There is usually a period of time between when God calls us to do something and when we are actually separated to do that thing.
The period in between is our time of preparation. It is critical that we don’t skip past our preparation time or the results can be disastrous. Preparation time is never wasted time.
In this episode:
- God prepares his leaders
- Allow time for preparation
- Striving without preparing
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
Heya! Last time we talked about God’s timing and that there is usually a period of time between when God calls us to do something and when we are actually separated to do that thing.
The period in between is our time of preparation. It is critical that we don’t skip past our preparation time or the results can be disastrous.
There’s a quote that’s attributed to Abraham Lincoln: Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Lincoln understood the importance of preparation.
God Prepares His Leaders
When you look through some of the biggest names in the Bible, many of them saw years pass before they saw what God promised them.
Noah spent 120 years building the ark before the flood came.
Abraham waited 20 years from the time God promised he’d be the father of many nations until Isaac was born.
Joseph went through slavery and prison while he waited 22 years before he saw the dreams God gave him come to pass.
Moses tried to “make” God’s plan happen and then spent 40 years on the back side of the desert before he was ready to do what God wanted.
Joshua spent 40 years working under Moses before he was ready to lead the Israelite into the Promised land.
Samuel served the high priest Eli for more than a decade before he stepped into his role as profit and judge over Israel.
It was more than 20 years after David was anointed by Samuel to be king until he assumed the throne.
When Jesus was 12 years old and got separated from his family because he was about his father’s business. But he didn’t start his earthly ministry until 18 years later.
Paul had to wait more than 14 years from the time God called him until his ministry started in earnest.
All of those people and all of those years. All that preparation.
Allow Time for Preparation
When we try to skip over that time of preparation we do ourselves a disservice because it makes us less effective at what it is God has called us to do than we would otherwise be.
Like David we should do our level best at everything that is put in front of us. And at the same time we should never manipulate people or events to force the vision God has given us along faster than his timeline.
Joseph was enslaved and imprisoned so he had no way to move things along more quickly. The one thing he did try didn’t work. When he asked Pharos’ cupbearer to remember him the cupbearer forgot all about Joseph for another 2 years.
It is much better for us to continue to serve others in excellence and allow God to raise us up. Because everything we strive to attain will require us to continue striving to maintain. The continuous work we have to do to keep something that we forced into happening going will exhaust us.
If, however, we wait on God to raise us up and promote us then he will also do what is needed to keep his things rolling. And that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said that his yoke was easy and his burden light.
Striving Without Preparing
Unfortunately far too many Christians are still striving and either intentionally skipping past the preparation time or bypassing their preparation time out of ignorance.
Listen to how the Message renders Matthew 11:25-30:
Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know–it–alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father–Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me––watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill–fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.”
God sees value in preparing his people. We would do well to do likewise.