Life is full of ups and downs, triumphs and challenges and wins and setbacks. Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive when things don’t look like what God has shown you. It’s one thing to go through a challenging time but it’s another thing to go through that challenging time after God has given you a vision of something that looks like the complete opposite of your reality. You’re like, “God I know you showed me A but X,Y,Z keeps appearing!” The times when things don’t look like the vision is probably one of the most difficult times to trust God, however this is the most crucial time to trust God!
I’m reminded of the story of Abraham and Sarah. God told Abraham at the tender age of 75 that he would be the ‘father of many nations’. What an exciting promise! Generations will derive from you, full cultures will come from you, and you will be the origin of multitudes!!! I’m sure Abraham was excited to get this promise and I’m sure he showed his wife his excitement daily (Gospel according to Reebs)! However, as time went on, that excitement waned a bit because he and his wife were up in age. Actually she was now past child-bearing age and it seemed then that the promise they were given by God was well, empty. I’m sure they thought to themselves as we do sometimes: ‘maybe I misunderstood the promise/vision, maybe God wasn’t literal with what he told me, maybe God changed His mind’. As the story goes, Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands (just like we do) and have her husband lay with one of her maidens, Hagar and Hagar did get pregnant; Abraham was about 86 or so when this took place. Now look at this:
- God gave a promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations at age 75
- Years went by and no child
- Discouragement set in
- Sarah decides to help God out
- Hagar gets pregnant
- Now Sarah is mad that Hagar got pregnant and she didn't
- Bitterness set in
- Hagar delivers the child whom she called Ishmael but he is not the promised child - Abraham is about 86 or so when he is born
- God then comes back to Abraham when he’s like 99 years old and tells him he’s ready to fulfill the covenant/promise that he gave to him
- Sarah gets pregnant and gives birth to Isaac - the promised child
Look at the years that went by from the time the promise was given until the time it actually came to fruition!
Ladies let’s take a look at four tips on how to navigate when reality looks different from the vision.
Tip #1 - Remember that God’s timing is not our timing
We serve a God that controls time and transcends time so His timing is not ours. When God gives you a vision for your life, you have to stand firm in the fact that he will bring it to pass. Be confident in that! Don’t get caught up in things not happening when you think they should, remember God is in total control and is the master orchestrator! The Bible says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isa. 55:8)
Tip #2 - Don’t get a case of the ‘helps’
God is sovereign and can do what He wants to, when He wants to, and how He wants to - He does not need your help! Don’t be like Sarah, impatient and attempting to manipulate situations because like Sarah, you’ll end up making a mess! God has given you the vision now what He wants you to do is: work. Work in your abilities and develop your talents, hone your gifts. You don’t have to try to make anything happen, just be your ‘bad’ self and let God orchestrate, and write your story! If you want to successfully navigate when your reality looks different from the vision - just keep doing good, keep being a blessing to people, keep letting God use you!! The Bible says, “Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9)
Tip #3 - Tell yourself the vision, not what you see - FaithIt Til You Make It!
Watch what you say to yourself during this time, it can make or break you. This may not be the time to ‘keep it 100’ because you may have to tell yourself some things that are not actually happening - you gotta FaithIt Til You Make It! What do I mean? If the money is low, you have to speak to yourself and say ‘I’m blessed going in and blessed going out (Deut. 28:6). If times are hard, you have to speak to yourself and say, ‘Even in hard times I can remain joyful - for the joy of the Lord is my strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10). This is why the Bible tells us to walk by faith and not by sight because what we see is not representative of what God has in stored for us.
Tip #4 - Stay in prayer
Prayer is essential during this time because it will add sanity to a chaotic situation. It’s okay to feel frustrated sometimes, talk to God about it and leave it there. Where we mess up is we talk to everybody but God. Stay in prayer and keep your mind stayed on God during times when reality looks different from the vision. The Bible says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you” (Isa. 26:3). Rejoice always and pray without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:16-18)!
These tips will help you navigate during times when reality looks different from the vision. The goal is to get you to the finish line of this assignment so that you can receive your next assignment!
Be encouraged Girrrl Stop Nation knowing that the best is yet to come!!!!