Summary: Part Five from a series of messages titled “The Waiting Room”: discovering what God reveals to us in these moments of waiting.
The Waiting Room
“Thriving in IT”
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Our Series is ending, you can have your life back…
Review From Last Week:
- Strategically Placed
- Make the Most…
- No Regrets
- Don’t allow future plans to block out current calling
I wanted to briefly review our last message, because I believe today could be seen as a companion piece to it.
When we serve God in any capacity of ministry there is ultimately going to come moments of disappointment. For me, I like to ambiguously label this as my “IT”.
“IT” can be any number of expectations I place on my service:
But what I so often forget is that the “IT” is not only out of my control, but IT is not my responsibility!
God grants us the vision, but the success of failure of IT is solely up to the one who gave the vision.
And as you might already know, there is no real time-table on success.
When James Garfield (later President of the U.S.) was principal of Hiram College in Ohio, a father asked him if the course of study could be simplified so that his son might be able to go through by a shorter route. "Certainly," Garfield replied. "But it all depends on what you want to make of your boy. When God wants to make an oak tree, He takes a hundred years. When He wants to make a squash he requires only two months."
Angus J. MacQueen. (sermonilustrations.com)
In regards to our Active Waiting Room, are we looking to create oaks or squashes?
(Active because we always have something!)
So I have a choice, I can allow IT to hold me hostage, or I can thrive in IT.
1. Held Hostage by IT
Whenever we put our energy to what we feel God is calling us to, it is very easy to get caught up in the toil of it, especially when we don’t see what we deem as success.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Nothing we do for the Lord is ever useless!
Disclaimer: God will never ask you to violate His commands
(i.e. have an affair, go rob a bank to give the church money...)
Results of the Hostage Situation:
A. Miss out on current blessings…
Ill: Laughlin Anniversary Story – I almost missed out!
We can get so caught up chasing IT, that we completely overlook the ways that God blesses us every day!
Think about it, how has God blessed you?
B. Never feel settled…
When we overlook the blessings, we start to feel abandoned or forgotten by God. At this point we feel restless, or uneasy about what we’re doing.
I do believe that God uses these moments to move us from time to time, but it’s also important to look at your track record:
- Do you find yourself unsatisfied constantly?
- Do you fight to make things work or do you flight
- Are you easily bored?
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (NLT)
If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, 48 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you.
The Work of the Lord is not easy! Sometimes we just have to dig in!
Serving as a Pastor is not always a blessing…
C. Loss of Motivation…
We render ourselves useless.
I will never fully realize all God wants to do through me if I am constantly chasing IT.
2. Thriving in IT
We need to be strong, steady and enthusiastic about the work God has set before me; keeping my focus on the “WHY” of the work.
I believe when we serve with our eyes and ears fixed on our Lord, he will give us the discernment necessary to determine if our season in the ministry is complete, or if we need to keep going in way that we are thriving in IT!
Romans 5:1-2, 5 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.