My Attempts at the Fast Track to Success
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Psalm 46:10a, "Be still, and know that I am God!"
Today, I am all stirred up about this devotional!
I have a question. How many of you have ever been like me and attempted to make life happen for yourself in your own power?
Within the last couple weeks, I have been striving so hard after trying to get my life going in a direction that will make me feel "successful". I desire a goal. I desire a dream. I desire purpose and have a longing to thrive instead of just exist.
What is it that I've been doing? I've been searching for a way to support myself. Am I unhappy where I live? Of course not. I love my family, and we get along. My parents are not asking me to leave. I simply got it in my head that I am nineteen and not getting any younger, and I have been feeling like I need to be working toward something.
All of this sounds fine and dandy, except... this isn't what God has been laying on my heart to do. Oh no! This is the exact opposite of what He has been laying on my heart.
What are the verses God keeps asking me to live by? "Be still and know that I am God!" Psalm 46:10a. What else? "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." Matthew 7:13-14.
Here I am, looking for direction for my life, and what is being laid on my heart? Be still.
I've been doing everything except being still, though. Instead, I made attempts at the fast track to success. What is this?
I decided to take matters into my own hands. My life felt like it wasn't going anywhere, so instead of being still, I chose plan B... my way instead of God's way.
I signed up for Christian Mingle in hopes of finding a husband FAST. I was tired of waiting. Who I planned to marry ended up not being the right guy, but I didn't want to wait any longer for God's timing, so here I came with my attempt to find a Christian guy to fall in love with. Ha! Was that ever an experience.
So, I finally deactivated my account with Christian Mingle and decided I needed to let God be the Author of my love story instead of me trying to write it myself.
Then came the career. For a little information about me, I've never seen myself as being a "career" woman. I desire to do great things for the Lord, but none of them revolve around a "career". They all revolve around ministry, not-for-profit organizations, and being there for family and friends. Regardless of this, I decided that I couldn't support myself on these things, so I began applying for full time jobs. I actually was offered a job at an insurance company, but I had to jump through hoops first before that would be available to me. I signed up for the first step in the licensing course, but as I was doing this, I found myself frustrated, overwhelmed, and uncertain about whether this was even what I wanted to do.
So here I am, once again trying to make my life happen for myself yet getting no where.
Today, I was vacuuming of all things, and this is how God works. I begin singing the song, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Hallelu... Hallelujah. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Hallelu... Hallelujah." I had, at this point, prayed for God to show me if this career was the path He wanted me to take or if He didn't want me to go down this road.
Finally, I began to hear God speaking to my heart in His still, small voice. He reminded me of His Word and the stories in the Bible. He reminded me that never once in the Bible did anything worthwhile happen on the fast track. He took His time on everything that was good.
Abraham and Sarah had to wait YEARS to receive the promised child from God. Joseph was in prison for YEARS before God used him to save the people from starvation. Jacob had to work for YEARS to be able to marry Rachel. God sent Jesus as our Savior YEARS after the prophesy about Him was made. None of the things that God did in the Bible happened fast. He took time on all of them. What happened in those years is remarkable, though. He grew and strengthened Abraham's faith. He made Joseph into the man he needed to be in order to be used to save the people. I'm confident that in all of the years God seemed to be doing nothing at all, He was up to something all along.
Today, as I finished vacuuming the house, God dealt with my heart greatly and told me, "Taylor, I am not interested in your bank account. I don't care how much money you make. What are the things I've placed in your heart that you're passionate about?" I instantly thought about two things: writing and pro-life. God continued speaking to me, "Stop trying to follow in someone else's story. Begin living in the story that I have planned for you."
As I pondered what God laid on my heart, I realized that this job wasn't where my passion was at. Sure, I could probably make a decent income there, but for what? That's just a paycheck. God reminded me greatly of this verse: "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for the wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:24-33.
By the end of this moment with God, I had the answer I had been searching for all along. He wasn't asking me to go and make life happen for myself. He was calling me to be still and know that He is God. What does this require? Trust. This is the exact reason that I haven't been being still. I haven't been trusting God with my life. I've had little faith. God has been pleading with me to trust Him, though. "Taylor, be still. KNOW that I am God. Know that I have a good plan for your life that is far abundantly greater than anything you could ever ask or imagine! Believe that I know best and only have My best in mind for you. Realize that if I'm asking you to give Me something right now that is really special to you, obviously I have something way greater that you can't even dream of! Trust Me, just trust Me!"
I e-mailed the person who was going to hire me and let him know that I was grateful for the job opportunity, but I had been praying about it and didn't feel that was where God was leading me, so I was going to not take the position. You want to know something amazing? I am excited to see what it is that God is having me be still for! I don't know what it is. I don't know how long it's going to take, but what I do know is it's going to be worth it!
Once again I ask, "Are you attempting to make your life happen in your own power?" I was there too, but it's so not worth it. Now I must ask, "Who will you serve?"
Dear Heavenly Father,
As You're well aware of, I have been attempting to make my life happen in my own power. I've been searching for direction in many places when the only thing You've told me to seek is You. Please, Lord, help me to be patient. Help me to be still and KNOW that You are God. Lord, sometimes what You ask me to do doesn't make sense right away, but looking back, I can see how it was always for the best. Please, Lord, do with me whatever You see fit to do. Wherever You want me, place me there. Until then, I will be still knowing You are God. When I'm tempted to take the fast track to success, remind me that the pathway that leads to life is very narrow! Help me take the high road even when it's not easy at first. I ask this in Jesus' Name.
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