Immediately

November 10, 2010

I’m reading through the gospels, and was reminded of the different writing styles that made each unique.  Specifically Mark is short and to the point.  Mark apparently was a man of action.  Short stories that happen quickly.  The book is only 16 chapters long and the chapters are short when compared to Luke. Mark gets right to the point.  He used the word immediately 10 times in chapter one.  (In the New American Standard version)  Forty-seven times in the Book of Mark the word translated immediately or at once is used.

It seems like my life right now is the polar opposite of immediately.  I’m not happy about it, but it sure seems to be the case.  For instance I thought I would get another job immediately after leaving the last one.  I expect God to answer my prayers immediately; some he does, some he doesn’t.

Right now immediately is not as important to me as immediacy.  In fact this post has taken me six days to write, so my sense of immediacy seems to be waning, or at least sitting in the doldrums.

Maybe it’s because God can do more with me, more in me, or more through me, while I am waiting… Perhaps it is because he is preparing something so big that I’m not ready for it yet.  It could be that others have not yet chosen to cooperate with God, but I think he could handle that issue without delay.

See, there are times when I think man has delayed my next ministry role, but that would limits God’s ability to do his sovereign work, so I have to eliminate others as the problem.  There are times when I think it is me. And I have spent more hours than I can count trying to see what I need to change in order for God to use me again.  I’m still listening, but, I think (I say this with care, I do not want to appear smug, or self-righteous, Jesus is my righteousness) I am obedient and listening.  Which leaves me with just one option:  I am not back in ministry because God is delaying that step for a good reason.

I really believe He is in control, and no one can delay his purposes. The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:10-11)   And I believe that if I seek him, he will not hide from me, and if I trust him, he will guide my life.  Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  (Proverbs 16:3)  I further believe that even if others plans for me were ill-intentioned, even if they were evil, God will protect me and he will prevail. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)  And finally, even though it was written more than 2,400 years ago, Jeremiah 29 :11 was written for me.    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

So whatever it is he is working on for me, it might not be done immediately, it will be done well.

And in the mean time I pray that he continues to work with me, to work in me, and to work through me.

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