Words by Ps Alex Lee, C3 Youth and Young Adults Pastor.
It's so easy to compare ourselves with everyone else. We scroll through Instagram, looking at everyone else’s calling and in the meantime, we end up missing our own!
We're too busing looking at everybody else's end product that we forget that behind every end product there is a process.
It's easy to fall into the trap of the end product. End products are romantic. Process is messy.
When we commit ourselves to a life with Christ, we commit ourselves to a lifetime of progress. God wants to develop us. He won't fast track your progress, because He's into the business of making the real deal, not fakes.
The process takes time - because it has great value.
What we call DELAY, God calls DEVELOPMENT. In 1 Samuel 16, God anoints David... but he doesn't become king until 2 Samuel 5!
DEVELOPMENT HAPPENS IN THE DARK
Dark, hidden places are the greatest places for growth.
Think of the process of developing an old film photograph - photos would take time to develop in the dark room. If you take the photographic paper out of the dark room before it is developed, the photo is ruined.
God has to hide you not because he hates you but because he loves you and is developing you.
There is a chemical process in the development where the photo has to go through three chemical baths before it is ready. It can’t go through one, it can’t go through two, it must go through three.
PAIN IS PART OF THE PROCESS
God developed David through testing, through struggle, through pain.
Saying YES to the END PRODUCT means saying YES to PAIN.
When you go to the gym, you have to persevere through the pain in order to see results. No pain, no gain. So too is our spiritual growth and development.
You can have comfort, or you can have growth - but you can't have both.
The process can feel like a struggle. It's uncomfortable, it can feel like a wrestle with our physical mind and our spirit, or between us and God.
Wrestling is a good healthy practice of a believer. There is a PLACE and a PURPOSE for our wrestle - in prayer and in the Word.
The purpose of the wrestle with God is to produce:
- Perseverance - Romans 5:3 // "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope."
- Proximity - James 4:8 // "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
- Power - Phillipians 4:13 // "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
The Purpose of the Development
When God develops us, He also develops our legacy. What God does in you isn't just about you, it's about your legacy. It's about the people after you. What Moses started, Joshua finished. God builds generationally.
What's your legacy? It lives in you, travels through you and into other people's lives. Is it bearing good fruit, or is it leaving others feeling dry and trodden upon?
The great thing about a relationship with Christ means that if we want transformation, all we have to do is ask God. Jesus came from Heaven to earth not to point his finger at you, but in order to set you free.
God wants to make a change in you and set in motion a change around you.
We know that He has good plans for you - plans to prosper you and not harm you.
Whatever area it is that you feel you're lacking in or comparing to others' end product, ask God today to be at work inside of you and to develop you into who He has called you to be.