Thursday, October 16, 2008

God’s “Holding Pattern”

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

If you have flown very often, chances are you're familiar with the term "holding pattern." That's when your plane is unable to land because of unfavorable ground conditions. Generally the pilot announces that he's been told to maintain a holding pattern pending an update from the control tower. It happens regularly, so planes have to carry enough fuel to stay airborne till they can land safely. The Bible says, "Wait for the Lord; be strong… let your heart take courage." When God puts you in a holding pattern it's not just a question of having enough faith to receive His promise, it's also a matter of having enough "Spiritual staying power" to stay airborne until it comes to pass. That's why you need to carry enough Spiritual fuel to handle delays and wait for clearance.

The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit, "a rushing mighty wind" (Acts 2:2). After God had delayed Noah long enough to accomplish His purpose, "He sent a wind"
(Genesis 8:1 NIV). Anytime a wind comes from the presence of God it blows away all hindrances and obstacles, it dries the ground under your feet so you can move ahead. It demolishes the spirit of fear and heaviness that makes you want to quit.

Don't try to get out of anything prematurely. James 1:4 (TM)

The Bible says, "To every thing there is a season" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). So no matter how hard you pray, you can't pray your life's seasons away. There are some situations you aren't meant to change - you're just meant to survive! Paul calls these times, "light affliction, which is… for a moment" (2 Corinthians 4:17). When you can't alter your circumstances you must learn to grow through them.

In winter, trees take advantage of the season to rebuild their strength and prepare to be fruitful next season. Their sap and substance go underground. Then in the spring it pushes its way back up again in the form of new growth. Looking back over your life you'll find that your achievements are seasonal. Growth comes, then struggle, and vice versa. Each season has its purpose. God has a reason for not wanting you to be productive all the time. When He permits winter winds to blow through your life He's preparing you for the coming spring. James writes, "Consider it a… gift… when tests… come… under pressure, your faith… shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way" (James 1:2-4 TM).

One of the issues you'll struggle with in a waiting period is the urge to hurry, to make permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. Don't do it! Every situation doesn't call for immediate action. Remember, patience comes from trust, and you can't trust a God you don't know. That's why you need to spend more time getting acquainted with Him through reading His Word and praying.

Somebody has said that patience is the quality you admire in the driver behind, but not the guy in front! God is a God of order; He ordains specific times for bringing specific purposes to pass. And it doesn't pay to get ahead of Him. Certain things can't be accomplished "by might, nor… power." So how are they accomplished? "By My Spirit." David said, "My times are in Your hands" (Psalm 31:15 NIV). David understood that others can't short circuit God's plan for you. Once you're able to acknowledge that, you find peace - and stop trying to "make things happen." When God drops a seed into your life it needs time to take root and grow. And you don't have to be concerned with the outcome because when it's planted in a fertile, faith-filled heart, the results are guaranteed.

The hard part is knowing that you're on the verge of a breakthrough, then having God tell you to wait. It's when you think He's forgotten you and every second feels like a lifetime, that your patience gets a workout. David said: "I waited patiently for the Lord… and… He… set my feet on solid ground and [gave] me… a hymn of praise" (Psalm 40:1-3 NLT). When you honor God's timing, you always land on solid ground, and end up with a reason to praise Him.

So, when you know you've a mandate from God but He puts you on hold, stay on the line till He gets back to you. It's well worth waiting to get your answer directly from Him. Think about it! Would you dare trust any other answer?

David asked God, "What is man that you are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4 NIV). Even in times of frustration and waiting, God is still thinking about you and working everything out for your good. His delays aren't denials. So, when you sense a divine breeze in your spirit, rejoice, it's a sign that He's clearing you to land and good things are about to happen! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty


LAURIE said...

some time ago I wrote a blog post on when God moves our cloud. We forget that when our clouds move (trials, tests, changes in relationships, careers, etc)that God is still with us. Unfortunetly, we have a tendency to try to move things along, move our cloud quicker than what is in Gods plan. I always tell people, if in doubt...wait (wait upon the Lord). -Blessings and Happy Birthday....Laurie

Anonymous said...

it is so hard to wait. it is not natural but is sure is a needful thing. Patience is one more thing i need in my life.
thanks for the word

Anonymous said...

pastor,this was great just what i needed is hard to wait.we want it now .we want to rush God but God is always on time.i need more patience.thank you. pat

Rick Bruce said...

Amen, pastor! Thanks for the uplifting word, I needed to hear it. At times, I am such an impatient person, I want it all now. But that is exactly why I don't need it, for God knows it would not be the right things at the right time. In His wisdom, He wants what is very best for me and, in His time, it will come to pass. Many times what I feel is best, would end up the worst thing for me. I am reminded of the many destroyed lives of lottery winners, where they thought the money would solve the problems they faced, but instead caused more life-destroying problems (greed, divorce, infidelity, even death). Therefore, though I am impatient at times, I thank God that He is looking out for me, and has in store the very best for me, and that He doesn't leave it up to me!

I equate it to a parent and a teenager; where the parent makes choices for the child because the parent loves the child and wants the very best for them. This usually is in contrast to what the child wants, therefore, the parent is being "unfair". However, in time, the teenager grows and sees that the parent was acting in the best interest of the child then, and only then, does the child understand the love the parent has for them. I thank God that He loves me enough to give me the very best, even when it goes in contrast to what I think is best and I try to fight Him (kicking and screaming, like a little child). Please Lord give me patience to do Your will, for your Glory, not mine, because I know Your plans are greater than my own.

Tonya said...

Wow, that is exactly what I needed to read at this time in my life.
Thanks for always allowing God to use you. Love you guys and hope to come and see yall soon!

Wanda & Lynn said...

Pastor, I've been meaning to comment on your devotion "The Holding Pattern". This devotion could not have been more on time. I read this last Thursday evening after being asked at work if I had my wish regarding keeping my job or being severance which would I want. Several weeks back when I found out that I was on the list to be severance due to my position being eliminated. I prayed and asked God for His will regarding my job. In my mind I felt like I wanted to go ahead and leave due to several others that I had worked with so long had also been given their severance. You see my name had appeared on the list to be severance and for some reason was taken off. So for the past two weeks I have been sitting in limbo here at work without much to do and having to ask around for something to do. When the new boss came in, I asked if she could find out what they planned on doing with me. In the meantime, I was asked if I could be severance did I want to, and my answer was yes. Then I read your devotion. Before reading it, I was in a state of confusion and didn't have peace whether I should leave or stay. After reading the devotion I knew that that was exactly where God had me in a "holding pattern". The next morning I prayed and asked God to forgive me for asking His will, and then me trying to direct the outcome. I called Lynn and asked him to agree with me in prayer, that if for some reason my name was on the severance list and that wasn't God's will, then for God to remove my name. But if I was on the severance list then I could leave in peace knowing that God was going to open up other doors at a later time for me. Pastor, I'm still in that "holding pattern" but I can say that I'm holding on with Peace....Thank You for your devotion and all that you and Dorinda do for us! We Love you both!