Are you waiting on the Lord or are you striving unto yourself?
He had messy blonde hair and blue flip flops that slapped the cement as he ran down the sidewalk. His little legs were pumping furiously as he chased an uncooperative Super Ball down the street.
He put all of his might into capturing the stray rubber ball. Just as he would get close to grabbing it, the blue sphere would take a crazy bounce and go flying away from his little hands.
It was impossible not to urged him on, “Go little dude, go! You can do it!”
His focus was laser-like and I had to marvel at his effort
Super Balls are pretty small.
And yet some of your biggest chases have been after small things. You tell yourself, “I’ll let God handle the big stuff while I go after this little stuff over here that He doesn’t have time for.”
Ha! Don’t kid yourself. A chase is a chase is a chase.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your Super Ball is. Stop stop striving after it.
Have you ever read a verse in the Bible where Jesus says, “Run after what you want. Chase after your heart’s desires?”
You haven’t read those things either? Huh.
Now, you have read verses like Proverbs 3:5 where it says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
And Psalms 46:10, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God.”
Well, look at that.
Listen, the truth is the truth is the truth.
God will give you the desires of your heart. That’s what He does. That’s how He rolls. You don’t have to chase any of it, big or small, for one more moment. He sees you, just as he sees the sparrows, and He will bless you as you continue to follow Him.
If you’re gonna chase something, chase God.
These won’t take crazy bounces. These won’t prove elusive.
James 1:5 clearly states that when you ask, it will be given to you:
But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 24:3 gives you the reason why you should ask for it:
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
by knowledge its rooms are filled
with all kinds of precious and pleasing treasures.
How do you stop striving and start waiting on the Lord?
1. Change Your Perspective
Striving has a very definite endgame. Success.
Success is a noble pursuit. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a success. But when you strive for success by grabbing the reins or chasing after the Super Ball you move from working with God to working against Him.
Albert Einstein said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
If you change your perspective away from focusing on success and begin to aim for being of value you will not only be working with God, you will also be aiming for the right goal.
2. Know Exactly What You Are Chasing After
Sometimes you chase and chase after a thing and when you finally get it you say, “This is it? This is what I was chasing after?” It was all pretty and shiny and alluring while it was bouncing away from you, but up close you realize it wasn’t what you were expecting.
If you are going to go for a goal make sure you know exactly what it is you hope to achieve. There are costs involved with the pursuit of anything. Time, energy, health, family, money, or any number of things might be required of you. Count the costs.
Make sure you understand what is involved with continuing in the the direction you are going. Don’t forget to examine the consequences of a funny bounce that sends you in a new direction either.
3. Prepare For An Unexpected Answer
When you have realigned your perspective and investigated the cost of your chase, you will be ready to hear what the Lord has to say to you. He may say keep running. He may say stop. He may say wait. What He says may come as a complete shock to you. Be prepared.
Being prepared is the essence of waiting on the Lord. Because you are listening to hear what God has to say you will also be able to do what He says.
His ways are better than your ways. You know that but are you ready to accept His ways in the thing you are chasing after? Be sure, slow down if you need to, and don’t try to take the reigns.
Super Balls are funny little things. They can bring endless enjoyment and drive you crazy with their off-kilter bounces. Knowing what you are getting into before you start bouncing one means the difference between a fun, if not hard-won, game and mindlessly chasing around an out-of-control ball.
Striving is the latter. Waiting on the Lord is the former and a much better way to live your life.
Do you really want to spend another minute running after a crazy-bouncing, never-catchable Super Ball? Probably not. No, you want to live. You want to find build your house on the rock. You want to be available for God to use you.
So, what Super Ball are you chasing after?