More Than Expected

“The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for” – Jim Elliot

Just about a year ago I responded to the will of God. I left a comfortable and secure position with lots of challenges. I left with no where to go. And I left believing that it was within the will of God. I still do.

Since then I have been learning a great deal about God’s will not unfolding exactly as I might have expected. Not even close to my expectations. The main activity God seems to have for us is “waiting” which I’ve posted about several times this past year – especially in a four part series – one, two, three, and four. As Jim Eliot puts it, when we seek to follow God, we often find that it is about much more than we think – but most of the time we don’t understand that fact until much waiting has been involved.

  • Consider Abraham left home not knowing where he would ultimately live, or what God might do with him (Hebrews 11:8).
  • Consider Joseph who, doing the right things, wound up in troubling circumstances long before he saw what God had in mind, i.e., the saving of his family (Genesis 45:5-10).
  • Consider Simeon who waited his entire life to see “the Lord’s Christ” and finally gets the privilege of prophetically speaking a blessing recorded for all time (Luke 2:22-32). Or, Anna, who waited as a widow, not knowing that her habits of faithfulness and prayer would make her one of the first to see and give thanks to God for the one who would bring redemption.
    So, for us, the will of God involves more waiting than expected, and the work God has for us at the end of the wait may be, as Jim Eliot says, bigger than I bargain for. Yet we take comfort knowing that the One who wills is the One who walks with us, and is also the One who works in us to do His will.

2 responses to “More Than Expected

  • Jenifer Morrell

    We, too, are in God’s school of waiting. “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” Waiting is absolutely one of the most difficult disciplines to learn, yet the one that God seems to get the most mileage out of in our lives.

    American Christians certainly don’t like to talk about waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) on the Lord. There must be something “wrong” in one’s life if God doesn’t come through in, say, 24 hours or so. : )

    Thanks, Tim, for persevering.

  • Naomi Musgrave

    Most of the greats of the Bible waited at length. God used the waiting to help shape their character and faith.

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