Hearing directives from the Lord is one thing. Knowing His timing and aligning of the promise is another. Although we may hear a clear "word of the Lord" concerning our lives, our assignments or our commission, we must be just as certain in knowing when and how to walk it out.
The Lord is doing a work in my own life and the lives of many believers who have been getting worn out trying to accomplish a God-sent mission. Stirred by a heavenly vision, we passionately assume the time must be ripe to accomplish all He has shown us. Believing our assignment is a green light to go, we race into our future with great anticipation only to become overwhelmed and overloaded. We quickly run out of fuel and wonder why the journey has become so hard. We often assume it's enemy interference, but I would suggest another possibility.
The Lord dropped this word into my spirit several weeks ago when I started a mini-sabbatical: "Slow your pace. Follow the grace." It hit my heart before my head could comprehend its full meaning. It didn't take long, however, to get an upgrade in my understanding of obedience and grace. The bottom line is that we can only accomplish what God tells us to do by a divinely commissioned grace for that particular assignment. This is not the same as our skills, gifts or experience in a particular area. It is a supernatural endowment of power, peace and anointing that will make that particular mission seem easy, natural and life-giving. It will be an overflow from our lives, not because we are working for it, but because He has ordained it.
"But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ" (Eph. 4:7).
When God reveals His plans to His servants, He doesn't always show us when it will be fulfilled. He may reveal what He wants to do, but He doesn't always give us a time stamp. If we don't keep in step with His purposes on a daily basis, we can get ahead of Him and quicken our pace according to our own understanding and desire. If we assume our level of expertise or spiritual gifts will be enough, we will quickly burn out if we are not following His grace. We may believe good things are happening, but if it is costing us our peace of mind, joyful countenance or physical health, we are not walking in His grace. We are going beyond what He has asked and are working from the flesh instead of from His Spirit.
This should actually be a huge relief! Instead of being driven to reach a finish line, we can enjoy each step along the way if we stop long enough to see where Holy Spirit is leading us next. The reality is, there may be pit-stops along the way. There may be unseen shortcuts or even diversions that are heaven-sent. If we don't posture our hearts and minds to follow His timing and methods, we'll push our limits and totally miss the mark.
"But as God has given to every man and as the Lord has called every man, so let him walk. This I command in all churches" (1 Cor. 7:17).
Slowing your pace means to prune your life of things that are draining you and putting pressure on the call. It means to stop comparing yourself with others and embrace your own journey, even if it seems slower. It means allowing yourself the time and space needed to keep your mind at rest and your heart free. Be willing to wait for His timing and see the assignment as a marathon and not a sprint.
Following the grace means to lay down your own timetable and follow His. It means looking for those areas in your life that are bearing fruit and demonstrating God's favor without striving for it. It means taking the time to relax, enjoy your relationships, and keep your priorities in order. When you are following His grace, there will be a supernatural flow of life, blessing and increase, that will bring glory and attention to His working and not your own.
Ultimately, it is not the mission that is priority. He is after us. We are the goal of His heart, not what we do or accomplish. That which is eternal is a far cry from what we esteem and value in this life. Success in heaven's eyes is following the Lamb, not leading Him.
Even as many are feeling an urgency about engaging in public affairs, the work of the church and national issues, we must still remember that it all must be accomplished by His grace and not our human effort. The Father is not anxiously wringing His hands in bringing things to a conclusion. Rather, He is drawing us even closer to Himself so we can be conduits of heaven, agents of grace and demonstrations of a higher realm.
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