One of my mother’s go-to phrases was, “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” In our eagerness as kids to do something, Mother realized it was easy for us to miss out on some needed intermediate steps to get the task done …and done right. It is amazing how often in life we put the cart before the horse and find ourselves frustrated and unprepared.
Many of us have dreams we would like to see accomplished. Frequently however, we become so anxious to see them fulfilled we totally miss some of the critical steps needed to ensure we are doing it well. Which reminds me of another of Mother’s commonly used phrases, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
In Toronto, our skyline is increasingly being built up with enormous high-rise buildings. Some as high as 100 stories. Before construction begins there is a process of due diligence that is essential to ensure that the foundation is strong and that the building will stand solid and long. Missing some of the steps in the process compromises the integrity of the building and puts everyone who uses that building at significant risk.
God does the same to decide who he will use and not use. God is a God of due diligence. He is more interested in our character than in all the trappings we associate with success. The Bible says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10) God is at work within us preparing, validating, certifying, and readying us for the task he has for us to do. (Phil. 1:6) So often we want to skirt the process. We find it painful and long. But God is in no rush. He’s not focused on the clock. For Him – our direction is more important than our speed! He is more concerned about character, integrity, faithfulness, and purity of heart than about releasing you to a task for which you are unprepared.
Moses spent forty years in a wilderness shepherding sheep. That was God’s school for him. (Exodus 2) The Apostle Paul went off by himself to the “university of seclusion” to give God time to fully prepare him for the large task ahead. (Gal. 1:15-18) Because Paul submitted to the process, he was able to write, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (II Corinthians 1:21-22) God sent Paul through a validation process.
Do you find yourself trying the put the cart before the horse on some issue? Possibly it’s time to slow down and submit to God’s process. “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it …to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:7-13) “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
God is more concerned with the validation process than he is in our big plans. Let God work. He is looking for strong, reliable, and dependable people he can trust to accomplish his purposes.
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love