There are a couple of main roads near us where you know from the moment you hit your first red light that it's going to be slow progress - because if you hit one red, you'll hit them all! Every time you start to pick up speed you have to slow down, brake and then wait - and depending on the time of day, the queue of commuters coming from other directions can mean that even when the lights turn green, you still can't move! Life can feel like this sometimes, can't it? We just begin to gain momentum and then 'stuff' happens, we hit some red lights and at times it can feel like people in our world are holding us back from fulfilling our God-given destiny.
Last week I blogged about Jesus as the Word of Life - that means He comes as the fulfillment and physical embodiment of everything God has promised; He is our yes! But here's the thing I've learnt along the way, while sitting at plenty of red lights of my own - there is a 'proper time' for that yes to become our reality. God's Word is both His creative power - His ability to bring that yes in to being - and His purposes - that means His wisdom and timing to release that yes into our lives. So how do we navigate the stretches of road when we have no doubt that He is able, but we're just not sure how much longer we can take sitting at the lights, waiting to get moving?
Firstly, understand God has a plan and that plan often has a timetable. Throughout Scripture there are references to the 'proper time', the 'appointed time', the 'fullness of time' or the 'set time'. What these phrases tell me is that God not only has a plan, but that that plan has a timetable. You see, we often think about where we're going only in terms of how it affects us, but God's plans are Kingdom plans. He is not just outworking His plans for me, but for you and countless others - and He's weaving all our individual stories together to accomplish His plans for this point in History.
Sometimes we are delayed because of what God needs to do in us, other times it may be related to what He is doing elsewhere. We are part of a VERY big picture, one that for now we only see in part - so don't try and run the red light! God sees the complete picture and we can trust in His wisdom to get us moving at just the right time; the 'proper time'.
Secondly - write it down. In Habakkuk 2, God instructed the prophet saying:
"Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
There it is again - the appointed time!
Writing it down is important because if you're anything like me, we have a tendency to forget! The more red lights that we sit at, the more what God has promised can fade into obscurity and we can think that perhaps we misheard or just imagined it. But for His Word to produce life in us, we must be unwavering in our willingness to hear, to see and keep holding on to what He has promised.
That's where writing it down helps. I have key Scriptures and prophetic words that I have recorded in my journals and periodically - especially when I feel discouraged or anxious - I return to those verses and words and I declare them. This not only stirs faith in my spirit, but it gives me renewed clarity about what I am contending for and partnering with God to see come about.
I encourage you - record your prayers, key Scriptures and words that God has spoken into your life so that you can read them and be spurred on to keep running towards what God has for you.
And finally wait with hope. In Micah 7:7 we read this:
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me.
I don't know about you but I can get impatient sitting at the lights for too long. In fact I could think of a number of words like frustrated, uptight, hot, tired, agitated and depending on how much of a hurry I'm in - stressed and anxious. None of this is how God wants us to wait! He wants us to wait and watch with hope - with eyes that are wide open confidently expecting to see His goodness in our lives.
Hope is not something that we conjure up - it is not wishful thinking. It is an attribute of God Himself and a gift of His Spirit. It is released as we keep close to Him and keep trusting ourselves and our circumstances to Him.
Wait with hope because you know the wisdom of His plans and His timing; wait with hope because you know the certainty of what He has promised; wait with hope because you know the truth of who He is - a Saviour who hears and who answers.
And know this - when the lights do change, it will be at just the 'proper time!'
Live today with purpose
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from both myself and guest contributors encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
If you want to get blog posts direct to your inbox pop here.