Happy Valentines Day! You married the WRONG person! Yep, you read that right. As a matter of fact, we all did. Each and every person that is married is married to the wrong person. And if you are not married, know the person you are with is wrong!
How about that for an opening paragraph. But the reality is this...The person who courted you is not the same person you married. Have you ever noticed how the relationship changes after the marriage? I bet that if you knew what you know now, you NEVER would have said yes! And here's why, the person who was courting you is a conartist, and honestly...you were too in the beginning. Both of you acted in a way that was a lie. You feel in love thinking it is always going to be like this and now it's not.
See... we all married the wrong person ,but the wrong person being loved the right way becomes the right person, and the wrong person being loved the wrong way...well....is still the wrong person. Relationships are alot like sales. There is three sides to selling:
1) Courting the person,
2) Selling the person on what you have to offer,
3) and Servicing the person after the sale.
Relationships are the same way, however the servicing of the relationship usually stops after the marriage starts. This is also where the problems start.
Servicing the marriage is more important than the dance of courtship was to get married. Servicing the relationship is where in sales you keep the customer, and in marriage you keep your spouse. This is why it's so important to treat your spouse... the wrong person... the right way. Even though he or she is not really what you thought you were saying YES to, the value of treating them the right way goes to keeping the marriage alive.
So what is the right way? What is the servicing aspect to marriage?
We can learn alot from the sales business that can help us in our relationship. Here are few tips to help you out today.
1) Always be upselling. In sales you have a product and the goal is to upsell the product to the customer. The idea behind the upsell is this...Both you and the customer win. They get an added value while you get the increased montary benefit from the sale. The same principle holds true in
the marriage. Always be upselling your spouse. Here is what this looks like in marraige....The product is happiness...aka...YOU! Are you personally adding enough value to the relationship for your spouse to be upsold on you? Can you spouse benefit from more of you? Or is she better off with less of you?
Less of the bitterness, the awakardness, the walking on egg shells, the anger, the meanness, the attitude, the shortness with her...you get the idea. Is he or she better off with more of you or less of you? If the answer is less of you then the truth is...YOUR NOT ADDING VALUE. You have to make some changes to become valuable again.
2) Know your customer! In sales you have to know your customers needs. In some cases you have to know their needs, wants, goals, desires and capabilities. But any and all future sales are 100% dependent upon knowing your customer. The same is true in the marriage. So often we stop learning about our spouse and rest in the idea of well he or she ain't going anywhere. We think that the contract of marriage somehow locks the other person to us for life. And if we lived in a perfect fantasy world that would be the case, but the reality is this...so many couples check out of the marriage because they stopped learning about one another.
Here is the beauty of being to the wrong person in the right way. As you learn more, you fall in love more, as you fall in love more, you grow more. It is a beautiful cycle. Like sales, we should be always be learning and discovering new needs, wants, desires, goals, attributes, etc about our partners. It's what keeps the relationship fresh.
3) Keep in constant contact. In sales contact is key. I know so many sales people that have lost future sales because they had the mentality of "win it and forget it" with their customers. They missed out on easy sales because they didn't communicate after the sale. The same is true in the relationship. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I hear that one spouse feels the other spouse doesn't communicate anymore. If you can sit for hours and hours on end and barely have a conversation with your spouse...SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!! Here is my question....how would that have worked out when you were courting him or her. I can see it now...Hey babe let's just sit here and not say anything to one another. How long would that have worked before you said, "forget this." Can I tell you something....I guarantee your spouse is thinking it but just won't say it.
Do you remember those super late nights on the phone with your spouse when you first got together? Do remember how much you used to talk and talk....talking about everything. The bible tells us our spouse is our help mate, how is he or she supposed to help if you don't communicate.
4) Create a raving fan for life by delivering more than you promised. This was always the goal when I was in sales. To create a raving fan for life by delivering more than I promised. The idea was they would refer me out to everyone and anyone because I had created a fan. Can I tell you, I believe this concept is what every marriage should be based on. Over delivering on everything. Here is a question for you to think about....Is your spouse your biggest fan or your biggest critic. If they critize you more than they praise you, you have to wonder what is wrong with you and not them. It's easy to play the blame game....well my wife this and my husband that...but the reality is this...they wouldn't be a critic if they didn't have something to first critize.
Ultimately it's about our integerity. Are you delivering on what we say. Can we be taken for our word. It's about are we doing what ever we can to create a raving fan for life from our spouse? How often are you going that extra mile? Like taking the trash out before she actually asks you to. Or how about taking the time to clean the house before she has to?
In sales it all about the little things that create a fan for life. Remembering a birthday, an anniversary, remembering a favorite food, color, place, movie, song....etc. It's about taking those extra steps to be remembered. This is the process in sales and this is the same process in the relationship. When you spouse is out with his or her friends is he or she sing your praises or damning your name?
As I wrap up for today, know that it's never to late to start the servicing process in your relationship. Yes, it is Valentines day and I am sure that you have taken some time to do something nice today...my question is this, (and I guarantee your spouses) what happens tomorrow?
One of the phrases that is common amongst church going Christians is this...Doing Life Together. Although "Doing Life Together" is important what is even more important is...Doing Life Together With The RIGHT PEOPLE.
The idea that church promote is this...Get into a small group and that small group is to do life together. My question is this... Is that that most accurate biblical understanding of doing life together? So often we get in a small group for the study, or the common interest of the group, but just because we are in the group for those reasons, are the people in the group necessarily the right people to be doing life together with? What do you really know of those people? How about how those people live their lives? We all know Christians that take on the title of Christian but definately don't live their life accordingly. Should we be really doing life together with those Christians? Now I am not saying that we should live our life in an effort to influence those Christians, but are they the right ones to influence us?
2 Chronicles gives us some wonderful wisdom on this subject. There is a story in 2 Chronicles 10 about a young king named Rehoboam who doing life together with the wrong people. Those wrong people were giving this young new king the wrong advice. King Rehoboam had the benefit of his father's inner circle, men who gave him wise Godly counsel. But the foolish young king rejected their advice and instead looked for advice that agreed with his own opinion. HUGE MISTAKE!
Here is six qualities of individuals you should consider doing life with...
1. EXPERIENCE. People who have been down the road of life and understand it.
2. HEART FOR GOD: People who place God FIRST and uphold HIS values in their life.
3. OBJECTIVITY: People who can see the pro's and con's of the issues.
4. LOVE FOR PEOPLE: People who love others and value them more than things.
5. COMPLEMENTARY GIFTS: People who bring diverse gifts to the relationship.
6. LOYALTY TO THE LEADER: People who truly love and are connected to you with you best at heart.
Worthy vision always outlasts those whose casts them. I want to share three things about generational vision today.
King David's personal vision and passion extended far beyond his own lifetime. Although he knew that Solomon would build the temple, he did some long term, long range planning and preparation for it's construction. "Solomon my son is young and inexperienced," he explained, "and the house to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries. I will now make preparations for it." (1 Chr. 22:5)
David appointed stone cutters, gathered cedar logs, acquired mounds of iron for the nails, and even gave Solomon a charge to finish the job. This is the kind of thing that separates leaders from followers. As Christians, as parents, we have been given the task by God to spread his message, to make disciples, to effectively build his temple in the lives of others. How we live our life now will determine how that vision outlasts our life.
As a parent, and a son it is my responsibility to be better than my father and to make the preparations for my kids to be better than me. It is my responsibility to start the work by making the necessary preparations into their lives for them to succeed in carrying on the work of the gospel far beyond my life. This is a vision we have been given by God. Our focus must be generational, not focused on the here and now. This is a vision that also yields generational rewards.
Here is what it takes to have a generational vision....
1. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be beyond others...meaning that the vision of seeing lives impacted for Jesus must be looked at past our own future to the generation that follows. The question that has to be asked...especially if you are a parent is this...How are you building up that vision into the lives of your children? Are you raising your kids or are you discipling your kids? There is a HUGE difference!!! Any body can raise a child, few can disciple a child. As a parent are you leaving your God appointed responsibility to disciple your child to a stranger?
2. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be before others...meaning that we must see what is going to happen before others are ready for the gospel. We must be see and believe that our friends, and loved ones who are far from God will come to God. This is a vision that carries us forward during the dark times when we feel like we are seeing no fruit. We all face temporary rejection when trying to spread the gospel message of Jesus. The question is....is your vision for their lives being impacted greater than the feeling of rejection you face?
3. The vision of the gospel in our lives must be bigger than others....meaning that we must have a larger than normal vision of what can happen when we spread the gospel message. So often we don't spread the message of Jesus because if we are honest with ourselves....We don't really feel that different being a Christian than we did before we were one. We give our life to Jesus to avoid Hell...not for the difference it really makes in our lives. To have a vision that is bigger than others starts with recognizing the IMPACT the gospel of Jesus makes in your own life.
King David not only prepared the materials for construction of the temple and challenged his son to faithfully build the Lord's house, but he also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon complete the task. "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your GOD," he told them. "Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD GOD" (Chr 22:19). Worthy vision always outlasts those who cast them.
I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. "Laughter," I said, "is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?" I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man's heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
-Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (NIV)
We can learn a lot from Solomon's mistakes. The king like so many of us pursued multiple unrelated goals in a vain attempt to satisfy himself. I believe that like me, so many Christians have found themselves at some point pursuing something we want, but don't know to get.
By the time Solomon wrote these words he had reached a high level of success, but still felt empty. He couldn't put his finger on why fulfillment continued to escape him. Because he lacked focus, he searched, experimented with all kinds of goals, yet never achieved satisfaction. Like so many Christians he attempted to solve an inward problem with an outward solution.
There is a saying that is always true...if you chase two rabbits, both will escape. This was certainly true of Solomon's futile attempts to reach his various goals. Just in Ecclesiastes 2 alone, he pursued eight separate goals.
Clearly there was a focus problem...
Here is four things I want you to know about FOCUS.
1. Pursuing the wrong goals will always lead to the wrong outcome. The only goal in life we should be pursuing is loving God more. The fruit we bear will be a result of our pursuit of loving God more, not in our accomplishments. Our joy will be made complete in loving God more. Our joy will never be complete in pursuing the wrong goals. Anything less than loving God is simply joy trying to pursue joy...which will always lead to us to being even more incomplete.
2. Pursuing self-serving goals will always lead you to create a separation between what God wants for you and what you want. Pursuing what you want verses what God wants will always create a void in experiencing God. Here is the question you have to ask yourself...Am I dictating my will to God...claiming, hoping and justifying it to be Gods will, or am I letting God really direct my life to what he wants? What if God kept you where you are at because he knew that something big...his will was about to happen to you? This happened with Solomon's father King David when David wanted to build God a temple. God said, "not right now because your Son is going to build it instead but you will be blessed because of it." That son was Solomon the product of a sin that David had yet to commit, when he asked God if he could build a temple. God knew what was in store for David before David ever did. But because David stayed still and continue to pursue God instead of pursuing what he wanted for God he was blessed in spite of his sins.
3. Your focus should never be about what you want, but rather what God wants for you. So many Christians make the mistake of leaving what God wants for them to pursue what they want for themselves. The irony of this mistake is they use "leaving to pursue God more" as the reason to leave where God has them. Don't be so quick to leave where God has you because you think the grass is greener on the other side. Remember the only reason why it seems greener is because it's over a septic system.
4. Trying to pursue too many things at once will always lead you to failing at all of them. This mistake is easy to make in Christian ministry. We so desperately want people to know Jesus (That is the good thing), that we begin every little project we can do to try and reach people in the name of Jesus. Then we get burned out because our plate is way to full to effectively reach anybody. Jesus plate was never full. He encountered and reached exactly who God had intended him to reach...as HE pursued God. Notice Jesus didn't pursue people. He always pursued God and the people came to him. The word disciple doesn't mean pursued but rather it means a follower. Our job is to live a life so pursuing God that in our life others can learn the same thing.
At the end of the day our FOCUS should be 100% on the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not about what God is doing at another church, or through another Christian but rather the kingdom of God is always about what God is doing in you and through you. Only when you realize this will your focus become clear and your path to growing with God become stronger.
There is a story in the bible about Jesus walking on water and Peter seeing him gets out of the boat as Jesus calls to him to COME. Peter begins to walk on the water in faith and then somewhere along the line he takes his eyes off of Jesus and he begins to sink....but Jesus was there to pick up him out of the water.
So times in life we get so wrapped up in never taking the first step because we don't have the faith to see the end result. Consequently, we don't take the first step. We see the potential in what Jesus wants us to do in life but we can't see the end result of us actually doing that very thing. We know we are called to and empowered to reach the world, to be the voice to lost, to be the light to darkness in the life of the hopeless...we know this and have faith in God for this but we never step out of the boat like Peter because we can't see the end result.
Here is what I want you to know today...YOU DON"T NEED TO SEE THE END RESULT...You only have to have the faith to take the first step. Peter had the faith to take the first step and he walked on water. You only have to have the faith for the first step. Because like Peter, even if somewhere along the way between step 3 and 4 you begin to sink...It's ok because like Peter, Jesus was there and is there to pick you up. For Peter Jesus was there no matter what, but he was showing Peter the power of just taking the first step. Peter was never in danger of drowning because Jesus was there, and you are never in danger of drowning because Jesus is there waiting for you, and is there to pick you up along the way if need be.
Like Peter, Jesus wants you to have the faith to take the first step. There is a immense power that is released in taking the first step on the water, and trust him when you start to sink when it's windy out there and the waves are ragging he is there to catch you.
Peter experienced this power just days after he denied Jesus three times when he took another first step after Jesus had appeared after his death. Just days after denying Jesus Peter got up and preached and 3000 gave their life to Jesus that day and were baptized. You have the power in you to take the first step.
For most of us we would say we are responsible in life. We work hard, provide for a family, take care of any needs that come up through out the year, and for the most part follow through on our word. So when asked the question are we responsible...our natural answer would be YES! How about the question of our Christian responsibility to spread the good news?
Most of us wouldn't dare compare ourselves to someone like Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who washed his hands of Jesus. In fact, most people would be insulted by such a statement, however when it comes to sharing the good news and making disciples that is exactly who we are....We are Pontius Pilating Jesus.
Here is five problems that plagued Pontius Pilate then and Christians today.
1. He had a problem with foundation. Pilate never forged the character to withstand adversity. Conflict paralyzed him. So often in our lives we become paralyzed by conflict. In fact most people go out of their way to avoid conflict at all costs. We have a failure to realize that in our position as a leader it is our responsibility to engage in conflict with the crowds when necessary. As Christians we see this play out when sharing our faith. Most Christians never experience the joy of helping to lead someone to Christ because they fear the conflict of being labeled a Christian. So they justify their failure to engage in conflict by making statements like this, "My friends, co-workers, loved ones will see how I live my life as a Christian and that will lead them to Jesus." The problem with this is two things..
1) If Jesus were standing next to you, you probably wouldn't be mistaken for his twin.
2) There is no biblical example of someone simply coming to Jesus because of how someone else lived.
The disciples, the Apostle Paul and even Jesus himself had to engage in conflict with the people to help them move towards them.
2. He had a problem with futility. Pilate perceived that no good would come from the right decision, so why waste time? Apathy proliferates when we sense that action seems useless. So often we throw our hands up in the air and say why bother....For some of us we have literally given up on friends, family and loved ones on coming to Jesus. I know wives who have given up on their husbands, kids....They believe and hold out hope but it's hope without action.
3. He had a problem with fear. Pilate felt preoccupied with survival. If he fought the Jews, he feared the loss of control, image or position. His wife's warnings only added fuel to his fear. Most Christians suffer from the same thing. We fear a change in our perception by others more than we fear God himself.
4. He had a problem with failure. Pilate knew a riot was brewing. The last time it happened, he failed to rise to the occasion and the Jews called his bluff. They knew he worried more about failure than they did. This still plays out today when it comes to sharing our faith. Have you ever told yourself, " I don't know where to begin?' or how about this one, "that is not my job, I am not a trained pastor." For some reason we care more about our failure of getting it right every time when sharing our faith then the person who needs the good news does. They don't even know the news that you are sharing to be able to judge you successful or not.
5. He had a problem with focus. Leaders cannot be neutral or passive over crucial decisions. Pilate picked up a basin and tried to wash his hands of whole mess. As christians called to share our faith we cannot be passive or neutral. We cannot let our focus be deterred by anything. Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing our faith our focus on is everything but the main thing. We have to learn that the main thing is the only thing.
Have you ever wondered how entire nations of people could rally behind the leadership of a mad man. I was recently watching a documentary about Hitler. Clearly this man was jacked up and had some major issues, but there is a major life lesson to be learned from Hitler. During this documentary it was obvious Hitler possessed four traits of leadership that are undeniable. These four traits explain his rise to power and how millions of people could follow him regardless of his insanity.
Four Leadership Lessons From Hitler.
1. Although he was crazy he projected CALM instead of CRAZINESS. People naturally follow the leadership of someone who is calm when everything and everyone else is freaking out.
2. He projected CONFIDENCE instead of COWARDICE. The people rallied around this confidence that the world be better for them. He casted positive vision for the people to follow.
3. He projected CLARITY instead of CONFUSION. His vision was clear and he was the man with a plan. He even wrote about his vision and plan while in prison long before he ever rose to power. He had a plan, casted the plan calmly, with confidence that the plan could be achieved and was crystal clear about the plan. Everyone knew the objective and how to achieve the objective.
4. He projected COMPETENCE instead of CLUMSINESS. Hitler proved his plan to work for the German people. The economy thrived during his reign, they led the world in innovation, and conquered a larger majority of Europe.
One of the worst things in life is to wait. Be it to wait on something, or someone, or some act...it just sucks to have to wait. Yet so often in life we find ourselves waiting on the Lord. Waiting on his justice on those who wronged us...waiting on new beginnings... waiting on miracles...waiting on him to speak to us even though we pray and pray. Waiting is the act that most of us hate the most.
Habakkuk teaches us that as leaders and christians we must learn to cherish the waiting time before we get answers. In Habakkuk 1 we see that the prophet is positioned to watch and see. In Habakkuk 2 he is positioned to stand and see, and by Habakkuk 3 he is positioned to kneel and see. The ironic aspect to this book Habakkuk is that there is no Habakkuk 4 where we see action being taken.
During the waiting time in Habakkuk 2 God declares five "woes"...describing his intense displeasure with the people. Yet if God is sovereign, reigning over everything, then why doesn't He use His leader Habakkuk to bring about justice immediately? For God it wasn't about bringing the justice immediately but rather a process. Before God wants to lead the world he wants to he lead his leaders. While Habakkuk was waiting, God did a wonderful work in his heart.
Habakkuk concluded his book with a new declaration of his commitment. He recommits himself to God, to his Vision, and to the destiny of the nation. Regardless of what happens, he would trust the process in which God had placed him.
Habakkuk learned four lessons while waiting.
1. Not everything that happens conforms to God's will and wishes.
2. Nothing that happens get overlooked by God....EVER!
3. Everything that happens will ultimately be addressed with justice or mercy.
4. Nothing that happens should distract us from continuing to respond faithfully.
Once Habakkuk grasped God's leadership of the world and the process of waiting, he was able to lead with confidence and poise. He once felt perplexed by God not responding immediately; now he had peace. He once felt confused, now he had contentment. He once felt fearful, now he had faith in the future God had planned. What changed while Habakkuk was waiting....HIS PERSPECTIVE of God.
Do you ever like your walk with God is stagnant? Maybe it feels like you have lost sight of the passion you once had. Sometimes it feels like you have lost sight of God and quite frankly that he has lost sight of you. There is a story in Haggai about some builders who had lost sight. They had left their original purpose to construct the temple and instead went to work on their own houses and businesses.
I had once worked for a "Christian" business. I remember one day walking in and talking with the owner of the business. He could understand why God was allowing certain things to happen to his business. He kept saying over and over again, that the business was Christian. He just couldn't figure it out. So often in life this story plays out in our lives.
Here is what happened in the business I used to work for and what happens to so many Christians...
When you forget the ultimate, you become enslaved to the immediate.
The Christian business owner was so focused on the immediate that in the process he forget the ultimate, which was God. He would forgo the tithe to use to support the immediate needs of the business. He found himself enslaved to the immediate playing the "I'll make it up to God" game. Sound familiar???
In the story of Haggai four things happened to the builders when they abandoned their highest priority for the immediate priority.
1. Abandoning their highest priority for their immediate priority caused them to compromise their faith by contradicting their faith with the actions. The two didn't line up. They became hypocritical. I see this play out in church all the time. People want to experience God more, but when they loose focus of the ultimate priority for the immediate one, it plays out like this...I am not growing here...I am not feeling the passion any more...I no longer feel called here...Excuses begin to rack up as to why they shouldn't be there. This is not right, the music isn't what I wanted it to be, the preaching isn't as good as someone else, my friends are going someplace else....it becomes excuses after excuses. In Haggai's time it was that my house needed to worked on instead of God's house. The builders were called to build the temple, not their houses.
2. They worked hard but saw few results. So often it feels like we labor in vein for the Lord. Consider what the Lord told the builders who lost sight of the ultimate for the immediate.
"You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes"
If this doesn't sound like most Christians lives today I don't know what does. We work hard but in the wrong ways. So often we are hard at working on ourselves for ourselves to be and look better to others. We work hard but wonder why we don't see the results. I want a deeper more fulfilling relationship with God but instead of focusing on that relationship, I focus on the relationships with my friends, my family, my co-workers. After all they are the ones that are judging me, so which is why I need to work hard on myself. I need to look, act, talk, walk, believe, feel, attend in certain ways to fit in. All of this is labor and work for what? To put your earnings both monetary and metaphorically into a pocket with holes. We get so focused on the immediate that are blinded by the immediate for the ultimate. Which intern causes us to labor in vein.
3. They spent much but received little in return. The builders spent countless hours focusing on their houses and really themselves. They received little in return. When you focus on God, God focuses on you. When your too busy focusing on yourself, God is trying to get your attention to focus on him.
4. They felt dissatisfied in their production. I know many a volunteer that has served in church and ended up leaving because they felt dissatisfied. I know many a Christian that has worked so hard on their life and felt empty and dissatisfied with relationships, with their marriage, with their family, with their jobs...really with their life. They find themselves dwelling on the past and wondering what if. What if I had done this or done that. When you begin to feel dissatisfied be it at church or in life...the question has to be asked what are you focusing on...you or God? God the ultimate will never leave you dissatisfied. You...the immediate will. Here's the thing about focusing on the ultimate...IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU! It's always about God's glory. The production on the temple was for his glory. The production of the builders house was for theirs. The thing about personal glory...it always fades and leaves a desire for more.
When you fail to maintain proper priorities, disappointment always results. Remember the 80/20 principle.. With the right priorities, 20% of your effort will yield 80% of your results. But with the wrong priorities, 80% of your effort will get you only 20% of your desired results. It is not about working harder but smarter. It is about always staying focused on the ultimate and not the immediate.
One of the hardest things we can do as Christians is to wait on the Lord. We are programed to want what we want and to want it now. More often God has other plans for us though. His plans are to prepare us not through and event but by a process. With time comes preparation.
Look at Moses for example, Moses was to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt bondage. How did God prepare him? Not in a day but over time...not through an event but by a process. God prepares us in a crockpot, not a microwave. More important that the awaited goals is the work that God does in us as we wait.
Waiting deepen and matures us. Waiting gives us a broader perspective and understanding. Waiting...the tests of time...determine whether we can endure the seasons of seemingly unfruitful preparation. Waiting determines whether we can recognize and seize the opportunities that come our way.
In Isaiah 40:30-31 we see an interesting verse about Waiting on the LORD.
" Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (ESV)
Like and an Eagle... when and Eagle reaches the age of 30-50, it flies to a high place and there it endures a harsh trial of endurance and change. It can't fly because its feathers are overgrown. Therefore it plucks all the feathers from its body. It plucks its talons from its feet because the talons have grown curled and useless. Its beak has grown too long and curled. It breaks its beak against a rock. Defenseless, it cries out and waits for the time of renewal. Other Eagles hear its cry, and come to aid. They fly overhead, scaring off predators, and they bring food to their incapacitated friend.
Why do Eagles do this? The words to Wait on the Lord in Hebrew (qavah – kav-waw') figuratively mean "to bind together like a cord." It doesn't mean to tie a cord around a bundle of sticks to keep them together. Instead, it's the process of making a rope by twisting or weaving small strings together to form the rope. The more strands that are twisted or woven together in a rope, the greater is its strength. The literal meaning of the word is "hope".
Like it happens to Eagles God makes us to go through harsh trials of endurance and change. This is necessary to shape our Christian character and faith. In such time we need to unite with the Lord like strands of a rope by waiting upon Him. This unity renews our strength.
The very situation that you are facing right now could be a trial of endurance and change. God makes His children to walk through such times because it's the only way prepare you to meet God's plan for your life. To take away what is unnecessary, and shape up your character and attitudes.
But God never forsakes or leaves behind His children at these times of correction. He is with you because He wants to renew your strength at the end of the trial period. Wait upon the Lord – and you will soar like an Eagle.