Timing is everything.
I realize I write for mostly women, and I am about to make another car reference. Sorry.
I drive a 5 speed manual (stick shift) and let me tell you nothing is more embarrassing when I mess up and the car stalls. Not only do you hear a loud clunk sound, but you can actually feel it. You can feel the clunk. The car stalls because of a few reasons, but ultimately they all come back to timing. You see, driving a stick shift is all about timing… left foot operating the clutch, right foot the gas, and your right hand is working the shifter. If your timing is off on just one of those things, your car will stall. It most often happens in the parent pick up line, because I’m moving through stop and barely go traffic. Nothing like stalling your car in front of everyone at the school.
So it goes with life, and with our desire to be in God’s will. At times we may want things to move faster, because we really want what God promised us! Like when you tell your kids they have thirty minutes to clean up their room, promising a treat if they get it done. Fifteen minutes later they are in the kitchen declaring they are done. Upon close inspection, however, mom finds out that the only reason they finished quickly is due to their decision to stuff things under the bed, in drawers, and in the closet. The room appeared clean, but it wasn’t. Now, not only do they not get their treat, but they are probably in trouble. CLUNK. There may be times where we know something MUST be done, but we drag our feet because we just don’t want to – or perhaps we don’t understand WHY it must be done. Your boss gives you several projects with deadlines. You really don’t want to do them, so you take your sweet time. You are not worried that you will lose your job. What is the worst case scenario? What you didn’t know was that this was all a test to see if you could handle a promotion to a new position. You failed. You missed the blessing. CLUNK.
Timing is everything. God’s timing is perfect.
Have you ever found yourself feeling that God is calling you to do something specific? One of the most difficult things we can face is waiting for God’s calling to come to fruition. So, we may try to hasten it.
When God promised Abraham and Sarah a baby, they couldn’t wait on God’s timing. So, Sarah offered her servant to her husband. Haggar got pregnant and had a baby boy, Ishmael. While this was Sarah’s idea, she became jealous of Haggar and the boy. Sarah was trying to rush God’s blessing, and that had consequences for Abraham, Sarah, Haggar and Ishmael. CLUNK.
On the other hand, if we don’t like, don’t understand or are afraid of what God is calling us to do…. we may put on the brakes.
Jonah was called by God to travel to the city of Nineveh, but Jonah really didn’t want to. Admittedly, Jonah had good reason to NOT want to go. Jonah didn’t respond to God’s calling, and was swallowed by a whale. Dragging his feet and making excuses had a whale sized consequence for Jonah. CLUNK.
We don’t always stall by trying to move too fast or respond too slowly to God’s call.
We can stall by looking at the small picture, instead of the big picture. We can stall when we try to interpret our calling based on human understand versus God’s intentions. We can stall when we try and claim a calling that was for someone else because it is admirable, or the person doing it is. We can stall when allow our own bias to try and direct our calling in a specific direction.
When ever we try and influence our calling from our own desires, we are going to stall God’s complete blessing. CLUNK.
We may get what we want, we may be successful in our endeavors… but the blessing will never be as sweet. We may not appreciate it as much, because we didn’t have to wait for it. We may not find a feeling of contentment or satisfaction from it, because the blessing wasn’t complete. We may face consequences of not having the right resources in place when we needed them, and struggle to move forward. We may find quick and measurable success and then CLUNK… it stalls. And when the unexpected occurs, we find ourselves unable to handle these situations because we skipped over important lessons we could have learned along the way. We may even find total and complete success and fall apart because we don’t have the means to administer that success effectively. CLUNK.
When God moves things according to His purposes, it takes time. We have lessons to learn. Small problems that pop up will help us navigate the big ones in the future. The right people need to be moved into place, and that may result in God moving someone across country… or they have to experience a success in their life before they can bless your calling. You will find, as you wait on God, that you are better prepared for what lies ahead. And, for some of us, to our surprise, we may find that what we THOUGHT God was calling us to do, was something entirely different. Something greater than we could have ever imagined for ourselves.
If you feel like your calling is stalling, here are some great questions to ask yourself:
1) Is this calling part of my daily prayer life? Do I have others praying with me over this?
2) Is the calling really stalled or does God have me in a period of waiting? Pray for direction.
3) Have I been rushing to make things happen according to my timeline? Pray for patience, and peace.
4) Am I dragging my feet because I don’t want to do, or don’t understand, what God is requiring of me? Pray for motivation & desire.
5) Am I doing something to hinder that call? Pray for clarity in your life & revelation of sin or idols in your life that are in the way.
6) Do I understand the call or am I applying my own desires to it? Pray for discernment and for God’s affirmation.
God’s timing is perfect, and when He is ready for you to move, or to wait… He will reveal it to you. He will hear your prayers, He will answer them. It may show up in your prayer journal, opportunities that present themselves, people He moves into your life, the Holy Spirit compelling you, or the audible voice of God.
If you are too busy trying to work it out yourself, you might miss it.
Remember, all that we do is for His glory and for His purposes. If we are too busy doing it on our own power and ability, we can’t give Him the glory. He may be stalling your calling, to remind you He is in charge & to get you back on track.