The Practicalities of Stewarding Your Breakthrough – Pt. 5

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Welcome back to the series on stewarding breakthrough in practical terms. This week’s tool is simple but powerful: knowing the waiting room rules: what is productive and counterproductive while you wait). 

Some people think waiting for a promised breakthrough to come means sitting back and waiting for it to come. Others think it means putting the promise on a shelf while they wait, and getting busy or distracted with other things in the meantime. In years past, I have fallen into both traps. As the Lord has led me through His processes, however, I’ve learned a few things about the waiting room that have made my stay there (or my journey through – whichever way you prefer to look at it) easier.

It’s true, we can expect to spend a lot of time in the waiting room on our journey of faith. Nearly every breakthrough will have at least one good stint there, if not more. So, since we must learn to be comfortable – or at least familiar – with it, we might as well start with decorating the walls. A cold, sterile feeling waiting room is just not going to yield much fruit, because you won’t want to stay there long enough for anything to grow.

I like to think of my prayer closet as my waiting room, because it’s where I spend the most time talking to God about, thinking about, and waiting for my promises to come to pass. If you don’t have a prayer closet, you can choose or carve out a corner or some little space that will serve as a retreat for your heart, and a place to be reminded that God hasn’t forgotten about you, or the promises He’s made you.

Now, most waiting rooms are places where we tend to feel forgotten about. Sometimes, especially if the situation is critical, the waiting seems to take forever, and we become convinced that our presence and our need has gotten lost in the shuffle. That’s why you need a little space which you can decorate with reminders of God’s faithfulness and His love toward you. The walls of my waiting room were filled last year with plenty of Scriptures, art, and Sunday School lessons that prophetically declared through my children what God had already promised to do. Reminders. Encouragements. Beauty. All in the waiting. (It’s a new year now, so the walls are blank canvases, waiting to be filled with new reminders!) Whatever you do, make it feel like home to you, so you won’t be too quick to rush out of there.

Another really important rule in the waiting room is the rule of conduct. The rule of conduct isn’t so much about what’s allowed in the waiting room, as much as it is about what will be most helpful and productive there. For instance, complaining in the waiting room, while allowed, is almost never productive. God cares how you feel, but your complaining doesn’t change the terms of the waiting room experience. There is an appointed time for every breakthrough, and while I believe we can delay it with disobedience or disconnection, I haven’t yet found a way to hasten it (except by waiting in prayer).

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever sat in a waiting room with someone who is determined to complain about waiting. At the very least, it’s annoying. At most, it is actually counterproductive, because it causes more stress and worry and misery.  So what’s the productive alternative to complaining?

Worship.

Sing songs that remind you of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Read His promises and His record of faithfulness over and over again. Align your speech with His Word, so that what you say agrees with what He says. Live your life around the promises you’re waiting for, because worship takes the form of more than just a song or attending a Sunday service.

Worship is sacrifice and obedience. Worship is work. Worship is gathering up the pieces and the resources of your life, and ordering them around what God said He would and wants to do for you, to be for you.

Which brings me to the third and final, productive rule of the waiting room: decorate the walls (make it your own space with God); worship; and work. 

Waiting, as mentioned at the start of this blog, involves much more than waiting. Sitting around, wishing your breakthrough would come, won’t make it come. There is work to be done while you wait.

Some of the work, as I said, is worship. That’s the work of the soul. It’s work because we don’t always feel like worshiping. We don’t always feel like digging in and finding the encouragement we need to keep holding on and pressing in…and waiting. But we must. The good news is that, when work like worship feels like (and is) work, God supplies the strength and even the desire to do it, to give it, to offer it. All we have to do is ask.

Another kind of work we do while waiting is planning. When God was leading me toward the breakthrough of homeschooling, there was a whole world of stuff I didn’t have a clue about (there still is, but I’ve gained some ground, at least). While I waited, I had to get out pen and paper (or computer) and spend some time envisioning, working out schedules, praying through curriculum. It took many, many hours of planning before that breakthrough came. But it came, and when it came, I was ready for it, because I had put in the work that was needed to sustain it.

There is also the work of taking actual steps toward breakthrough. No one moves directly from point A to point Z. Generally, point A leads to point B, which leads to point C (sometimes you can skip around a little, but the point is that the sum of the smaller steps lead to the final step).

If God promised a breakthrough, for example, of a book being published, there is writing to do. That book isn’t going to pop out of your spiritual womb one day all by itself (believe me…I’ve tried waiting for that to happen, and it doesn’t!). There is time to put in. There is struggling to be done. There is a fight that must be won with self-discipline and faith, and against the powers of darkness that don’t want to see that book come out. There is research to be done. There are multiple channels through which the publishing process must go, all of which require stepping out, making contact, and taking the actual risk of sending the book out. A, B, C, D…one step at a time.

You get the picture. Wishing and waiting produce….well…more wishing and more waiting, really. Progress comes in the cooperation we bring, through trusting, worshiping and working.

Dear Woman of Breakthrough, as complicated as it may sometimes feel, it’s simple, really. God will lead us, little by little, day by day. And as we cooperate with His leading, our waiting will turn to realization. Our promises will see their moment of breakthrough. And most of this transpires in…you guessed it…the waiting room!

I will leave you with this verse I read yesterday in Psalm 37:3-5 of the Passion Translation. It has greatly encouraged my soul, and I pray it will do the same for you. Maybe you will even choose to decorate your waiting room with it!

“Keep trusting the Lord and do what is right in His eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on His faithfulness. Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and He will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust Him along the way, you’ll find He pulled it off perfectly!”

{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}

 


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