Tuesday, February 6, 2024

What God is Doing

At any given time, I think there are two movements in our lives related to God's overarching purpose and plan for us - what God is doing and what we are doing. And, as I said yesterday, I don't think these always have to be the same thing. 

So let's start by talking about what God is doing. 

God is working things together for the good of those who love Him. He is working with your intricate design to weave you into the world exactly where He designed you to be. He is fulfilling the promises He made to you and through you. We know all of that. Or, at least, we intellectually know all of that. So we say. 

Sometimes, God gives us a vision for this, for what it looks like, for what it will one day be. Sometimes, God lets us know what He's working toward, where He'll have us going, what He'll have us doing. It may come in a fleeting moment or in a dream that you can't stop having, but He will give you a vision for what He is doing with your life. 

But here's something I've learned - it doesn't always look the way that I think it looks in the vision. 

We can get this vision from God and think we know what He's up to, and we can think - we often think - that this is the great, big, overarching plan for everything. That God is going to bring us to this place and we're never going to leave it. That this is the end-game, the everything. This is what we're working toward. 

I don't think there's necessarily a problem with that. When God gives you a vision for what He's doing, I think it's important to invest yourself in the things that will help you get there. If you feel like God is calling you to a foreign country, there's no problem with starting to study a foreign language. If you feel like He's going to put you in the worship ministry, there's nothing wrong with starting to sing a little more in the shower. If He's calling you into formal ministry, it's absolutely reasonable to start looking into form educational training (assuming that would be required). Part of being a person of faith is pursuing the pieces that take you to the places God is showing you. 

At the same time, maybe what God is preparing you for isn't everything; maybe it's just one thing. Maybe it's just one moment. Maybe it's where you're going, where you might pass through, but not where you're staying. Maybe the vision He's given you is for a season, not for settling. 

The Bible is full of stories of persons in transition. Of fleeting moments. Of holy encounters that move on into other things. Of sojourns through sacredness, surrounded by a lot of the mundane. 

This is important because I think we do ourselves a disservice when we go all-in on the one thing we're sure God has shown us, and we end up frustrated because it is failing somehow. It isn't coming together the way we thought. It doesn't look the way we thought it was supposed to look. When that happens, we can't help but feel like maybe we're failing God...or maybe He's failing us. Then, maybe a long time later, we see the vision again, and we think, oh, no, I'm not falling for that again. 

That's why we have to recognize that when we're talking about God's purpose and plan, one of the movements of that is what God is doing - what He's working together that we can't force or hurry. That we can't make happen under our own power, even if we're doing everything right in trying to prepare ourselves for it. There is part of the plan for each of our lives that is simply God's call, God's doing, God's timing. Part of our journey is both holding onto and letting go of that.  

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