Thursday, March 6, 2014

Jumping Ahead on Unfinished Stairs

  I am an impatient person. If you have ever ridden in a car with me, you will truly see how impatient I am. (Although, I do believe that vehicular transportation is a tool used by the enemy to get me in the flesh! - But that’s a thought for another day!) I have always been impatient. It is a fruit of the Spirit that I have struggled with since the day I became a Christian. (Actually, since the day I was born!) The Lord once showed me how I get out ahead of Him. He showed me a picture of a Chariot. The reins were lying on the ground and I ran to pick up the reins and started to pull the Chariot. The whole time He was in the Chariot waiting for me to stop so that I could get in behind Him and let Him do the driving. He didn’t try to stop me, because He knew eventually I would fall down or run into a tree. (It is usually the tree that gets me!)
                I seem to have to go around this mountain of waiting a lot. Lately, I have found myself going around it again. I have been struggling with my Lord about an area of my life that I thought for sure was the way He wanted me to go. He and I had talked about it, and I had started to see some fulfillment of it in my daily life. But then, well, then nothing began to happen, and it seemed like I was stuck and was not moving. This morning, as I prayed I asked the Lord “Hey, what is up? Why is this not happening yet?” He showed me my impatience and that I needed to wait. He was working it out, and I just needed to trust and be content with where I was at.
                “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
                This verse became a life verse for me not long after I became a Christian, mainly because it reminds me to be patient, and to wait for Him to do the work. Workmanship is used to describe something that is being made. It is a present work- not one that is completed, but one that is still in the process of being created. God is always working in us and through us. We are never going to be completed until the day that He takes us home. Until then, He is still working out our kinks. We are clay in His hands, we are always upon His Potter’s wheel, and His work in us is a work in progress.

                Now, the plans that He has for us, they have been prepared. The way in which He desires us to go has already been planned out and prepared. But, we are the ones who still need the work. We cannot go on a journey unprepared. You do not go on a camping or hiking trip without the necessary equipment. The same is true of our walks. The way He has prepared for us is finished. The equipment we need to get us there, He is still working that out in us.
                As I prayed this morning the Lord gave me a picture of stairs being built from the bottom up. The bones of the stairs were there. The structure was completed, but the actual steps were still being worked on. He showed me that right now I am on the bottom step. He is before me, with the necessary tools and supplies to build the steps. However, I cannot go any farther up the stairs until He completes them for me, one step at a time. I am standing on the finished step and He is building and preparing the next one so that I can move forward and upwards. The problem is that instead of waiting on the step that is finished, I am trying to jump over Him and get to the next one. Now, this causes an issue because there is no step built yet and I am going to end up falling flat on my face, broken and bruised from my impatience.
                Each one of us is going through a season in our lives. We each are standing on a new set of stairs that is being made for us. We know that He has a plan and that it has been prepared for us. But, we can’t see how to get there because the steps are not finished yet. I must wait and trust that He is building the next step in this point in my life that will lead me to the plans He has for me. I just have to wait. (Impatiently waiting, I might add- I am still a work in progress.) The work that God is doing in our lives today is for our own good, so that we can walk in the way He has prepared for us. He is always working on the steps ahead, steps that are to lead us to a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
   When we try to jump over God and try to leap over a few steps, we end up falling flat on our faces. If you have ever cooked frog legs you will know that as soon as you turn up the heat they want to jump right out of the pan. I am like those frog legs sometimes. I don’t want to be in the heat, and I don’t want to be in the pan. I want this season of my life to be completed so I can run up the stairs to the next path He has prepared for me. But, I must remember that God has me right where He wants me. Sometimes, He just has to put a lid on the pan to keep me from jumping out!
                We are not stuck on this one step. He has us there because we are not prepared to take the next one. He wants us to grow, but we can’t grow if we are trying to leap over Him. So many times I find that I want to jump two steps at a time, and not wait for Him to finish the work He is doing in me. But I always end up flat on my face when I do this. He needs to prepare our steps so that we can get to the next level of the way He has prepared for us.

                I know that so many of us can relate to what I am struggling with today. Some of us may be struggling in a relationship, with a church family, our jobs and careers, or any other area of our lives. But, we cannot jump out ahead of God. You are where you are because God is working in you, preparing you to take the next step. He is constantly working to complete you. (Philippians 1:6) We just have to be patient and rest on the step He has given us. Don’t try to jump out of the pan when the fire gets too hot, and don’t try to skip ahead. Wait, I say, wait on the Lord. He is the Master Craftsman, and you are His workmanship. He knows what He is doing- so just stand. May His Word bless all those who hear Him today. In Jesus Name, to Him be glory, honor and praise. Amen and Amen.