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DEVIANT: Is Patience Possible?
Last time out, I wrote about how your grass is pretty green. It said the following: in order to see the greatness God has for us, we have to slow down just a bit. Sometimes we can be completely in “go mode” and skip over God’s plan completely.
As it happens, Shaun Blakeney picked up right where I left off in his message at J1ten last night. As a part of the series, Chosen: Called By Obedience, he dove into the teenage chapters of Genesis (12-19… comeonpleaselaugh) and explored the questionable decisions of Lot and the consequences thereafter. The message was incredibly on point… and by virtue of my copious notes from last night I would like to discuss several great points that Shaun made.
Allow me to begin by posing a question: is patience possible?
Really, is it?
When things are rosy, it’s much easier to be patient. But what about when Satan appears around every corner? Are we patient when that maniac cuts us off in traffic? Or when someone derides us for our faith in Jesus? Many times, we’d rather lash out in aggression or anger, which is what makes this spiritual battle so difficult.
(Note: Shaun mentioned that the quote below will end up in a book one day. Panglossian is just a blog, but hey, this is a start…)
Impatient people create immeasurable problems.
How poignant is that? Say it again. It resonates. When I heard that, I felt like somebody was letting the air out of a balloon, and that balloon was me.
IMPATIENT PEOPLE CREATE PROBLEMS! I’ll step to the front of the line on this one. As I slumped in my chair last night, I thought about the sheer grandiosity of the problems I have created solely by way of my impatience. I have hurt people, wrecked situations, and infused a whole lot of unnecessary chaos into my life, and that was just within the past week or two.
James 1:3-4 says:
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
I think the words ‘endurance’ and ‘patience’ are relatively interchangeable here. Your patience has a chance to grow. As coaches, one of our mantras on the lacrossefield is that you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. There’s no middle ground. Read: grow in your patience or go the other way. You’re only one step away from making a catastrophic decision because of your impatience.
How can we counteract our impatience? Well, I debated including these because I didn’t want to completely rip Shaun’s message (seriously, listen to the podcast), but I couldn’t think of a better way to state it:
It starts with wisdom. Not yours (clearly, it’s lacking). Ask God for wisdom. Hello Proverbs 4:5-7 (NLT)…
5 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.
Love her, and she will guard you.
7 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
The Bible is inerrant. Use it to connect with the King of Kings. His voice is clear in all of the text and his wisdom will guide and grow you.
Secondly, always seek out Godly counsel. Proverbs 13:20 (MSG)…
20 Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
I love the translation from The Message. “Watch your life fall to pieces.” How often do we seek the wrong advice from the wrong people? Seeking sex advice from somebody who struggles with purity might be a mistake. As Christ followers, we need to be very judicious about how we seek advice. This is why it is so important that must pursue a Paul-like figure in our lives. If you have a great mentor-leader in your life that is at least one half-step of life ahead of you, the results can be tremendous.
Don’t be a sally… ask the hard questions. God has ordained you for some great stuff; don’t sell yourself short by justifying the actions of yourself or others.
If you are willing to be difficult and open and real and transparent with others, you will find the brotherhood/sisterhood of accountability to be an incredibly freeing experience.
Finally, wait for God’s timing and peace. Isaiah 26:3.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
We are so quick to achieve and accomplish. I remember back to earlier this spring: I was so fixed on graduating, moving to NYC, and starting a trendy career with a hip startup. The desire and need to make that happen was all me. It wasn’t a God thing. Sure, I told people that New York is so unreached and blahblahblah, but my plans were totally selfish and personally-motivated.
As it happens, God said, “You want to serve the unchurched? You’re staying right here. There are over 5.5 million people in South Florida and most haven’t heard my name. Make me famous.”
Sweet. So much for going to Hillsong NYC.
In the end, God’s plan is perfect, and he was absolutely right. I have a great career where the boardroom is my mission field in the midst of several other great opportunities. It’s the same for you too. His timing is right. There is peace in his timing.
Have you ever said: “God, give me this job.” … “God, give me this woman.” … “God, give me this _________.”
And then there was nothing. You didn’t get your job, or your girl, or your iPhone. The timing was off. Do you remember what happened though? God used that to grow you in your circumstances. And then a better career, or woman, or iPhone came along.
His ways are perfect. His plan is perfect. His timing is perfect.
…remember that the next time you get cut-off in traffic.
Talk to you on Friday.
(also: tweet Shaun Blakeney and tell him what a great job he did)
About Jayson SchmidtFounder of the Quarterlife movement. Building an empire for the glory of God and living my dream to make the name of Jesus famous. Get at me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).
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Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)