This article is by Lamica A. Burnett and published by Team Jesus Magazine
We can often misjudge our own seasons by comparing our journey to others. As a quick review, there are one of three seasons that you may find yourself in as you journey through life with Christ: the Waiting Season, the Writing Season, and the Working Season.
This article will focus on the Waiting Season.
I Will Wait on the Lord
Often when we hear the word wait, it immediately makes us cringe. Today’s fast-paced society tells us we need to be on our hustle. We should be movers and shakers, making things happen!
In our minds, waiting suggests that we are falling behind. Waiting may make us feel like life is passing us by and that everyone else is achieving, advancing, and accelerating faster than we are. Waiting makes us uncomfortable, we become fidgety and frustrated.
In our spiritual lives, waiting is the process of tuning in to God through prayer and asking for His guidance. We may have mistakenly thought that “wait” means we would sit idly by, doing nothing more than praying. But allow me to introduce a different perspective.
As you are waiting for God to reveal his unique assignment and purpose for you, may I encourage you to make yourself available for service?
What Would You Like, God?
In case you did not notice, God has placed a special gift inside of you.
The Word of the Lord in I Peter 4:10 encourages us to use our gifts and talents to serve the body of Christ. This is an indicator that we should never be idle. The Word of the Lord in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says that there are a variety of gifts and that God is the one who empowers us in these gifts.
While you are waiting on God, why not actually serve him? Waiting on God means that you are literally being of service to him. What does HE need? What does HE want?
Being of service to God means that you are lending your hands to His work. This work may not necessarily be in a church setting. You will not have to look very far in your community to see areas where you can serve. There is an entire world around you that can be blessed by your gifts.
May I encourage you to not limit yourself to the four walls of your local church?
It is in this time of service that God can open opportunities for you that you may not have known before. Serving God and His people can make a way for you that a “hook up” cannot. The way of the world and our pride calls us to look for others to serve us. God’s way shows that the path to greatness lies in our ability to be of service others.
Serve Your Way to the Top
If you look at the lives of great leaders in the Bible, their stories clearly show that God works from the ‘bottom-up’. David became a great king because he served his father as a shepherd. Joseph became great because of his service and was put 2nd in command over the land of Egypt. Nehemiah served as cupbearer to the king. This service allowed him access to the king, which ultimately led him to rebuild the temple. The king even provided all the resources and all materials for the entire project. God saw their service and humble obedience and elevated them!
Their lives of service gave them access to people and places others could not go.
You must understand that the gift that has been placed in you is not for you. God provides gifts with the expectation that they will be delivered to His intended recipients.
God’s Gifts, Our Accountability
Because it’s not your gift, it is your responsibility to give the gift freely. God is trusting you to deliver that which He has given you. It is a matter of stewardship.
It is imperative that you take this responsibility seriously. Simply put, stewardship is the proper management of what God has given. You will be held accountable for managing the talents that God has given you. On your final day, He will require you to report back to Him. You don’t want to be like the servant in the story detailed in Matthew 25:14-30. If you don’t know the story, here is a brief overview:
A man was preparing to go on a journey and called his three servants together. Before he left he distributed ‘talents’. Each of these ‘talents’ represented 20 years’ worth of wages. The Bible says he gave his servants talents according to their ability. When he returned from his journey he wanted to know how each of the servants used their talents. He was looking for a return on his investment. Two of the servants multiplied their gifts. The third servant, out of fear, did nothing with the talent. He buried the talent in the ground. At the time of reward, the two servants who multiplied their gifts and used them wisely were given more. The one who did nothing was punished and his talent was taken away!
Share Your Gifts Without Fear
While you may recognize that God has placed a gift in you, maybe you’ve stalled in sharing that gift with the body of Christ. Often the enemy uses fear to keep us from operating in our gifts. That fear paralyzes us into not taking action.
For a long time, I knew that the Lord had given me the ability to write words that would encourage others. I believed the negative thoughts of the enemy and doubted that my writing was good enough to be published. I thought that my voice wasn’t important. I was too afraid to step out in what He had called me to do. For years, I kept hitting the snooze button on the greatness God had put inside of me.
Through a powerful teaching on stewardship, I soon recognized that I would be held accountable and responsible for the gift that God had given me. I would not be let off the hook. The Word of the Lord says in Zachariah 4:6 “not by might or by power but by His spirit.”
I finally recognized that my effectiveness would not be through me operating in my own strength. I am capable only because of HIM. This recognition of God’s power caused me to move out of my comfort zone into action.
So, what’s the play call?
If you currently find yourself in a Season of Waiting, here are three things you need to have as you commit to serving while you wait on the Lord:
As we go through our season of waiting, we must be patient. Our impatience with our process shows a lack of trust in God. It is through the patience of going through our process that God develops His character in us. It is during these times that we can focus on ‘the little things’ that can deter us from our greatness in Christ. Who are you when no one is watching?
It will also be important that we remain steady in our time of service, in spite of discouraging situations.
We can remain steadfast by renewing our minds in the Word of God. We can replace the negative whispers of the enemy with the truth of God’s Word. Our internal dialogues should agree with God’s standard for what we should think about. Philippians 4:8 provides His guidelines.
Having the proper perspective will allow you to see people and situations as God sees them. This will require a commitment to prayer and asking God to give you insight and wisdom that you cannot obtain without Him. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He can reveal things in prayer that we do not know.
Be encouraged knowing that God will bless you as you are obedient in service!