I don’t know if its due to the age group that I constantly find myself engaged with, or if its a trait of a generation seeking greatness and meaning, but over and over again I meet people who are stuck, stung, and snagged by one question.
What does God want me to do?
The question in itself sounds noble. But the more I hear it, the more I realize that it only concerns God on the surface. Scratching through the letters and the cadence, covered by the words and punctuation is an impatience. A need to know NOW what God has purposely hidden.
The thing we must realize is that God is a character builder, not a transportation engineer. He is less concerned with getting us to our destinies than we think. Ultimately, God can get us where we need to be in an instant, just ask Philip or Enoch. He can catapult us to the PLACE of our destiny whenever He so desires. What takes time, is character building.
- God built character in Israel when He had them circle the desert again and again and again.
- God was building character in David when he fled from Saul again and again and again.
- God was building character in Abraham when he had to wait for a son for years, and years, and years.
- God was building character is Jacob when he served Laban for 7 years, and 7 more years, and then more years.
- God was building character in Moses when he was in the desert for years, and years, and years.
God is into building character.
And while He is building our destiny in the future, He is building character now.
I think that we often want the whole plan laid out before us. And we look at the people in the Bible who had these great pronouncements of destiny over their lives as the example. But we forget that often there were years and years where there was no pronouncement, the pronouncements were few and far between, and very often the pronouncements were not specific.
Look at Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. His destiny was to raise the Son of God. At what point was he told his destiny? About 9 months before the birth of Jesus, and even then, the pronouncement wasn’t a detailed account of things to come. Then there was a huge pronouncement around the birth. Then a dream to go to Egypt. Then some time passes and another dream to come home. I’m sure that during the time in Egypt, Joseph asked God “When do we get to go home” and God was silent. God is more often than not a “just in time” God. He could have come and sat down with Joseph and said “Hereth is the dealth. In 9 months Mary will give birth to My son and it will be in Bethlehem and not how you expect it, but now you will expect it because I told you. Then, in about a couple years, you will have to flee to Egypt, but you will be there for 3-4 years and then come home, but not to home, but to Gallilee, yada yada yada.”
That type of detailed account is what so many of us seem to be asking of God. But He has no track record of answering that kind of question.
What Joseph demonstrates is that he obeyed what God told him in the past (the law) and that he would obey what God tells him (in the present). By doing those two things, God got him to the place of his destiny.
If we do what He told us, and do what He tells us, we will get where He plans for us to be. That is the key. Character is built in the now. Obedience builds character. If you haven’t done what He’s told you, dont look for Him to tell you something else. If you can’t do what He tells you, dont expect to reach your destiny.
What if Joseph couldnt be trusted to do what God tells him? He would have left Mary. Or perhaps he obeys that part, but not the dream to flee to Egypt. Or perhaps he ignores the command to come home, or the one to go to Galilee…
Do what He’s told you. Do what He tells you. And you’ll get to where He wants you. You destiny is directly tied to doing the tolds and the tells.