Just a thought that has been running through my mind since last evening that I thought I'd share today, about the frustration that can come our way when we feel like moving forward, but God says, "Stand still." This can be one of the most frustrating periods of our lives, especially for those of us in ministry. There are times when we have the next goal in our site, it is almost within reach, and suddenly the voice of the Holy Spirit softly speaks, "Stop. Stand still... wait." Those who know me know that waiting is not exactly one of my strong suits. I am not really a very patient fellow. Truthfully, I doubt that there are very many of us in ministry that are good at this waiting thing. We have to guard ourselves against rushing on ahead of God and making an absolute mess of things. Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God... to do the preparation... and then to stand. What?
You put the armor on to fight... right? I've got my armor on and I'm pumped up and ready to go charging out into battle... But the Word of God tells us that once we have put on the armor of God, when we have prepared ourselves as the Lord commands, then we are to stand, and wait. If we rush out, we rush out in our own strength and power and we are destined to fail. But God tells us to stand. But "stand" must not just mean to stand and wait... but to stand, in armor, at the ready to move and battle at a moments notice.
OK... I know this... but I still struggle, because when I see that achieving that next goal is within site, it is difficult to stand. I must bridle my enthusiasm and zeal and simply trust God, and be ready to move only if and when the command comes to go forward.
Last night before church I was sitting in my office thinking through some things along this line, and I suddenly remembered something that Robert White wrote in a book I had read almost 25 years ago; "Pressing Toward The Mark". This is what I wanted to share for someone today:
"Remember, God is at work just as much when He says, 'stay put' as when He commands 'go forward.' He works through stop signs as well as through green lights. Be patient. Mistakes can be made through the too-hasty move as easily through slothfulness. Seek to consider broad aspects of ministry when looking at opportunity. What does the future hold? This may differ from the present. What are the possibilities? Be willing to step forth in faith and trust God for growth and victory. Don't expect the work to be done already. After all, God called you for that purpose. And always remember: when god called you, He had in mind something for you to do." (Emphasis mine)
Hope this helps someone today.