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Getting Ahead of God

Guidance Patience Submission

Contributed By: James Augustine | Date Posted: 2020-05-10

Scripture: Psalms 139:24 ; Psalms 5:8

Author: James Augustine
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ILLUSTRATION

My friend Mike retold this story in a training session many years ago. It seems he was out in the woods of his old homestead with his 8-year-old son. They were trekking through the woods that Mike had known like the back of his hand since he was the age of 8. He wanted to share these woods with his son, but his son kept on running on ahead of him. He would call out to him and say, "Son, I want you to go that way," pointing to the left. His son stopped and looked at the fork in the path and said, "What way dad?" 

Mike finally stood still and wanted to see how the situation would play out. He again pointed to the left and said, "That way!" 

"Which way, dad?"

"Son. I want you to stop and wait for me."

Mike's son then turned around and waited for his father to come up next to him, take his hand, and then proceed to lead him in the right direction.

APPLICATION

Far too often, we as Christians tend to rush ahead of God. We want to get to the blessings, and we have no idea how to get there. And we rush ahead, with God all the while pointing in a direction and saying gently to us, "Go that way!" 

We respond with frustration because we are not following, but trying to force God's hand and have Him go the way we want to. But God's desire is for us to wait, to be patient, and allow Him to lead us where He wants us to go.

the psalmist in 139 asks God to "search me, know me, and lead me." God knows us and has searched us. But if we want to go where He wants us, we have to allow Him to lead us.

Trading Away The Future

Future Patience Reward

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2019-11-01

Scripture: Matthew 6:19 ; Matthew 6:20

Author: Corey Sawyers
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ILLUSTRATION

A Yahoo Sports headline says it all. "Six future first-round picks have already been traded." That is surprising for several reasons, not the least of which is the date on the calendar. Today is October 16, 2019. The NFL Draft isn't until April 23-25, 2020, over six months away. 

  • The Jaguars now have the Rams' 2020 and 2021 first-round picks in exchange for Jalen Ramsey.
  • The Dolphins now have the Texans' 2020 and 2021 first-round picks in exchange for Laremy Tunsil.
  • The Dolphins also have the Steelers' 2020 first-round pick in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
  • The Raiders now have the Bears' 2020 first-round pick in exchange for Khalil Mack.

With each of these men, their new teams felt they were the missing piece for them to win right NOW. Of course, by trading away draft picks, these teams are mortgaging away their future. 

APPLICATION

How about you? Are you trading away your future for the possibility of getting what you want now?  Jesus warned us not to store up our "treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal," but to store up "treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

The great danger Jesus was concerned about is that our hearts will follow our treasure. Do you really want to give your heart to this passing world? Even if moth and rust don't consume these investments, time certainly will.  What we horde for the moment will be gone in a moment.  What we store for eternity will be ours for eternity.

By the way, the previously mentioned teams who traded away their future picks to win today are currently a combined 12-11. The other lesson here is that even when we sell our futures, it rarely gives us what want in the present. 

First World Problems? No Problem!

Suffering Comfort Patience

Contributed By: Rob Tucker | Date Posted: 2019-01-19

Scripture: Philippians 2:7 ; James 1:2

Author: Rob Tucker
2

ILLUSTRATION

As Americans, we are often easily frustrated with what are called First World Problems.  Here are a few examples (feel free to add your own!):

• When you say something on social media which you think is really clever, but hardly anyone "likes" it!

• When your kids put dishes in the dishwasher, BEFORE they unload it. Now, you have to play the game of which one is clean.

• When you run out of hot water for the shower because someone else took too long.

• When you and your spouse can’t agree on what temperature to keep the thermostat.

• When your phone battery dies before you get home from work to charge it.

• When you're eating chips, crunching so loudly that you can’t hear the TV. So annoying!

• When you get chicken tenders from the drive through, but they forget the dipping sauce.

APPLICATION

For most of us, the worst discomforts we face each week are trivial. That's why it is so hard to relate to all that Jesus did for us when he came to earth and suffered on the cross. The Bible says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" (James 1:2, 3).

Every time we patiently endure suffering, major or minor, we become a little bit more like Christ. But don't be concerned if you blow it over some trivial thing.  God will give you another chance, and another, and another, etc., until, with practice, you demonstrate the longsuffering of Jesus. 

First world problems are no problem to God.  Rather, each one is an opportunity for you and me to grow in Christlikeness.  

God's Waiting Room

Patience Trust (In God) Rest

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2015-06-29

Scripture: Psalms 62:5

Author: Thomas Bevers
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Shattered Mirrors

Criticism Patience Friendship

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2014-08-14

Scripture: Matthew 23:24

Author: Karen Barber
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World's Quietest Room Can Drive You Mad

Hearing God's Voice Distractions Patience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-12

Scripture: Isaiah 40:31 ; Lamentation 3:26

Author: Alexander Davis/Illustration Exchange
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Put A Stop to Red Light Changing Devices

Patience God's Will Prayer

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-07-31

Scripture: Psalms 27:14 ; Proverbs 3:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Hands of the Clock (and God!) Are Moving

Object Lessons Patience Trust (In God)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-05-01

Scripture: Habakkuk 1:1 ; Habakkuk 1:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Get off my back!

Patience Worldly Mindset Success

Contributed By: Paul Flannery | Date Posted: 2012-02-07

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:

Author: Paul Flannery
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While You're Waiting

Patience Disappointment Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-15

Scripture: James 1:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
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