“Growing older is mandatory, but growing up is optional”- Walt Disney (hopefully)
I used to think that I worked best under pressure, which is why I procrastinated so much on school projects, papers, cleaning my room, etc. As I’ve ‘aged’ and reflected, the truth is that when a mountain of a task is in front of me I would rather tackle smaller, less urgent tasks than attack the elephant looming before me. I get avoidant. Why? Because eating the elephant may take a lot of time, energy, dedication, problem solving skills, reflecting, or any other personal investment I just don’t want to make at that time. Then there’s the noise in my own head about tackling said task: “What if I fail? I don’t know how to do this. It’s going to be hard”. Recently, I have come to embrace adversity (or hurdle tackling) as part of the overcoming life and maturing, because God is invested in seeing the Warrior Spirit in me conquer and dominate in every area of life.
The in between is about growing up into Christlikeness and healing. Remember those hurdles from Part 1? They are in your way as mechanisms of growth and maturity. Because what parent enjoys seeing their kids flop and struggle to no avail? These hurdles are meant to be curative. God says, ”…Remember all the way the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness…to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. (Deut. 8:2)”
Take your soul’s noise- it’s your hurdle. Self-hate, anger, disappointment, fear, insecurity, unbelief, you name it. God wants to coach you up in clearing it. So He gives you an instruction- “Approach the hurdle like this. Forgive. Serve. Sow. Say it this way not that.” You can refuse His way and continue to struggle. Or you can comply and begin to be processed. Bucking against Coach typically doesn’t serve any athlete well. I digress. Hebrews 12: 10-13 assures us that God’s discipline and training are for our certain upgrade. James 1 tells us to rejoice in these trying spaces because if we partner with God in and through them, we come out on the other side mature, complete, and lacking nothing. We are actually decorated through times of tests not stripped. In permitting God to Father us, in partnering with Him by submitting to this process the places where we were broken are healed, those areas where sin ran rampant are cleared.
God is a good Father; He wants to bring you into the Promised Land and give you the desires of your heart. But He’s a GOOD Father. He knows that unless you are conquered by Him, abundance will ruin you, because idolatry still lurks in your heart. It is no different than giving a 14-year-old a Ferrari. He is unprepared on multiple fronts for that gift/responsibility- they would destroy it and it would destroy them.
But when He has all of you, which is an ongoing pursuit, abundance is your rightful inheritance. You were made, bought by the Blood of Jesus to reign in this life (Rom. 5:17). But if you’ve got broken ankles from past hurts and feeble handles from all your fears, how ae you going to go in and vigorously take the territory that God has already set aside as yours? God longs to bring you into your inheritance like any parent wants to douse their kids in presents on Christmas. Embrace this process because it is the road to overcoming and seeing God’s promises manifest for you!