It's in the Middle : There is purpose in the wilderness.
So I'm sitting in Wagamama's on this very wet Sunday afternoon after a lovely service and I find myself right in the middle. In the middle of what ? I don't know exactly but I find myself in the middle. I guess the best way to describe it is that, I find myself in the middle of God's promise for my life and the manifestation of God's promise in my life. It's the 20th of January and it's already been an eventful 2018 but i'm hopeful and expectant.
Today though, I want to talk to you about being in the middle. In the middle of what God said and actually seeing what he said come to pass in your life. I find myself right there right now and that's not be best of places to be, or is it ? My first reaction to being in the "middle" is, what am I to do in the mean time? What do I do whilst I wait ? What do I do whilst I wait not just for one promise or one manifestation of a word but for many ? What do I do when God's word for almost all aspects of my life has been said but are all also for an 'appointed time'?
As my mind lingered around these questions, the Lord directed me to a passage:
Jeremiah 29 (edited)
"4 This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5 “Build houses and make yourselves at home.
“Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.
6 “Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away.
7 “Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.
“Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”
10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
And then it goes on to talk about what God will do for them and what they should be doing now, but you get the general gist. This passage shows God's instructions to the exiles in Jerusalem while they waited for restoration. As I read, I immediately found myself in the story, I found my waiting self receiving these instructions from God. This is not the only passage in the bible where someone or a group or people have waited and so I decided to ponder on the stories of each of those who waited, the Egyptians, Abraham, David e.t.c. and I found a common instruction, a common theme in their period of waiting. In their wait, they achieved.
When you look at the story of David, God had promised him the kingdom of Israel but he had to wait 15 years to occupy that throne and bear that title of King. Not only did he have to wait but he had to watch as someone else occupied "his throne". Yet in that period, he did not sit in his house counting down the days till he became King ( possibly cause he didn't know when lol ) but instead he got active and found purpose in his wilderness. And the same goes for Abraham, he didn't just wait to become the father of many Nations nor did he wait for God to bless him with riches, he got useful and that's what you my dear reader need to do too.
It's so easy to get so caught up in the promise and forget that you need to live the moments leading up to the promise or the word. It's so easy to be hopeful for the promise and narrow your life down to that one thing forgetting that there is more to life than that one promise or those 2 promises. God wants you to live, to grow in the middle, to build relationships, to have fun and laugh in those moments whilst your waiting. The Bible says GOD will fulfil HIS promises for YOUR life, not you, God will. And so if you're sitting thinking, how will this happen ?You're wasting time, If you're sitting thinking when will this happen? You're wasting time, If you're sitting thinking who will it happen through or who will it be, YOU ARE WASTING TIME. God has already figured all that out, you on the other hand have to figure today out, live today and stop dreaming about tomorrow. Matthew 6:34 says ,"Give your entire attention to what God is doing RIGHT NOW, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever ..... comes up when the time comes". So, STOP.
Dear Reader, I want you to cherish this moment, cherish right now, cherish today. Today build your life, today build relationships, today explore, today laugh, today travel, today treat yourself, today go out, NOT TOMORROW. Don't wait till you have loads of money before you take yourself out ( you can do this very cost effectively, you just have to be intentional), don't wait to have a boyfriend/ girlfriend or amazing friendships before you are joyful ( You are Single and WHOLE), don't wait till everything in your family is alright to laugh ( Life is unstable so you can't wait till everything is perfect to enjoy it), dear reader, DON'T WAIT TO LIVE, LIVE NOW.
This 2018, I want you to encourage you not to doubt the promises, not to doubt that God WILL FULFIL HIS PROMISES FOR YOUR LIFE, but, I want you to live now, do what today presents you not what tomorrow may or may not. This year I want you to be as hopeful for today as you are for tomorrow and if you're not hopeful for either, BE HOPEFUL. Each day is a new day, a new opportunity, today I want you to take that opportunity to LIVE, because it's in the middle that David defeated Goliath.