I was chatting with one of my favorite humans the other night about a new book idea. Half way through my ten point outline, her face lit up, she grabbed her phone and started scrolling through her photos to find this picture:
She and I have had multiple conversations over the past two years about our longing to know God’s purpose for our lives. We both feel like there is something more God is calling us to, something different, something significant; but, we just don’t know what. It makes us crazy!
She showed me the photo then said, “I’ve discovered that God has been showing me snippets of His purpose as long as my palms are up.”
I love this revelation.
When our palms are up, we are actively yielding our plans to the Lord. Asking Him to establish our purpose through His power and His process and His provision.
When our palms are down, we are working hard to make our plan and establish our own purpose. We are busy doing what we think is best, what looks right to us, or to those around us.
Instead of open hands that are eager to receive what God has prepared for us, our focus is diverted to what we can accomplish.
It’s hard to wait on God.
His timing seems to take FOREVER, especially when I feel like I’m idle or worse, spinning my wheels. That’s when I start saying yes to everything that crosses my path that looks like it could be what I’m supposed to do or by the very least, I know it’s within my ability to do.
Which is the problem.
It’s within MY ability.
I don’t need God’s help and I don’t rely on Him; so, I’m busy doing my own thing waiting for God to show me His purpose. But, the reality is, God is waiting on me to stop making my own way.
Abram and Sarai had this problem. God promised Abram at 75 years old that He would make Him a great nation and He would give Him an heir. Eleven years later, they were still childless and Sarai was done waiting.
Taking matters into her own hands, she gave her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abram to produce a child for her. Not only did this not fill Sarai’s longing, it set into motion something bigger than Sarai could have imagined. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, who is the father of the Ishmaelites- a nation that was not and IS not God-honoring. A nation that has continually sought war on God’s people.
When Ishmael turned 13 years old, (a man according to Jewish heritage) God spoke to Abram and reminded Him of His promise. I imagine it something like this:
God- So, Abram, are you done trying to do things your way?
Abram- Yes, Sir. You mean, You’re still willing to keep your promise?
God is always willing to fulfill His promise to us. He desires nothing more than to give us His best; but, we HAVE to get out of the way. We have to stop making counterfeits of His promised blessings. They are worthless and destructive.
The effects of our sin, our disobedience, are never confined to just us. The shock-waves of disaster and heartbreak ripple beyond what we could ever imagine.
God wants to fulfill His promise in you. It is never too late to turn those palms up and let Him give you His purpose.