One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was The Karate Kid. I wanted to be him – humble and unassuming; yet with the courage and ability to come through in the end. And I always assumed that if I were him, I would have realized that all of that busy work from Mr. Miyagi was in fact Martial Arts training. But when God put me through some spiritual training that didn’t look like what I thought my training should look like – I definitely didn’t recognize it.
What’s the point? Why do I have to do this? When do I get some real training? All things we all feel like saying to God during our own wax on, wax off…paint the fence moments. But what was Mr. Miyagi after? What is God after in these moments? The condition of our hearts! While we look for some kind of spiritual Ninjutsu boot camp that will prepare us for God to unleash us on some “important” ministry mission – God is after our hearts. What we think is His purpose or His plan for our life is so much smaller than what He’s after. We can’t possibly imagine all that He has planned for us. It won’t be easy. It won’t be all sunshine and no rain. But it will be beautiful. It won’t be pain free – He never promised that. But it will be amazing.
Think on these words from scripture….
1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV / 22
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
His ways are higher than ours. We only know in part. I couldn’t have possibly imagined how God would give me Fuzed Worship. All the pain and longing I had for so many years, wondering where God was in it all. All the different ministry jobs I did that seemed to have nothing to do with my “calling”. Wax on…wax off, wax on…wax off. God was teaching me diligence, integrity, patience, humility. He was building a servants heart in me because at the end of the day that’s all a real worship leader is…. a servant.
Look at the life of David. All those years tending to those “few sheep” as his brothers said. Being ridiculed and doubted when he fought Goliath, serving King Saul when he was going crazy and trying to kill him. Or how about Joseph with his colorful coat? Do you think he saw what was coming into his life after that simple dream? He was thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, beaten, put in jail, all so he could fulfill his calling in the end. How about Paul? Look at all he endured in Acts. He was beaten and thrown in jail over and over again, had the “thorn in his side”, and eventually died for the gospel. All these stories about men living out their calling in ways they never imagined. They had a vision and a plan for their life, but God took them on a journey. He had to teach them and prepare them in ways they could never have imagined and I’m sure they would have rather avoided.
Sometimes we run from pain and discomfort in our lives when it is the very thing we should be embracing. It’s the thing we’ve been asking God for but we just don’t realize it. To whom much is given, much is required, right? Wax on…wax off. Wax on…wax off. Paint the fence…. it seems maddening! But all along, God is using it to crucify our flesh, to burn out our impurities with His refiners fire.
So my question for us today isn’t where have these moments occurred in your life because hindsight is 20/20. We can pretty easily look back and see what God has done. But the question is…what teachable moments are we missing right now? What situation does God have us in that we are running from that we should be embracing? Truth is, He’s always up to something. He never stops pursuing us even after we are tightly placed in His mighty hand. The beauty of sanctification is it never stops. The spirit of God is always at work within us. Philippians 2:12 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Wax on…. Wax off!
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