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Three Ways to Grow While You Wait

God wants to do something incredible through your ministry. No one can take that away. Your critics can’t. Neither can Satan. 

But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to wait for it. Sometimes God cracks a door and lets you see your future before you’re ready to walk through it. 

Why does he do that? First, if God showed you all your future at once,it would scare you. You’d take one look and say, “Oh no, God wants me to do that?” You’re simply not ready right now to see everything God wants to do through you. 

God also wants to keep you close to him as you trust him to do what he is calling you to do. It’s like he writes his plan for you on a scroll. You unroll the scroll a bit and do what he says. Then you unroll a bit more, and he gives you a little more of the vision. 

You’re not the first leader God has let glimpse the future long before it’s become reality. In fact, he has done that over and over again throughout history. Centuries ago, God gave Habakkuk a vision for Israel and then told him: “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB).

God wasn’t late for Habakkuk. He won’t be overdue when it comes to his vision for your life either. God’s timing is perfect. God is always at work, lining up everything according to his plan. God can do more in five minutes on his timing, than you can do in 50 years on yours. 

While you wait, God has something important for you to do. You’re supposed to be preparing by learning. So what do you need to learn while you’re waiting on God’s vision for your life to be fulfilled?

Learn discernment. You need to learn which doors to walk through and which ones to walk past so you can avoid wasting time, money, and energy as you pursue God’s vision for your ministry. Paul writes to the church of Philippi: “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10 NIV). God wants you to grow in your love for others, but he wants you to do that with both knowledge and discernment so you’ll make the right choices about the doors he puts in front of you.

Learn courage. You may already know the right choices to make about the doors God has placed before you, but you need to grow in your courage. You don’t have the faith right now to take the right step. 

Pastor, it’s not enough to know what to do. You need the courage to actually do what the Lord is calling you to do. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s stepping out in faith despite your fear.

When Solomon received the assignment of building the temple, David gave him some advice:“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He won’t leave you or abandon you until all the work for the service of the Lord’s house is finished” (1 Chronicles 28:20 CSB).

I’ve been scared about every single important decision in my life, but I decided long ago not to let fear dominate my life. So I have constantly acted contrary to my fear. God doesn’t sponsor flops. If he gives you the vision, you have nothing to worry about.

Learn to open doors for others. Waiting isn’t easy. When you have a glimpse of something God wants to do through your life, you want it now. But you’re not the only one waiting.

Look around in your ministry, and you’ll see other people waiting for their own open doors. Often, they will have doors in front of them you can help open. As often as you can, learn to open those doors. Love other people. Care about how God will use them. God will put people in your life to do the same for you.  

Don’t waste your waiting time. Let God help you grow into the leader he wants you to be on the other side of the door.

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