His kingdom, He gently reminded me that He was working out the details in each person involved in His plan. Like a child, I complained again and questioned Abba Father, “well, what if the people involved aren’t seeking You and therefore causing a delay for us?” And with that, He sweetly reminded me to focus on what I was called to do.
And then He whispered,“Don’t be the delay for someone else.” Ouch!
My mind immediately started going through a checklist. And the first thing that came to my mind was the repeated reminders that it was time to move forward towards the goal He set before me, not looking back but focusing on the new thing. For the last 2 or 3 months, I kept getting notifications of new views and new previews of my Good Steward Sisters Facebook page. In the past, I took these notifications, as His gentle reminders that I needed to blog and get out His next message. With my family going through big transitions in several areas and being under constant attacks from the enemy, I never focused on these reminders…His reminders.
I finally became aware through His warning that my procrastination in shutting down Good Steward Sisters to operate only through Reigning Son Ministries, could have possibly caused a delay for someone else. That of course was not my intention, but I was made aware that all this while, my focus was on me and our circumstances, instead of looking up to the One who knows the bigger picture and is causing everything to work for good (Romans 8:28). I also realized that if I didn’t obey God’s calling, than God would ask someone else to do what He intended for me to do. And the thought of that made me sick to my stomach.
You see, I never want to stand before God one day and hear about all what could have happened IF I followed through with what He entrusted me to use.
This reminds me of “The Parable of the Talents” in Matthew 25. To summarize: A master went on a journey and entrusted his possessions to his servants. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, “each according to his own ability”. They were given something because they had the capability to use it. Immediately the one who had received the five talents invested them, and gained five more talents…the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But the one who received the one, dug a hole in the ground and buried his talent.
When the master returned, he called his servants to give account of what they did with what they were given. He was well pleased with the one given 5 talents and the one given 2 talents, as they doubled their investment for the master. But the one who buried his talent tried to give an excuse to his master and was rebuked for it.
“Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.” But his master answered and said to him, “You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Bill Johnson shed some great insight on this Scripture where he explained that the master didn’t correct the servant’s view of him as a hard man reaping where He didn’t sow; He rebuked him for his wrong response to that view. Instead of being inspired by a holy fear of the master, which would have given him a correct sense of the weight of the trust that was put on him, he looked at the task as too hard. He ignored his responsibility, dishonoring his master by essentially telling him that his expectations were too high. The faithful servants on the other hand, didn’t make excuses. They took what they were given and used it. Although they also knew their master to be a hard man, they believed him to be trustworthy and desired to please him, illustrating their reverence for his authority.
My daughter introduced me to the album, “Music Inspired by The Story”. If you haven’t listened to it, I highly recommend it! It will grip your heart as each song will speak to you in one way or another. Mark Hall & Megan Garrett of Casting Crowns sings a song called, “Who But You (Abraham and Sarah)”. Here’s some of the lyrics:
So call me crazy, call me a fool
You alone can do the things You promised to
You are Yahweh, I’m just a man
I’m counting tiny grains of sand
Placing every promise in your hand
Who, but You, would ever choose
To dream Your dream in me?
Tell me who, but You, would dare me to
Believe what I can’t see
Who, but You?
Great and Mighty God, I believe. I believe you
Keeper of the stars, I believe. I believe you
“Who, but You, would ever choose to dream Your dream in me?”
Really let this sink in…
God, the Creator of the universe, our Abba Father and Just Judge chose to dream His dream in you! And He dares you to believe what you can’t yet see.
So if you’re waiting on His promises to finally manifest, don’t give up hope…don’t stop declaring His truths over your situation…don’t stop believing.
And if He’s calling you to do something…something He’s entrusted to you to use, don’t procrastinate and thus bury it. Seek Him immediately and allow Him to empower you to do that very thing and not be the delay!