The length of my daughter-in-law, Nikki’s to-do list as she gets ready for the birth of their little girl is stunning. There is so much that needs to be purchased, assembled, organized and laundered; bringing a baby into the family requires preparation.
Nikki’s list got even longer when an international move was added to the mix. There are too many details to list (actually, I can’t imagine all of the things they have to do to get ready for this move so I’m not going to try to write a list!).
In addition to getting herself and her home ready for a baby and a move, Nikki must get her sons ready for both. Since the boys will experience a different curriculum, tutoring sessions have to be added into an already full schedule of new sibling classes, school, Lego Club, Karate lessons, and play dates.
And then the normal events in the busyness of life must also be tended to. Whether or not Nikki and Dan are as ready as they would like to be, their move will happen this summer, and their baby will be born. In that regard, they are choosing to “be ready”, even as they are still in the midst of “getting ready”.
I think this is a good way to live in the day to day of life, and I think it is a good way to live spiritually.
How many of us have ever felt completely ready and fully prepared when God has called us to do something for him? We often think we’re just not ready… yet. Give us a little more time, please.
We would like to grow just a little more mature in our faith, become a bit more studied, and gain more confidence. However, we don’t get to pick and choose what God has for us, or the timing of it; but we can choose to live in readiness even as we continue getting ready.
Oswald Chambers says, “Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing — it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but whatever God’s plans may be, we are there and ready.”
That is the goal, to be there and ready, but the reality is there are times when we may want to say, or perhaps have said, “Not yet, God, I’m just not ready for ______!” (You can fill in the blank). But, seriously, if God is calling us to do something, he must know that we are ready to do it!
Now, that probably doesn’t mean we are as mature as we ought to be, or as learned as we should be, but it does mean that we must step out with confidence and do what God calls us to do. We don’t have to be timid because God equips us for the work he gives us.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ He said, ‘Go…'” (Isaiah 6:8-9a NIV)
Since we know that God is intentional in his wise decisions, and that includes his plans for us, why does it catch us off guard when he reveals those plans? Why do we struggle to accept his call and get to work when we are asked to lead, facilitate, teach, volunteer, or serve in any capacity?
We shouldn’t hesitate or be surprised at God calling us to action anymore than Nikki would be surprised to have a baby sometime this summer, or hesitate to bring that baby home even if she has not fully accomplished her to-do list.
What does it look like to live in readiness? I think it involves continually growing in our faith as we study the Bible, as we fellowship with other Christians, pray, meditate on and apply God’s Word. I also think that we should expect that he has work for us to do that will stretch us beyond our comfort zone, whatever that may be.
Where are you comfortable? Don’t be surprised if God calls you to do something bigger, smaller, or the exact opposite of what you think you can do. Does that make you think, “I’m not ready for that?” What must you do to get ready?
What about timing, do you find yourself dictating your schedule to God? Don’t be surprised if he calls you to something you don’t think you have time for. Does that make you think, “I’m not ready for that?” What must you do to get ready?
We are always ready to work within the confines of our comfort zone, and in the leftover time of our schedules, but does that stretch our faith? Does that cause us to live in anticipation? Does that reveal the might and majesty of God?
Are you ready for whatever God might ask of you? What are you doing to get ready?
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21 NIV)