That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
~Romans 4:17 NLT~
I used to watch the popular television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and in each episode, Captain Picard would say to his second in command, “Make it so, Number 2.” Before you begin to think that Picard was somehow insulting his beloved Commander Riker, please understand that Number 2 was a term of endearment. The point of sharing this tidbit with you is not necessarily to shed light on the importance of putting ourselves second, but to lead into a discussion about how God prepares us for something and then ever so confidently places the reigns in our hands and tells us; sometimes clearly, sometimes not so clearly, to “Make it so.”
God’s gentle guidance sometimes seems overwhelming no matter how long He babies us. The idea that He will trust us to take bold steps seems far fetched when we consider how often we’ve been instructed to simply listen and obey. For some reason, we tend to think that means that none of the gifts He has given us are meant to be put into action unless we see it laid out in Step 1, Step 2, Step 3…fashion. When those steps aren’t laid out for us, we stall. We rest on verses like Psalm 27:14 that says, “Wait patiently for the Lord,” but sometimes the greatest tests He gives us have more to do with our ability to trust what we know about God and keep moving forward until He says to do something else. He doesn’t always mean for us to sit by idly while we wait for Him to move. Sometimes we have to actually do something.
I’ve been hanging back for a while, trying to figure out what it is He really wants me to focus on. In all of my seeking and straining to hear Him, I’ve managed to remain frozen in place while my faith has been slowly melting into a puddle at my feet. Not my faith in Him, but my faith in my ability to hear Him…or in His desire to speak to me. It’s amazing how we effectively can put the brakes on our ability to carry out His plan simply by spending too much time wondering when He’s going to tell us what to do next. Sometimes, you just need to keep swimming. Eventually, He’ll shift the current to ensure that you reach the destination He wants you to reach.
When you realize that you’ve just been standing around like an idiot, sometimes you begin to doubt whether or not God should even allow you to make any progress. As I said before, it isn’t as much a matter of our faith in Him but a matter of our faith in ourselves. Like Gideon, we may doubt that we are strong enough or capable enough to be trusted with the task He’s placed in front of us. But God is patient with us whether we’ve moved in the wrong direction or failed to move at all. He waits for us to “get it” and when He sees that we have finally caught on, He gives us a push and out of the nest we fall. Thankfully, if we can’t figure out how to use our wings He will also catch us or somehow cushion our landing. But His hope for us is that we remember who we are and that we spread our wings and allow ourselves to take flight. And when we do, His glory shines through every time. So go ahead and use what the Good Lord gave you. When your actions are rooted in obedience and reverence for the Almighty, even if you heard Him wrong you’ll be okay.