Galatians 1:15-17 “But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.”
I want it and I want it NOW!
Ours is a generation of impatience. Who wants to wait for an oven-cooked dinner when you can microwave it? Who wants to wait for an answer when it is only a quick text away? Who wants to wait for the right opportunity when a sufficient one is staring you in the face? There is so much we miss when our impatience demands immediate action.
Even in service to God we are often so quick to jump into anything that opens up without giving it much thought or prayer. Why would this be a problem?
To have a fruitful ministry there is more needed than desire and raw talent. When God calls us to do something, no matter how big or small, He wants to get the glory. This only happens as we rely on Him and allow Him to work through us. It is important that our relationship with Him is not shallow but deeply rooted in Christ and in the written word of God. This takes time.
The Apostle Paul was a powerful man highly educated in the Old Testament law. God came to him one day and stopped him in his tracks as he was on his way to persecute Christ-followers in Damascus. In a blinding light from heaven He clearly revealed Himself to Paul and called him to be a messenger of salvation among the Gentiles.
It would seem that Paul was already qualified with knowledge and zeal to start serving God in this way. But instead of jumping immediately into this new ministry calling he went away to Arabia for a while. He needed to spend time with his new Master, growing deep in relationship so that he would be prepared for all the trials, persecution, and spiritual warfare he would suffer in the years ahead.
In today’s impatient world how many young or unprepared followers of Christ want to take the time to grow deep? It is more common to want the opportunities for service right NOW instead of patiently waiting for God to give the signal that we are ready to move forward.
When we are actively serving God and bearing fruit, there will always be opposition. That is one possible evidence that what you are doing has God’s blessing. In order to stand up under the strain of attack, our roots must be deep in God’s faithfulness and power to win the victory. As He develops His purposes in and through us, the work will be accomplished and God will get the glory.
As I consider all the talents and giftedness you children possess, I know that God has great plans for you to serve Him. Be careful not to jump the gun in impatience relying only on your desire and raw abilities. Be patient in obscurity and take the time, like Paul did in Arabia, to grow your roots deep in relationship with the Lord. Develop a love of His word and a confident trust in His person. Wait for His direction and guidance. This is the only way to experience effective ministry and stand firm when difficulties arise.