I just finished listening to a sermon (on podcast) by Banning Liebscher from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. He shared his story of being young and zealous for the Lord. At 19 years old he felt like all he wanted to do was travel around and preach (I think he’s in his mid-30s now). He didn’t feel “called” to the local church or to youth.
Today he is the youth pastor at his local church and loves it.
As he shared I found myself laughing out loud a few times because I could relate to what he was saying and his type-A personality. He talked about how he would think about the timeline of his life and how he would always feel like he was “behind” a few years (something I’ve thought about a time or two).
Liebscher would get irritated when people would talk to him about “growing organically” in the Lord. He felt like that was code for just being lazy. He wanted to accomplish great things for God and he didn’t like the idea of going through a “process” of preparation.
Then he shared about the different seasons of life God brings us through – the steps that prepare us for what God’s called us to do. And as he talked about his own struggle to submit to “the process” I realized I also have that same struggle.
I prefer to set my sights on my destination and do whatever it takes to get there. I almost always seem to forget that God has a purpose in the journey itself. (Since this is Beyond Clichés I’m trying hard to refrain from saying, “It’s about the journey not the destination.”)
But really it’s not about the journey or the destination…it’s about a Father and His children. It’s about discovering who God is and who we are. The journey, seasons and the process all exist to serve a higher purpose.
I hope I don’t sound like I have this all figured out because I don’t. But one thing I know is God takes us through a process of transformation. So many people (including myself) get discouraged when we look at our current situation and then look at the promises of God. It’s easy to draw incorrect conclusions about God and about our purpose when we only look at what we don’t have or haven’t accomplished in life.
When we turn our gaze to the Lord everything changes. When we ask the Lord what He wants us to focus on in the season we’re in and listen to that still small voice — then that sense of purpose and peace return. As we set goals for 2012 let’s remember much of what God wants to do in and through us hinges on what happens in “the process” of reaching those goals.