My wife and I recently had dinner with a good friend and his wife. Little known to us, they had a secret to share and couldn’t wait to tell it — they were expecting! It was a great evening of joy and celebration for all of us. With that in mind, have you ever asked yourself the question, “What is it that’s stirring on the inside of me?” We’ve all been there before, haven’t we? You know, it’s that feeling that makes you a little tenuous at times, like something’s changing, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
So, let me help you with that fragile feeling — could it be that God is at work? Or that He is planting something new inside of you? The answer is probably a resounding, YES! I’m talking about the way God sows seeds within us for a future harvest. Let’s check it out a little more!
Did you know that most of God’s new days begin in the dark? Yep, that is the way it works, “…And there was evening and morning, one day.” (Genesis 1:5b NASB) Did you catch that? Evening, then morning, or dark to light! When God begins a new thing in your life, it is typically unknown to you. You are in the dark, trying to figure it out. Something new is happening in your spirit and you are trying to figure it out!
Keep in mind that before the fruit of God’s plan is revealed in your life, a seed is planted in your heart. Think about it… God put a seed in Noah to build an ark. Zerubbabel and Jeshua knew about their assignment long before they ever started the work on rebuilding the Temple. Learn to listen to your heart. Notice the seed that seems to be taking root within. God is a planter; you and your heart are His soil.
Watch the pattern with Haggai — “So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God.” (Haggai 1:14 NLT) Then Nehemiah, “I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:12b NLT)
So, let me ask you once again, “What’s that stirring on the inside of you? What is it that you can’t seem to shake off? What’s growing? What’s kicking? What are you nurturing?” From a biblical perspective, it could be your calling. Maybe a newfound destiny or assignment. You are not called to aimlessly wander through life, just taking everything as it comes. You serve a God who desires to involve you in His plans. Got it? If you believe it, then start walking!
Some of you might be thinking, “But Pastor Jon, I feel lost. My life looks barren and it feels as if my life purpose has evaporated. What should I do?” Read on… this is for you. Here are four steps to become a carrier of God’s purpose for your life:
Remember – Proximity Matters
If you would allow me, let me make a strong, but tasteful statement — If my wife and I wanted to get pregnant, our proximity would matter! Right? As adults, we get this analogy, don’t we? However, with God we’re not talking about a sexual issue, but rather the idea of living devoted lives to Him and His cause. You and I should never ask God for purpose and vision without placing ourselves in proximity to receive a seed from Him.It doesn’t work any other way.
Here is how Jesus explains it, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you [there is an if there], you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5 NIV) The task of keeping a close relationship with Jesus is not “a walk in the park.” It can be demanding. It’s the price you pay to be expecting.
Believe That God Can Use You
As easy as that sounds, it’s not quite so routine. Honestly, this is a big one for some of you reading this, because most of us are riddled with the notion that says, “I don’t have what it takes to be used of God.” Thoughts like, “I’ve made too many mistakes,” or “I’m just not talented enough,” often rattle inside our brains on a frequent basis. Please understand that your shortcomings don’t disqualify you. They attracted God the Father to your side.
Think about it, was Abraham a perfect man? I don’t think so! Look at his response when God spoke, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8-10 NIV)Somehow, he believed that with God on his side, and that with God’s help, he could do anything.
Abraham was an expecting person. Think about it – he lived in a tent yet could still see a city with foundations whose architect and builder was God. (Hebrews 11:10) Wow, what faith! What vision! So, the real question we grapple with would be, “Can I live in the dirt, and still have a vision for cities with foundations?”
So, do you believe God can use you? Are you waiting expectantly? On that note, here’s a verse to ponder, “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” (Psalm 5:3 NLT) In essence… to wait expectantly!
Miscarriages Don’t Disqualify You as a Carrier
The truth is that most of God’s people have suffered the loss of a vision at one time or another. You could call it a spiritual miscarriage. If you are honest with yourself, you have probably wrestled with the personal doubt and fear of not having what it takes to get the job done for God.
In the context of the Hebrews 11 text, the Hebrew word for wait is the word ṣāp̄â (sah-fah). It carries the idea of maintaining an upward look, of keeping watch, or to be a watchman, or to lean forward. Wow! I hope that describes you! Even when the miscarriage of a vision happens, and the wait is lengthened, never quit! God is faithful to fulfill what He’s put in your heart.
In times of doubt, it’s important to remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV) I suppose it’s important to remind ourselves not to get cocky — we’re just the carriers!
Decide to Carry it Full Term
The decision to be a carrier of a vision and purpose is a huge commitment. Think about it from a natural standpoint: when you agree to become a parent, you don’t really know what you’re committing to, do you? You don’t know what your baby will look like, act like, or even become. However, it doesn’t matter — as a couple you already decided to be a carrier. Both of you are responsible to raise the child, and nurture it through childhood into adulthood.
All the moms reading this know that once you’re pregnant, you’re committed! You can’t check out when you get physically uncomfortable, when you get nauseated, or can’t sleep. Not even when you can’t walk the same as you once did! Right? It doesn’t matter, the baby is still yours!
Make no mistake, it’s not about you. It is about the fact that God has ordained you to be a spiritual carrier of His purposes! So, what has God planted in your spiritual womb? Nurture it, watch over it, care for it, and oh yeah… maybe it’s time to tell somebody today — I’m expecting!