The great American humorist, Will Rogers, is known to have said:
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
The same is true when doing God’s will. God’s timing is perfect- no one ever really argues that point, but yet how many times do we hear someone (maybe even ourselves?) saying something to the effect of, “Well, I am pretty sure that is what God wants me to do but I am waiting for Him to tell me when to do it.”
Yeshua said that we know how to tell the signs of the weather but we don’t know how to read the signs of the times (Matthew 16:3).
When God gives you a calling, it isn’t for you to consider or to think about. It is a calling, it’s a thing to do, it is an action not a notification. If you are waiting for a sign when it should be done, you’ve already missed it: God doesn’t tell us to do something later.
When He told Abraham to leave Ur, it wasn’t for a later date. When He told Moses to go to Egypt, it wasn’t something for him do after the holidays. When God told Joshua to attack Jericho, he wasn’t supposed to send invitations. When God told Jeremiah to buy the field, He meant now.
The only thing that God delays is His judgement, and we should be very thankful for that delay. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really proven to make a difference. Shomron and Judea both had plenty of time to get their act together, but eventually all that extra time God gave them didn’t help.
The parashah this past Shabbat and for the next two Shabbatot covers the plagues upon Egypt. Last Shabbat Moses received his calling, and (as you probably know) he wasn’t too anxious to do it. He hemmed and hawed, and nearly got himself killed by God on the way to Egypt with his delaying. Moses certainly is an example of hearing God’s call and not heeding it right away. But, he did go, and although he had a slow and stumbling start, he continued to listen to God. And as he did more and more of what God directed him to do, he got stronger in his spirit and more confident in his ability to accomplish God’s plan. By the time Moses had been leading the people for years, he was strong in spirit, confident in his actions, and able to lead a multitude of people through a desert. Imagine: only a few years earlier he told God he wasn’t the man for the job. Guess God was right, after all. Duh!
Our God is a god of action, not a god of sitting around and waiting. As the title says, there is no such thing as waiting in God’s will- it is walking in God’s will; it is being in God’s will; we are to be acting in God’s will. We are to be, to act, to walk, to serve…all of these are action verbs. We are not to be idle, or waiting, or planning, and we are certainly not supposed to be waiting for a sign when we hear God telling us what to do.
When God tells us to do something, He means N–O–W! The “sign” that God is ready to help us is that He has told us what to do. When God is ready to use us as His vessel, He will let us know what His will is. That’s when we do it. Not later, not when it is a better time (there’s no time like the present, right?) and not when we feel “ready” in our own timing.
I believe, and I will speak for myself here, that I am never going to be ready to do God’s will when I hear Him call me. I am just that confident in my own inability. But that’s OK. In fact, that is what it should be. Moses wasn’t ready, but he was divinely enabled when did as God directed. God’s the quarterback, God’s the pilot, God’s controlling what happens so we don’t need to ask for the fleece to be wet or dry, we just need to do what God tells us to do when we hear Him tell us to do it.
No one is ever really “ready” to do God’s will: are you? You may be willing to do it, you may want to do it, but are you ready? That would imply that you are already filled with all the spirit, the Ruach, that you need. When I read the bible, it seems to me that every disciple of God, from Abraham all the way to the 12 Talmudim of Yeshua, gained their spiritual strength after they started to do what God called them to do. Abraham lied about Sarah to protect his life- not very trusting of God, is it? And he did it twice! And so did Isaac. Jacob sent gifts to appease Esau. Moses needed Aaron to go with him. Gideon threw the fleece before the Lord. Saul hid when called to be anointed as king (Saul’s a good example of what happens when you constantly refuse to follow God’s calling), Elijah hid from Isabel and asked God to kill him, Jonah…well, we all know about Jonah. Kefa (Peter) walked on the water but immediately lost faith, Judas betrayed Yeshua, Shaul (Paul) had to get knocked off his “high horse” to see the truth.
All these biblical characters, all of which did great things when walking in God’s will, still all had to be discipled by God, they had to be taught to draw on His Ruach HaKodesh, they had to “learn the ropes”, so to speak, and none of that started until they began to walk in God’s will and do as He commanded them.
We will never be ready to do God’s calling in our life. God knows that, and I don’t really think He even wants us to be “ready” because He will teach us all we need to know. What God expects is that we are willing to go when called. And don’t worry about what to say (Luke 12:11), don’t worry about what to eat or wear or about where you will sleep (Psalm 37:25) and don’t worry about your safety (Psalm 118:6).
My biggest fear in my spiritual life is that I will hear God’s calling for me, clearly and undeniably, and I will fail to move. I will create excuses, as I already have in many ways, and I am most afraid that I may miss doing as He called me to do because I was waiting to be ready.
Do you remember reading in the bible about those people whom God called to do wondrous works in His name but didn’t? That’s right- there aren’t any. That’s the point!
God has a plan for all of us- listen for it, be willing to follow God’s lead, and don’t ever expect to be ready to do what He calls you to do. That’s what walking in faith is all about- we can’t see where we’re going, we don’t know what is waiting for us, and we know there isn’t anything we can do to control what is going to happen. But because God is calling us and leading us, we faithfully know that whatever is going to happen will be controlled by God.
As it says in Romans 8:31…if God is for us, who can be against us?