I think within each of us is a desire to succeed and do well; I honestly think it’s given by God. I think we all want to have an impact on humanity. We want to feel like we have made this world a better place. For some, that maybe starting a ministry, writing a book, blogging, mentoring someone, training our children, adopting or fostering a child, Pastoring, lead a small group, or anything else that you can think of that would lead others to Christ and positively impact our humanity. I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with any of those things, in fact some of them are on my list of things to accomplish myself. The thing that God has been reminding me about lately is the cost of some of these aspirations and the preparation time.
It says in Luke 14:28- “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first counting the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?’
I don’t mean this to be a Debbie-downer, but I think so often it’s easy to see someone in a place that we believe we are called to and we can forget all that it has cost them. All the things that they give up, the things they have to wrestle through with God, the time spent to become what we get to ’see’, and all the things they have to say no to.
Our family has been watching the Olympics and it always amazes me what these athletes do to get to the Olympics. If you think about it the Olympics happen every four years and last for about 2 weeks, and in those 2 weeks there are SO SO SO many people competing. I mean some of their programs/races/competitions or ‘time in the spot light’ is so small compared (sometime just a few minutes) to the time they practice in order to get there! I’ve heard it said so many times about Jesus preparing 30 years for ministry and was only on the earth in public ministry for 3 years.
God has really been working on my heart in this area, our prep time is so incredibly important. I want to encourage you today, that your prep time is not just important its special. I’m realizing more and more how this time is precious with God, it’s a time to build intimacy. I remember being pregnant for the first time. It was such a precious time, I would just pray over my little girl, I could feel her kick before anyone else, there was so much happening in me long before anyone else could even experience it or see it. It’s the same thing with our hopes, dreams, and goals. God puts something in us that we are going to accomplish together with Him, but there is a time of great preparation. The prep time is critical to the survival of the dream. We all know how important it is for an Olympian to practice, it’s easy to understand why its normally best for a baby to stay in its mother’s womb. Yet sometimes I think we forget the importance of that prep time when it comes to our hopes, dreams, and goals.
In the endless practicing endurance is built, character traits are developed and dedication grows- all the things that will allow this person to go above and beyond is learned in the prep time. Everything that a baby needs- the nutrients, the protection, the security it’s all in that womb.
So what are some practical things that we can do in the prep time? These are some that are helping me.
- TRUST HIM- above all else love and trust Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.’
- Know that HE IS GOOD and HIS PLANS FOR US ARE GOOD! Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- SEEK HIM – Jeremiah 29:12-13- Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek ME and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
- WORK HARD & BE FAITHFUL- 2 Timothy 2:15 ‘ Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- DON’T GROW WEARY – Galatians 6:9- ‘And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.’