Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
We are prone to be either too conservative or foolishly risky. God inspires us to hope and faithful obedience that results in the progress of His work. He leads and guides and shapes our hearts and our futures, and those who would follow Him must learn the discipline of preparations for future blessings.
I appreciate the positive biblical teaching that comes through the Blackaby writing, Experiencing God. Based on John 5:17-20, it simply affirms that God is always at work around us and seeks to show us where He is working and what He is doing, inviting us to join Him in His work. Wherever we see Him at work, there will be some types of preparation we need to make to get ready for the future. Perhaps training, perhaps building, perhaps organizing, perhaps recruiting, perhaps hiring, but there will be something that we will need to do. Admiral Grace Murray Hopper said, “A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” As Christ’s people we are not built to just remain safely in port – we need to get out into the open sea of human needs and fulfill our calling as God’s victorious people.
We often say, “Stepping out in faith,” and faith is stepping out, but it is stepping out in obedience, not presumption. I prefer to use the words, “being obedient to God’s leadership,” so that we are moving in the right direction, and not wasting effort or neglecting real opportunities by spending our energies and resources in directions where God is not leading.
Prayer also has a place in this. In according to His Word, we ask God for His will to be done, and then often we are challenged by the Spirit to begin preparing for the blessing God will provide. Pastor John Bisagno told the story of his child asking him to build a play house for him in the backyard. Bisagno said, yes, he would. Then he noticed his child immediately his gathering toys in the backyard, getting ready for the playhouse his father said he would build. He said, he put down his books and started immediately to build it because his son’s confidence in his father moved his heart. So our heavenly Father looks for those people who will believe and trust and act in confidence because of His truth and His Spirit’s leadership.
When I was going to go to seminary, I was broke, almost completely, and reasoned that I should stay out of school for a year or two to save money to go. My godly Mother told me that seminary was the type of thing you should do when God calls you and not because you think you can afford it. God will provide, she said, so I went and she was right. God provided all the way, and still provides.
How should you prepare right now for the response of God, should He choose to answer your prayers?
Thank You, God, for Your goodness and love. Teach us to expect You to be true to Your word, to move in our worlds, and to use us in the process. Build up our faith and our vision. Amen.