I am a “cut to the chase” kind of girl.
I take the shortest route and find the end as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If I can skip a step or two and come to a viable conclusion—perfect! Done.
But, what if step skipping and route shortening bypasses crucial character shaping parts? What if fast forwarding to the end misses the point entirely?
Last year, at a writer’s conference, I was challenged with this very notion…these very words:
“The process is the point.” (Lysa TerKeurst)
These are the kind of words that keep popping back into frame.
They echo in my mind as though God Himself fashioned them just for me.
The process is the point.
The trials are relevant.
Our circumstances provide essential character shaping opportunities.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Our circumstances aren’t meant to define us~they’re meant to refine us.” quote=”Our circumstances aren’t meant to define us~they’re meant to refine us.” theme=”style2″]
But, refining comes through defining decisions.
Abraham knows about defining decisions. He knows about character shaping circumstances.
He is known for his great faith; but, he had a few bumps along the way.
At 75 years old, Abraham, then Abram, and his wife Sarai were childless. God made a huge God-sized promise. He said, Abram, I’ll make you a great nation and make your name great. I will bless you and bless those that bless you. Abram was stoked! He was tired of being childless and ready…so he thought.
God knew Abram’s heart. God knew Abram would be the father of his nation; but He also knew that he wasn’t as ready as he thought. There needed to be some circumstantial refining.
The circumstance God chose to use was time. I’m gonna be honest here. Time is a killer for me. Waiting is not what a “cut to the chase” girl handles well.
Abram and Sarai had some issues with it as well.
They were old to start with and then God added even more time to the situation and the pressure to fulfill the promise became a burden to their hearts. So, as shortcuts presented themselves they took action instead of waiting.
God said, No. This is not how this works. You are not to fulfill My promise to you by what you can do in your own power. This is My promise to fulfill in and through you through My power when I know you ready.
He said, .“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And, I will make My covenant between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly.
THEN, Abram fell on his face.”
There it was.
That was the point God needed to bring Abram to. The process of waiting and letting Abram try to fulfill the promise on his own was the point that brought Abram to where God needed him…fully submitted to God.
[clickToTweet tweet=”God didn’t change His promise to Abram, He changed Abram!! ” quote=”God didn’t change His promise to Abram, He changed Abram!! ” theme=”style2″]
And God wants to change us too. He wants to bless us and fulfill His promises to us; but, He needs us to be fully surrendered to Him and His will. Unfortunately, suffering is the best way to produce that.
Suffering produces obedience.
This was true even for Jesus:
“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him…”
What is God asking of you? What lesson is He trying to teach you through suffering? Remember, His promises. Lean on them. He will never give you more than you can handle. He will provide what need and will equip you to do the work.
Trust Him. Surrender to Him. Walk through the process with Him.
The process is the point.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”