Many people today are sitting on the sidelines of life because they feel that they’ve passed their prime time. As time goes on, they feel they’ve missed the opportunity. However, God never put the gifts and dreams in you without having every intention of bringing them to pass.
If you’re breathing, you’re a candidate for God’s use. Your whole life is the sum of the opportunities you have in front of your right now. Don’t die until you’re dead. If you’ve done nothing with the purpose God put in you, He still wants to use you. If you made some major mistakes and taken some detours in life, He still wants to bring out the gifts and talents He deposited in you. You’re not late. You’ve not missed the mark. God is not finished with you yet!
My children have cats that they rescued from our neighborhood. We have a plastic screen in our kitchen door opening up to the backyard. These kitties love to sit by the door, watch the birds fly around and daydream about catching them. When they were little, they’d often try to scratch the screen, wanting to get out. My kids would repeatedly tell them how they should not do that. As they grew older, they became conditioned to the restrictions. Now they limit themselves to be content just sitting by the door watching the birds fly around. They can rip apart the plastic screen with their sharp claws anytime they want. But because they’ve been so conditioned against it, they just sit there by the door (for which I’m thankful) and allow their destiny to fly by.
Many times, we are like these cats. We’ve been told by our friends and loved ones why we can’t achieve the goals and purposes of our hearts. We look back at the mistakes we’ve made and disqualify ourselves. Instead of looking forward to what God has for us, we lick the wounds of what didn’t work out. We think we’ve lost the window of opportunity.
People buy into these lies and spend the rest of their lives in regret – looking back. Truth is, if God was done with you, you wouldn’t still be here. Obviously, God doesn’t want us to repeat our mistakes. He doesn’t want us to live the same mediocre life that we once did. However, if we don’t believe that God is not through with us, then we’ll spend the rest of our lives trying to go forward in reverse. Don’t bury your gifts and talents, empty yourself of them.
Every great man and woman of God had some flaws. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer. Gideon was insecure. Rahab (lineage of Jesus) was a harlot. Elijah was moody. Ruth was a widower. Isaiah was depressed. Paul was a persecutor of the Church. Peter was short-tempered. Abraham was old and Lazarus was dead! Friend, no matter where you fit into this list, your past is not too great for God to forgive. God is not finished with you. You’re not washed up. You’re not beyond God’s use. Your best days are still right in front of you. The seeds of greatness are in you. Rise up, dust yourself off, and start right where you are.
This is what Joseph did in the Bible. His own brothers threw him in the pit and then sold him to the merchants. He was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and sent to prison. His fellow prisoner forgot to return the favor but God did not forget Joseph. The pains of a Christian are all growing pains. When faith is stretched, it grows. Like Joseph, you’ve gone through the pit and the prison. Now it’s time for you to take your place in the palace. You will rule over things that once dominated you. God has every intention of fulfilling the dreams and purposes He put in you. My challenge to you today is to not die with the dream still inside of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” The future of your God-given destiny is held in your own belief. You can choose to live the dream or, like our cats, you can sit and watch your destiny fly by. God wants to take you from your pit to your palace. You’ve put in all the hard work; now it’s time for you to enjoy the dividends of your distress. God is not finished with you. This is your time to rise again!
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NIV).
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