“Recalculating”:  if you have ever used a GPS, this is a familiar refrain when have made a wrong turn or knowingly gone a different way than directed. Occasionally, when driving on a new road or a road which had not been completed at the time my GPS last updated, I will hear the familiar refrain, “Recalculating.” It’s a simple fix. Pay the mapmaker money, and they will give me a whole new, updated map. Here’s the issue:  I admit I’m too cheap to pay it! I’ll get by with driving in a field and over water to save $1.99! 

 God has given the Believer a “GPS” of sorts, the Holy Spirit of God, living inside of us, who warns, convicts, exhort, directs, and guides. We must be sensitive to His leading, pace, and direction. As much as we think we may be able to steer our own ships of life, we must hand over the wheel to Him. Yes, there is a danger in dragging our feet behind God, but there is also danger of us getting out too far ahead of God. 

 In Genesis 16, we are told of Abraham and Sarah who desired a son. God was teaching them a lesson in waiting patiently on the Lord, though. As God said to “wait” and to “trust in Him,” they became impatient. They wanted a son…and they wanted him here yesterday. They would wait no longer! Abraham and Sarah devised a plan. They would have Abraham sleep with Hagar (with Sarah’s blessing!) and hope she would conceive a child to “help God out” to give Abraham a forever lineage. God needs no such help! Abraham and Sarah would pay dearly for their impatience. 

 Over and over, we read God’s warnings of man becoming impatient and getting ahead of His plan.  Isaiah 64:4 reminds us God blesses those “who wait for Him.” One of my favorite verses in Scripture reads, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. Repeatedly, God echoes this refrain, “Wait on Me!”

 When we get ahead of God, there are penalties that will occur. First, we deny ourselves of the best plan God has for our lives. Second, we disobey God’s purpose in our lives. Finally, we will suffer disharmony and disappointment as we plan our own life out in front of God’s plan. 

 Getting out ahead of God is a lonely place because it is a place where the plan of God does not lie. We are on our own - charting our own trip. We ARE our own captain. As scary as this sounds (and its ramifications are progressively worse), we arrive before God’s plan. Before God? Yes, before His protection, His guidance, His love. “Before God” is a place no person desires to be. 

 How do we stay in step with God? Let us discuss 4 basic steps: 

1. Pray - Pray God would forgive you for your impatience and keep you squarely in the center of His divine will. Pray God would give the power and the peace to solely rely upon Him. 

2. Delay - Delay any feelings of impatience or hurriedness. These actions will only bring endless heartache. Wait on the Lord! He will never disappoint.

3. Relay - Relay your actions in a God-honoring way. Our time is not His time. As Believers, if we know God has our best interests in our heart, we will rest in quiet confidence. 

4. Obey - Obey God at all costs. During our waiting period, live a Jesus-honoring life. Seek Him. Find Him. Get to know Him.

 Life is hard. It’s harder still out in front of God, charting our own course. As Paul states, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” Wait on God’s perfect timing. You will not be disappointed!

Dr. Jeff Johnson