Do you carry a dream in your heart? Has the Lord called you to something? Have you spent years preparing for the day you are walking in your destiny? If so, then ask yourself the question: "What are you waiting for?"
I’ve been setting goals for myself for as long as I can remember. Maybe not the goals people around me wanted me to set for myself but nonetheless I was driven towards whatever I focused on. I wasn’t a particularly great student but I became a decent musician and singer. I enjoyed beating my older brothers at games and I was all about proving I could overcome the odds and win even though I was the youngest of 6 boys. I didn't really like people trying to tell me what I could or couldn't do. I needed to discover my own path and if it seemed impossible, I’d prove to you it wasn’t.
Clearly that can be a little dysfunctional and rebellious. However, the flipside is very positive. I’ve not been easily discouraged by failing and I’ve welcomed a good challenge to my resolve. Still in most cases my ability to achieve goals was always hinging on my inclination to control things. If I controlled all of the right things, the right way, I’d eventually reach my goal. But, how does my controlling things to achieve goals sit well inside the context of a life yielded to Jesus? The answer is: it doesn’t.
But here’s the real conundrum of it all. Many of the goals I’ve set out to achieve really came from Jesus. I set up goals and dreams all pointed at exactly what He’s called me to. Wouldn’t it then make sense that I ferociously chased those goals down? Maybe.
Shouldn’t I make sacrifices to accomplish what God has asked me to do? Certainly.
But let’s return to the question: "What are you waiting for?"
I think many of us get so focused on our goals that we actually neglect what is directly in front of us. So we tell ourselves I’ll be more qualified once I reach this certain goal. I’ll have the right amount of experience once I’ve done this or that. When we do that I think we are missing the most beautiful opportunities waiting right in front of us.
James 4:13-17: "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."
If I’m honest this scripture hasn’t always been my favorite. I’ve spent most of my life dreaming about tomorrow and talking about where I was going next and what was ahead. It’s easy to love the portions of scripture that affirm what we are doing and it's easy to brush past the ones that really challenge us. For me this is one of those challenging scriptures. I’d encourage you to read the whole chapter because it helps this portion of scripture really make sense. Just a few verses before there is an astounding promise from the Lord. A promise that we should hold dear and set before us in every decision.
It’s this: James 4:10: "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you."
Amazing right!? So the foundation of my pursuit towards the things God has called me to should be me humbling myself before Him. Allowing Him to exalt me in His way, at His time.
Why is this so important? We all know we should be humble. Everyone gets that. But why? I think one reason it's so important is because it causes us to trust the Lord. I think the Lord wants to not only lead us in our destiny but do it in such a way that we grow and experience peace and joy and freedom all along the way.
So it’s important first because it causes us to put our trust in the Lord. Secondly, it’s important because it guards our hearts from pain.
James 4:1: "What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?"
Look how this verse explains what happens in the heart when we look at who we aren’t and what we don’t have. There are many reasons I think this happens but I will focus on this one. It causes us to miss the incredible things God already has in front of us TODAY. Because we miss what’s right in front of us, we end up feeling off-track, discouraged, and like we are going backwards.
There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you aren’t as far a long as you should be. But we are not behind. What you are called to and the destiny the Lord has spoken over your life is happening right in front of you, right now, today.
James 4:17: "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."
I don’t think the warning to not boast about tomorrow is meant to be a heavy one. I think it’s meant to be an invitation into your right now. That you would live fully right now, in the moment, in the time you are in. Dreaming about what is next, absolutely, but not at the expense of your today. When we fail to do that I believe we feel the weight of it. We know when we've spent more time dreaming and less time doing.
Whatever you feel called to, do it today. Invest in it today. Because what the Lord has said you would be, you are right now.
If He called you one who is to lead worship then you don’t need a congregation to do that, go and lead worship in your room. If that calling starts simply before the Lord, trust me, you’re on the right track.
If He’s called you to preach then by all means preach! Don’t wait until there is an audience to listen. Preach in your car, preach to yourself, do what it is He has called you to do.
That applies to anything you’re dreaming about. Do it today. It will only cause you to grow. But most importantly it will help you to see that the very things you are believing for that seem a thousand miles away are actually already inside of you waiting to happen.
Engage with today like it is the most important day of your life because guess what? It is! So to end right where we began: "What are you waiting for?"