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What’s in it for Me?

At the heart of most of the world’s dealings, even the seemingly altruistic deeds, lies this question. Most people want to know how something is going to benefit them before they act. For anyone outside God’s family, I don’t even see it as that big a deal. It’s living under the world’s system and how things operate. The way of the world, so to speak.

For believers, we’re called to be different. Hard thing is when we know where God wants to take us and we really want to press to get there. Then it looks spiritual because you’re pursuing something God promised you, but if you aren’t careful, your pursuit of the promise will overtake your pursuit of the One who promised.

When we live out-of-balance like that, we begin engaging compromise and figuring out how we get where we want to be.

David had a promise to be king of Israel, but something stood in the way, namely Saul, his predecessor. Even as opportunities presented themselves, he would not take Saul’s life and “touch the Lord’s anointed.” He knew the God of the promise, and He is faithful. He understood something we sometimes miss.

It’s not your promise so much as God’s promise for you.

crownDavid went through hell because he refused to take the kingdom for himself. Years of exile and running. Away from his homeland and family. Lonely and surely fighting the enemy whispering to him, “you should have killed him while you had the chance. You’ve blown it and there’s no going back now.”

Besides that, mighty men surrounded him, but they didn’t understand him either. Granted they were mighty men with mighty character flaws and completely disgruntled, but they wanted him to have what God promised too.

They couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t take matters into his own hands and just do something decisive. David was waiting on God alone, even when it was in his power to overthrow or kill King Saul. David’s stance was, “God promised me the kingdom, and God will have to give it to me. I won’t take it for myself.” –Bob Sorge, the Fire of Delayed Answers 

Personally God has spoken to me about my music, songs, and worship; where it would go and what He would do through it. Instead of moving to Nashville, I moved to Alaska. Incredibly, even while I was in that isolation a man who ran a yearly worship conference for thousands heard my music and decided to use some of my songs and I got to sing and lead those songs and those thousands of worshippers for several years in a row.

I couldn’t have planned it. I just wanted to follow God. I’ve never mailed any demo tracks to anyone, though many have told me I need to. I’ve had several great people try to convince me to go on a singing competition show, but God never said to do it. The things I have done, I’ve sought to pray about because I don’t take this lightly.

I’m not saying I haven’t gotten angry or frustrated or even depressed about the promise that lingers, but I’m encouraged again that it’s not my promise and I can’t fulfill it. Anything I can fulfill on my own will be a pale imitation of the great things God wants to do.

I have wondered, is there something I should have done or need to do now. Others have said, if this is what you want, you have to take this course of action. I want what God promised, but I’m more determined than ever to wait on Him alone and follow His leading.

How about you? Is it hard for you to wait on God’s fulfillment? Have you run through the gamut of emotions like me?


fda-sorge3Welcome to week 1 of Chapter 4 for our book club discussion of the Fire of Delayed Answers (disclosure) by Bob Sorge. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Since the chapters are longer and subject matter warrants, we’ll also be taking 2 weeks for each chapter. If you have a response on your blog, add it to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

16 Comments

  1. Patience is definitely not our forte. We’re like children in that any delay feels like an unreasonable eternity.

    But I want to wait upon God. I want Him to be in control of my life. I want to be ready to do when He commands, but to not take over and crowd Him out. I want to serve Him.

    That’s what I want… now if I could just be a little more patient and do it consistently!
    Dusty recently posted..Keeping Our HeartsMy Profile

    • So true. It’s funny, I’ve thought I was being patient then lo and behold, the next minute I’m throwing a fit. Acting like a child is a good description. 🙂 It’s only grace that keeps us. More grace, Lord! Thank you, Dusty.

  2. I’ve struggled all my life to wait on the Lord. I’ve ran ahead and made all the mistakes of the flesh, believing my giftedness was to fulfill my ego and pride and hide the insecurity.

    This chapter hit me like a sledge hammer. All the years of coaching I knew I was called and made a significant difference in the lives of young adults even beyond merely winning. After the time of politics and being forced out, I realize that it was me being put in my “cave”. I was pleased in the significance it gave me. I’ve ate lots of humble pie in my life…

    This is one of the lines that spoke to me from this chapter, “The temptation in the body of Christ is for believers to receive their significance from their area of service or ministry. The Lord desires, on the other hand, for us to gain our fulfillment fro being in HIs presence and pleasing His heart.”

    It takes the times of refining to find the hard truth we so desperately don’t want to know… Glad you got me to read this book… Not comfortable, but sorely needed.

    • Definitely sounds like you’ve experienced your “cave” and come through the other side. It’s so easy to try to define ourselves by what we do or have done, or what we’ve accomplished or succeeded at. You hit on something I’m going to write for next week too--everything we’re looking for is in Him. He invites us to discover our worth and value as we get to know Him. Thank you, Floyd.

  3. In the past several years, I have learned so much about God’s perfect timing for me and my life. When I catch myself wanting something to happen in the “me” kind of way, I pray, instead, “Thy will be done.” I’m not always successful, but I’m getting better!
    Great post, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Make Straight My PathsMy Profile

    • I’m with you. I have prayed that so many times. “Not my will, Yours be done.” It’s a beautiful thing that can’t be half-heartedly tossed out there. It’s a place of surrender and humility He calls us to live in. Thanks so much, Martha.

  4. Oh my! I completely understand what you’re saying, but I really needed someone else to say it today. It’s how I’ve felt about writing. I know I’m not following the plan of action the experts recommend, but I believe I’m following God’s plan of action. I have forced things way too many times in my life, and they never turn out right. This time, I want God’s timing to reign. I want to flourish under his plan of action, not mine. It’s hard to wait, especially with all the information I see about how to grow a tribe and get followers. Yet, I just sense it’s not God’s fulfillment for me. The gamut of emotions weighs me down at times. But another lesson I’ve learned is to not let feelings & emotions determine actions. That’s a dangerous place, and a hard lesson to learn. Great post! I connected with it exactly when I needed it.
    Kari Scare recently posted..Instruction & TrainingMy Profile

    • That is so encouraging to me, Kari! I almost went a completely different direction because I was afraid it sounded like some sort of bragging or something, but this really has been my experience and it’s all His grace. I know what you mean about those experts on writing and blogging and everything else. There are some things God releases us to do and others He says “no” or “not yet.” Others may not understand why we’re being so “thick-headed” but we have to stay close to Him. Thanks Kari.

  5. Maybe it’s my “Old” age but it seems easier to wait now…not easy, but there’s a peace knowing that He holds my life in His hands. Good words bro’!

    BTW…I love your music!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Stopping ShutdownMy Profile

    • Praise God for age and wisdom! I do think you’re right though, there is a pressure from others and ourselves to “make things happen” and our youth and strength make us believe we should. God’s way is better! He is so much wiser than we are. And thank you so much, Jay. 🙂

  6. I’m reading this chapter for the second time (and I know I’ll have to read it even more than that). I SUCK at waiting. I’m guilty of taking things into my own hands. If I had been David, I would have to taken advantage of the opportunities presented. I have little doubt in my mind that I would.

    At the moment, I’m struggling with what to do about writing (being published). I’m to the point where I can do no more but WAIT and I’ve been here for awhile now. And still I’m waiting. I don’t know what for or for how long. I’ve been so tempted to give up but each time I’m about to throw in the towel God tells me to keep on this path. I have no clue where it will go. I only know I’m supposed to be here.

    • Totally know what you mean. It’s hard to discern sometimes because we can certainly languish because we lack discipline, but we can also get antsy as we are waiting for God to deliver on His promise. I can testify though that when I hear His voice and follow, there is a much different dynamic going on then when I press ahead hoping He’s with me. Praying wisdom and direction for you, TC. He knows exactly where He’s taking you. Thanks for your thoughts and sharing your heart.

  7. This waiting for God to take action in His time and holding back my desire to “do it myself!!!” (like a 2 year old!) is something that is a struggle for me and I know the Lord is working on me in that area. And I do struggle with the whole, am I doing this for my glory or for God’s glory, thing. As humans, we do want those pats on the back to make us feel good about ourselves. But I am learning that anything I do in my own strength is worthless. The only things of value that I do are the things that point to Jesus. At 44 years old I am still learning that, as the book mentions and as Floyd pointed out in his comment, my significance needs to come from my relationship with Jesus, who He is, and my obedience to His will. Still learning!! 🙂 PS--I reckon I’ve gotta check out your music!! 😉
    Joell recently posted..Being real with God.My Profile

    • Ha! I would love for you to check out my music. 🙂 It has to be in Him. He is the Vine, we are the branches--apart from Him we can do nothing. We’re all learning and growing for sure! Thanks Joell.

  8. Well, for starters, you know I’m a fan of your music. I’m not kidding, lying, or trying to flatter you when I say that your CD is what’s in the player in my car right now. 🙂

    But back to the questions…

    YES, I know how you feel! Sometimes, it feels like I’ve spent my whole life waiting for one thing or another. And there’s ONE thing that I rarely talk about in these settings that I’ve been waiting on for nearly 10 years. It’s frustrating. It’s hard. Perhaps this wait will mean that I TRULY appreciate the promise when it comes.
    Sarah Salter recently posted..Broken BonesMy Profile

    • I accept the compliment, Sarah! 🙂

      And I think that’s true, we can truly appreciate the things we have waited but also He’s making us able to carry His blessings with character and strength (even in brokenness). I’m fond of saying, “He wants His blessings to be blessings” meaning that He doesn’t want to destroy us with the gifts He gives. He wants us to flourish. Thanks Sarah!

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