Monday, October 22, 2012

What are you waiting for?


“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” -Romans 8:17-19, KJV
My wife HATES waiting…I quickly figured this out after we got married, when we started doing this weird thing a few nostalgic married couples like us still do called SHARING THINGS. One day my car landed in the repair shop, and we had to share a car for a day or two. I dropped my wife off at work, and went on to work myself (mind you, I was full-time consulting at the time, so my schedule was extremely flexible). I had a few meetings that day and some paperwork. As fate would have it, my last meeting ran late, and on my way back to pick up my wife from work, I ran into rush-hour traffic and got there about 30 minutes later than the time we initially agreed upon. I’ll spare you all of the violent details and just tell you that the next day, my wife dropped ME off, and she took the car to work!
Though my wife will tell you I am certainly the more patient one, it is understandable why she and many others hate waiting. Waiting is not fun! Sure, we all understand that there are times when we must wait. But when you arrive at a specific place, at a specific time, with a specific expectation, only to find out that your expectation has been delayed, this can be frustrating. It’s disappointing because when agreements are made, words are spoken and expectations are set, we attach other expectations to those expectations. And when we don’t see or experience something that we know SHOULD be happening, we all experience the feeling that we are missing out, only because something or someone wasn’t ready.
What if I told you that the world is having that feeling right now…the frustrated expectation of not fully experiencing YOU? The bible says in Romans 8:19 that creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons (and daughters) of God…and just like my wife waited for me to pick her up from work, wondering when, or even if I would actually show up (did I tell you that my cell phone battery died too?), creation is waiting for YOU and ME to finally “show up”…but not in a physical sense. The text doesn’t say that creation is waiting for the arrival of the sons of God, but rather the manifestation, or the revealing…which means that we’re here, but oddly not here. God has created all of us with a unique and special purpose, that purpose is our life calling, and it is the highest purpose we can serve to bring true joy to our lives, give Him glory, and bless the world. However, for one reason or another, while many of us are here (existing), we’re not here (living) in that purpose. The world is waiting for us, and, in a sense, we are waiting for ourselves.
Some of us are waiting because we really don’t know who God has created us to be; we’re uncertain of our life calling and true identity. We live cloaked in ignorance of ourselves—unaware of who we TRULY are. Others struggle with stubborn factors–challenges that hinder us physically, emotionally or spiritually–sometimes dealing with the same hindering issue for year. While many others wait not because we aren’t sure exactly what we should be doing to live out that purpose. For these reasons, we often find ourselves sidelined, waiting for the moment in which we are fully free to live the lives we were created to live. We would love to do live the life we have only imagined, but we don’t know the first step or the next. As a result, we remain stalled by a lack of clarity as to what specific actions should be taken to move forward and glorify God.
If the Sons and Daughters of God were to overcome these circumstances, and were free to manifest themselves to this groaning world, it would end the frustrations of the world, and release a force of change that we have not seen in generations. As a child of God, there is something special and unique about you that the world needs in order for it to reach its full potential…and its time for you to MANIFEST, and willingly submit to God's plan to reveal who you are in the earth. To do so, I suggest that you answer 3 questions:
1). Who am I--really? One of the definitions I found for identity is "the conclusion reached about the true nature of a thing based upon interpretation of available facts". When you hear that particular definition a few things should occur to you: 1) if I can manipulate the facts available to you, and 2) if I can influence your interpretation of those facts, then I just may influence you in developing an inaccurate conclusion. Now consider that the fact that the devil (the father of lies and the enemy of your soul) has been at work non-stop since you were born to manipulate facts and influence lies to try to cause us to reach inaccurate conclusions about who we are...who you know yourself to be may not be who you really are. We all have a little bit of work to do in pulling back the layers that have been placed on us by incorrect interpretations, and discover the person God has created us to be. 
2). What's stopping me? All of us have been victims of stubborn factors that seem to place a stranglehold on our personal forward movement. Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself the question, "what consistent struggle has hindered me from living out my God-given identity?" And begin to give real consideration to the memories, the lies, the forces, the events or the personal demons that have held you back so that you can pray about ways that you can be intentional to finally overcome these forces. 
3). What do I do next? Many of us talk ourselves out of being who God created us to be because we haven't gotten it "all figured out" yet. Newsflash: you will NEVER have it all figured out. Rather than deciding your destiny based upon all of the things that you haven't figured out, what if you decided to boldly move forward based upon one or two things that you already know? What is the one single step forward you can take that would put you in a position for GOD TO DO THE REST? Philippians 1:6 reminds us that God both begins and completes the work in our lives. It's a wonderful relief to know that I didn't start this, and it's not up to me to finish it--what God wants from me is for me to submit to His plan by taking one step forward by faith. So what is it for you? Going back to school? Writing a business plan? Writing a letter to your spouse recommitting to your marriage? Joining a new ministry at Church? Praying for ten minutes every morning? What action can you give to God to show Him that you are willing to trust His plan and follow His lead?
As much as it may bother my wife when I'm late, she always recovers (she's great about not holding grudges--thank God, because I've given her a few to hold)...one of the reasons why is because she realizes that the setback isn't always that huge. If I'm a few minutes late, eventually, she will resign to the realization that it's not the end of the world. When it comes to our future, however, we must realize that we are all in a unique moment. The world is waiting for the solution that God placed on the inside of you; it needs that book, that ministry, that business, that after school program--and there's a lot more at stake if we don't show up, on-time, in this moment. Let’s realize and understand what is happening in our time; let’s reveal who we have really been created to be; and let’s resolve to move forward with conviction, clarity and competence. There will be no other time. If there is to be a moment, then THE MOMENT IS NOW.


2 comments:

Beth said...

Shaun,
This post is FANTASTIC and so timely for me right now. Thanks for sharing what was on your heart, Brother. It boosted my spirits again just to have it reaffirmed to me that I didn't start this and I don't have to finish it by myself. I am imbued with almighty, holy power from God Himself. This post changed my outlook and the tenor of my day!

Shaun Marshall said...

Glory to God Beth! I'm glad it was a blessing to you!!!