Have you ever heard the words- “when God gives me my _________________(fill in the blank) then I will be happy.” Or how about “If only I had___________________________(fill in the blank), then I would be content.” May be the promise you are believing for is graduating college, getting married, starting a business or finding your dream job. Whatever it may be, we often live with the expectation of the dream arriving but what happens when the promise arrives? Have you asked yourself, what will I do then?
I am at a stage of my life where I feel that God has blessed me beyond measure. I am married to the man of my dreams, I became an instant mother of three beautiful girls, I love my job AND my husband and I have been tasked with leading the launch of a new service at our church. It is as if all of the things I had prayed for have become a reality. God has fulfilled so many promises in my life and lately I have asked myself, what do I do next? What do I do with all of this?
In my mind, I had this idea what when the promise arrives it will all be just perfect and that was it. I guess I never really thought beyond the promise. I had focused so much on wanting to be married, having a big family and having the opportunity to serve God with my husband but I had never envisioned what would come after.
Well- I have come to the realization that with every dream that is fulfilled and every promise we receive, comes a new level of responsibility. I would love to tell you that now that I have all of the things I had prayed for in this season, life is all of a sudden perfect, fully resolved and stress-free but it isn’t. I am starting to realize that it is just the beginning and this new stage is filled with new challenges.
So what do I do now? Deuteronomy 26:1-5 talks about what the Israelites were instructed to do when they reached the promised land:
Once you enter the land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance and take it over and settle down, you are to take some of all the firstfruits of what you grow in the land that God, your God, is giving you, put them in a basket and go to the place God, your God, sets apart for you to worship him. At that time, go to the priest who is there and say, “I announce to God, your God, today that I have entered the land that God promised our ancestors that he’d give to us.”
I have read this verse several times in the financial context of taking the first fruits as an offering to God. BUT, He showed me that I am supposed to give Him the first fruits of everything in my life and it starts with my time and attention. In every season of life, we must always seek Him first.
Then later in Deuteronomy 26:10-11 it says:
Then place it in the Presence of God, your God. Prostrate yourselves in the Presence of God, your God. And rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given you and your family; you and the Levite and the foreigner who lives with you.
So we must rejoice in His presence.
I am realizing that the more I receive from Him, the more I need of Him! Perhaps I thought that once I was married I would all of a sudden be complete but I am not. While I love my husband with all my heart, his love does not compare to the Father’s love. My husband cannot provide what God can provide in my life. My daughters can’t fill me like God can and my career does not complete me like God does.
As a matter of fact, I need to be filled with His presence even more than before so that I can love my husband and daughters the way they need to be loved.
Often we are so fixated on our dreams that we forget to enjoy the process to get us there and every single day. We think that once we have our reward or reach our end goal then all of a sudden life will be perfect but it is not. The promise will come but be prepared to know that it is not the end-goal. The promise will come with a new journey in which you will need to fill yourself with His presence.
Today, I want to encourage you whether you are in a season where you have received what you had prayed for or in the season of waiting. Remember to lean in to God and enjoy the journey. Understanding that every moment, every step is part of the process.
Let’s not forget to live the now in hopes of having our prayer answered. God can answer our prayers and give us what we want at any moment but you see, He is more interested in what is developed in that process.
Life is not about a destination, it is about the journey that develops the character in you, the process that is utilized to refine us.