If you have ever felt regretful of wasting valuable time in your past, you might want to read this.
Often I go to the Lord and ask Him for strategies on how to get more accomplished, to solve this puzzle or that problem, to get some type of resolution to a situation in my life. Often God responds not with a strategic answer, but with a relational reassurance.
“Trust in Me; you have no need to rush,” He would say. I might be tempted to respond, “Are you kidding me, God? Have you seen my bank account?”
If we were in a court of law and we answered a question under oath like that, we’d perhaps get reprimanded by the judge. I guess that’s why God is the judge and we aren’t.
But the reality struck me. God isn’t in a hurry. We are the ones who are tempted to feel like life might pass us by if we don’t strive to get more done. I’d say particularly because I’m American, I get a double dose of that.
Over the past three years, I’ve seen God move literally miraculously (I’m talking signs and wonders, miraculous healings, prophecies fulfilled, people literally changed overnight). I’ve personally undergone more character development in the past three years than I’ve been able to do through conscious exertion over the preceding decade.
So it begs the logical question: what would have happened if I got smarter a decade sooner and decided to follow God earlier? Wouldn’t I be much further ahead by now?
My logic wants to tell me yes. But God told me no. And here’s why:
First off, let’s just agree that there is simply no way to take account of every possible variable that leads to a life change. We can perhaps isolate a few variables and make correlations in our analysis, but especially with more complicated situations, we can’t accurately judge our own progress.
It’s relatively easy to say you lost 20 pounds because you started going to the gym five times a week and eating clean. It’s harder to say you were unsuccessful in business because you were undisciplined in your 20s. You may be correct. But how do we know for sure that you would have ever learned to be disciplined in your 30s if you weren’t first undisciplined in your 20s?
Secondly, God is literally able to give us shortcuts to bypass an otherwise predictably long development process. In the kingdom, I’ve met people who claim to have been following God for 20+ years who are still spiritual infants. On the other hand, I’ve met people who have been walking with Him for a couple years who are increasingly walking out the full gospel (full on with tons of spiritual fruit, financial, relational and physical prosperity, and manifestation of signs and wonders) with no signs of slowing down.
If it normally takes a salesman 1000 rejections to make 10 closed sales, God could simply bring that salesman to the 10 specific doors all in a row. That’s how the kingdom works. God shows us a more excellent way.
The number one rule in moving in the fast lane is to say yes to Him when the opportunity arises. I’m not extraordinarily talented, particularly disciplined, or necessarily even lucky. But I do have a habit of being just naive enough to take God at His Word and watch Him get to work.
But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. —Luke 18:16
The old churchie cliche is true: God has you right where He wants you.
Given that our heart is pure, that we are earnestly seeking His kingdom and His righteousness first (Mt. 6:33), we can count on Him to fulfill his end of the bargain and make sure He provides for all of our needs in record time.