I have to admit that I am not a very patient person. While I am getting better at it, it has always been something I’ve struggled with. I tend to settle for less because I often lack the patience to wait on things to take shape on their own. I’d much rather finance something then wait to save all the money. Paying crazy interest fees instead of just buying outright. It makes me think of cookies or cake. While I don’t eat them as often as I used to, I would usually settle for store bought premade ones. I choose the store bought over homemade knowing that if I made them myself they would taste so much better fresh from the oven. I would settle because I wanted them right then. I didn’t want to go through all the steps of making them. Why do that when I could have it right now?
There is a story in the Bible that I was reading today that spurred this train of thought. Acts 1:21-26 is the story of how Matthias became one of the 12 after Judas betrayed Jesus. Every time I read about this I can’t help but think about rushing God and His timing. As it goes in the Bible, Peter presented God with two choices on who to replace Judas with. While these two choices were well thought out, and the men fit all the requirements, it didn’t leave room for God to work. It seems a little rushed instead of waiting for God to develop the right fit for the position.
Chapter 1 of Acts by itself leads us to believe that Peter was in the right and doing God’s will. However, if you take the book of Acts as a whole, there was someone else that was crafted to fill the open spot. That person is none other than Paul who was once Saul. As we look at the book in its entirety, we can see that it was a rush to return to the original number of 12.
After Matthias becomes part of the 12, we never hear from him again. He just kind of fades off into the pages. Paul on the other hand, after his Damascus Road encounter with Jesus, goes on to write most of the New Testament. He fit the requirements of an Apostle; he just wasn’t ready for the task when Peter was trying to fill a spot. God was not done working on him.
We do this a lot in life.
More importantly, I do it a lot with God. I don’t give God the time needed to develop me how He wants to. I rush and try to be the person I think He wants me to be without going through the molding and shaping process. God has a process. We can either go through it and allow Him to shape us or we can try to skip that step and go straight to the end.
This also makes me think about people. God created Adam from dirt and He took a rib from Adam to create Eve. After that, there was a process that needed to be adhered to for another person to be created. You can’t skip a step and you can’t try and get the end result early.
Take building a house for example. There is a long list of things that need to be done before a person can live in it. There is a process that must take place before the keys can be handed over to the owners. You can’t put the deadbolt on the house first or try and hang the lights. There must be steps completed before those can even be considered.
How about the analogy at the beginning, baking cookies or a cake? This, as we all know, is a process. A process that takes time and ingredients. If it isn’t done in the right order, with the right amount, then the end product isn’t as good. If it’s even good at all.
We rush things. It seems to be getting worse as technology makes things move faster. We are able to have information at our fingertips in seconds. We can go through a drive through and have our food in a matter of minutes. We condensed our relationships down to how even many words we can type on Facebook and Twitter.
All of this has spilled into our relationship with God. We get frustrated if we’re in Church for more than an hour. Or we think – why should I bring my Bible when they’re going to tell me what it says anyway? Some churches even put it up on a big screen. We think “I don’t have to read tonight because I went to Church this morning”. Or even worse, “I don’t have to read this week because I went to Church on Sunday.”
In doing this we shortchange ourselves. We don’t shortchange God because He will just use someone else. We end up premature because we are skipping key ingredients to God’s plan. We rush God by expecting the end result without going through the process. We want to be people God can use and even get frustrated at time when He doesn’t or isn’t. Not realizing that we’re being like Peter. We basically tell God “this is what you have to choose from”, “These are your two options”, “I’m not waiting for things to develop and for you to change me into someone you can use.”
Being a Christ follower is a process. A process of change that some call the Sanctification Process. It is a process that shapes us into the people God has planned for us to be. It is a process that isn’t complete until we are with Him in Glory. It is a process that also can’t be skipped or shortened by us without being premature.
The question I ask myself, and I am now asking you: Are you rushing God or are you allowing things to develop in His time? This is a question that must be thought about and prayed about. It can’t be an off the hip answer. And after you come up with the answer it would be a good idea to seek God and His guidance. If you find you’re not where He wants you, now is the time to make things right and get back on track.
If you need help or guidance, we are always here. If not us, I pray that you reach out to someone. Find a Church to get plugged into and friends that will help keep you accountable and on the right track. God has a plan for all of us. He wants to use us to spread His Word and to be the light. We are called to “go unto all the world” (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 14:23, Acts 1:7-8). The world desperately needs the light of Jesus and so many of us are just going through the motions.
Remember, true peace and happiness is found in Christ alone. It is a peace and happiness that should be reflected in our daily walk and draws people to Jesus.