Stay In Step With God (1)
"I will answer your prayers ... I have set a time." Isaiah 49:8 CEV
Just like there's a rhythm to your physical life, there's one to your spiritual life. And God determines the beat. God has a plan, and a "set ... time." Sometimes He moves suddenly. But usually He has to prepare you for the changes He has in mind. Often He'll start by loosening your grip on a career that provided security, a home you're invested in, a relationship you considered long-term. Then He gives you the passion to pursue fresh interests, and before long you're thinking, "Hold on. These dreams will never be fulfilled where I am sitting right now." Thus - the desire for change takes root!
Then comes the waiting. Why? Because it takes time for change to produce the maximum benefit. During that time God: (a) begins healing your past so it can't pollute your future; (b) expands your knowledge so you're better prepared; (c) develops your character. Even though God says, "When the time comes, I will ... do all this" (Is 60:22 CEV), we don't appreciate His timing until after the dust has settled. One thing, however, is certain. When you allow God to work out His plan on His schedule, you get only His best. And remember, it's easier to know when to move if you stay in step with God and hear the beat. That sometimes means turning a deaf ear to the clamor of the outside world or the advice of well-intentioned friends. But the end results are always well worth it!
Stay In Step With God (2)
"The vision is ... for an appointed time." Habakkuk 2:3
Wait! You're getting ahead of God! When you do that you get into trouble. Visions are for "an appointed time", and you need to know when that is.
Often we don't pursue our dreams because we're afraid of failing; it's safer to nurse them in private instead of before those who might ridicule us. Chuck Swindoll says, "We're short of eagles and running over with parrots. Content to sit safely on our evangelical perches and repeat religious words, we're fast becoming overpopulated with bright-colored birds having soft bellies, big beaks, and little heads. What would help would be more keen-eyed, wide winged creatures willing to soar ... exploring the illimitable ranges of the Kingdom."
Listen: "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed" (Pr 16:3 NIV). God's the One who gives us courage, plus a safety net under the tightrope we're afraid to step out on. When we "make plans - counting on God to direct" us (Pr 16:9 TLB), He strengthens us to do what we've never done before. He empowers us to get off square one! Remember, going out on a limb can be scary - but that's where the best fruit is.
Even though you think your dream is dead, Christ can revive it with a word. Remember Lazarus? Well, the Christ who returned him to his family alive and well is still in business! In fact, He may be waiting for you to make a move so He can work a miracle for you too. So, get up and get going!
Stay In Step With God (1)
"I know the plans I have for you." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Nothing shocks God or catches Him off guard. He didn't panic when Adam sinned in the Garden. He didn't freak out when the world grew so sinful that He had to send a flood to cleanse and start it over again. Sodom and Gomorrah didn't make Him gasp. When Jonah ended up inside the whale God wasn't thrown. That's because God always has a plan. And He's got one for your life too. It's detailed, timely, well-oiled, perfectly orchestrated, and when you fully grasp it, you'll be thrilled! The Bible says He has "plans to prosper ... and not to harm you ... to give you hope and a future." But sometimes it's hard to see God's hand at work, especially when trouble's knocking on your door in the form of a diagnosis you dreaded, a runaway child, a partner who wants out of the marriage, or a financial setback you're not sure you'll survive.
When the crisis you're facing makes you want to throw in the towel, remember this: our problems become God's opportunities. He loves to transform our most costly mistakes into priceless gems of wisdom, our bruised and bleeding places into greater strength, and our deepest fears into unshakeable faith - once we start seeing them as part of His master plan! Today God wants to bring His purposes to pass in your life in ways that will astonish you. So stay in step with Him, keep trusting, and refuse to give place to discouragement no matter what - okay?
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