The Long-View of God

Occasionally, I'll look back at my childhood and try  to calculate the value of all the junk (and, that's a charitable classification) that I begged my parents for - and, very often received. It usually ends in my lamenting how I could have been so short sighted in my youthful fiscal policy. Hundreds, nay thousands, of dollars were spent on carefully marketed, colorfully-packaged plastic non-sense which, had I possessed a little more patience, creativity, and a longer view of the situation, could've been substituted successfully by a couple sticks and some imagination, both of which were plentiful in my neighborhood. If only I'd waited for something worthwhile to spend the money on! At worst, it could have been put away in a piggy bank; even better, it could have been invested in Apple, Google, or Amazon and been multiplied several times over.

This trend hasn't changed a whole lot, however, in becoming an adult. I'm still horrible at being patient in spending money. The only difference is, my "carefully marketed, colorfully-packaged plastic non-sense" just has a higher price-tag and a more well-thought-out justification (though not necessarily any better). The justification comes with phrases like "investment," "standard of living," "within my means," "creature comfort," or "necessity of modern living" - all phrases my parent-begging 7-year-old self wishes he had known.

But, I'm not here to decry the evils of consumerism. For sure, it's a trap we all can fall into, and it has the potential to waste our valuable resources. The point is, however, that consumerism as well as several other temptations are often just symptoms of a bigger issue: our inability to wait on God in seeing and trusting His long-view. Instead, we want our way. Right now. Whatever satisfies us in the moment.

The disciples, after the resurrection, faced a similar challenge to their thinking. They asked the question: “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” But, God had a bigger plan in mind. "He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

God's long-view included not only restoring Israel but, ultimately, all nations and even all creation. Further, He was choosing to work through the very bodies of His people to accomplish this. However, in order to do so, He was going to need to fill them with His spirit. The disciples could very well have gone out right after the resurrection, proclaiming the news that Jesus the Messiah had been raised from the dead. They could've jumped into the work of "ministry" and "evangelism," but God's plan was for them to wait: "wait for what the Father had promised," wait for the Holy Spirit, through which God would continue to transform the world.

So, as we near Pentecost (June 4th), what might God be asking you to take the long-view on? Has he promised something which hasn't come to fruition? Has He called you to a task not yet made available? Has He asked you to be obedient without giving you an end in sight? This May, don't settle for cheap, plastic, flashy, short-sighted gimmicks. Wait on God. Trust that He will operate in His time. And, engage this season of waiting in a way which prepares you thoroughly for where God is eventually leading, wherever that might be.

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