Are you still doing what God called you to do because He wants you to stick with it or because it’s comfortable like an old pair of shoes and you just don’t want to change?
Think about those old shoes for a minute. They feel the same way when you slip them on, you know what to expect, and you remember the holes in them so you know to watch for puddles after it rains. They’re predictable and safe.
But are they the best for you?
Are they the shoes God wants you to wear today? Are you doing what God wants you to do today?
Perhaps He has something new for you. A new calling, a new pair of shoes you’d never consider trying because they’re not your favorite style or color and you don’t feel like you can be you in them. (And really, you know, they’ll probably be a little uncomfortable at first.)
But God knows you. He knows every talent you have (He gave you those), every weakness (He’s allowed those too), and He’s well aware of that quiet dream deep within your heart that you keep tucked away. (He knows how that dream scares you and excites you at the same time.)
God also knows when it’s time to take off the old shoes and wait for the new ones.
Does that mean you will be barefoot at some point in time in God’s calling on your life?
Possibly. If He’s told you to take off the old shoes and He has yet to provide the new ones, then yes. And while you’re waiting on God for those new shoes, for Him to lead the way into something new for your life, you have to sit down and wait for Him. Your feet will be in no shape to travel any great distance or along razor-sharp terrain; you wouldn’t know which way to go anyway, would you?
So you sit and wait on God. How long is this going to take?
As long as God wants it to take.
But some of it depends on you.
If you’re impatient, trying to hurry God, or you set out on your own, barefoot, it could take longer than if you just waited on Him. Not to mention it could be very painful.
And those around you may not understand what you’re going through. They may wonder what in the world you are doing, why you are doing nothing (waiting really IS doing something…it’s trusting God right through those cravings of wanting to do the old things), and why can’t you just keep doing what you’ve been doing?
If God tells you to slip off those old shoes, don’t put them back on because someone else believes you should or because someone hands you a lovely portrait of you doing those things you used to do. Look carefully at that painting. Do you see the cracked paint, the faded colors? And if you reach out to take it you’ll realize it weighs a ton; the frame is made from pure guilt.
You need to leave it behind and walk away because you know you are to listen to God, not stare back at a picture of your old self and try to figure out your next move.
God will let you know what He wants you to do.
And when His timing has arrived and He provides the new calling, those new shoes, just think how amazing it will be to slip them on. You won’t even notice if they’re a little uncomfortable because you’ll be focusing on the righteous right hand of God that is holding your own, leading you down a new path as you leave that old pair of shoes behind.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43: 18-19 NIV.)