Habakkuk 2:2-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
2And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by. 3For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.
Are you a planner or do you prefer to do things on the spur of the moment? I am a planner. I prefer to have things planned out as much as possible in advance so that certain expectations are well known. Doing things on the spur of the moment can be invigorating and bring welcomed relief from the mundane tasks of everyday living. Sometimes, situations arise and you have no choice but to respond and act spontaneously. Those are the times that test your patience and open up opportunities to model the Fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) and engage our Spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) to those around you.
Proverbs 13:16 (ESV)
16 In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
Recently, I have started realizing that I’ve been praying over myself more regularly, specifically to keep Satan out of my thoughts while I transition through Lent and stay on top of the tasks I have embraced that the Holy Spirit spoke to me a few weeks ago. One of those things being to stay away from Commercial television. Last night, I called a Time-out and ended up watching ‘The Biggest Loser.’ I normally watch that show, but this time after it was over, I felt “different,” for lack of a better word. After some meditation before sleep, I realized that if I don’t stay on top of where my focus needs to be, if I go back to my old comfortable place of not thinking about and paying attention to what I take in consciously or subconsciously, it allows Satan to open the door and put me right back where I was before Lent began.
Psalm 37:5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
5Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
Lent began on Ash Wednesday, February 22 and Easter will come up on April 8th. Today is March 7th so as I look out into the future and seek the Holy Spirit for continued guidance during this time and look back seeing how faithful He has been to me on many levels, I am grateful for my Time-out from last night, but I know that I must press-on. There is no time for Half-time. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-15
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
In a previous post, I noted that I am a self-proclaimed News junkie. I love to be keyed in to Current events and be able to engage someone in conversation if the opportunity came up (yes, even people who are considered loners enjoy the occasional conversation now and again). What this Fast is teaching and reminding me of is that it’s ok to unplug from all of the stuff that takes our focus off of God and not let Satan keep me so busy that it destroys my walk or hinders my time with the Holy Spirit.
You may be at a point where you need to call Half-time on yourself vs a Time-out or maybe the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and He is the one calling you out. It is important that we are alert and awakened in our spirit to be aware of that call! A Half-time is a break where you get away from the game (like going on Vacation) and if you’re the underdog, you regroup, step-back and get your focus back on the task at hand, which is obviously winning the game. During a Time-out, the Coach might put someone else into the game to take over your position while you take a brief break or redirect you to a different position or confirm with you that you understand the instructions of the play that is being carried out to get you to the goal.
When you come to salvation through Jesus, and He gives you grace and removes condemnation (Romans 8:1) you are better able to stay refreshed in your spirit and continue on. Because Jesus has left earth to go prepare a place for us in Heaven, He left the Holy Spirit as our Helper, until He returns to gather us up. As you move through life from periods of peaks and valleys or Time-outs and Half-times, God is going to prune you and take things away from the old you and replace them with His characteristics (Please see John Chapter 15). As you press-in to the Holy Spirit during your Time-outs, let Him deal with you spontaneously and reveal His plan to you. We all get impatient at times when we don’t know what play to carry out next, but we have God’s Word in the Bible. He knows best how to guide and direct our steps, much like that of a Coach in a Football game. He also gives us steps on how to pray and protect ourselves in his Word. I mentioned both Galatians 5:22-23 & Ephesians 6:10-18 earlier, but if you need help with how to pray, see Matthew 6:5-14.
If you’re facing a decision that you know you can’t make clearly in your own strength, instead of going and talking to 3 or 4 people about it, how about taking the Holy Spirit up on a Time-out and spending some time in prayer and ask Him to help you through the situation? Leave your concerns with the King of Kings because He is your adopted Father and He wants to show you the way.