Ministry Resources

Ministry Resources
Ministry Resources

When God Says "Not Yet"

This dreaming thing can be hard sometimes can’t it?  It is both simple and complex all at the same time. There are so many unknowns.  We step out in faith, pursuing what we believe God has called us to do.  It’s scary.  It’s exciting.  It’s knee-knocking work.  Along the way we store up dreams in our heart and anxiously await the future. 

But what happens when you are ready to pursue those dreams and God whispers to your heart not yet.  Why would God place a dream on our hearts and then tell us it’s not the right time to pursue it? 

I think the answer lies somewhere between a combination of protection and preparation

For years I have felt very strongly that my calling involves writing and ministering to women.  It started off with tiny tugs at my heart.  Leading a small group at church and hearing messages about serving and growing.  Then those tiny tugs turned into more frequent pangs.

I received confirmation to start writing again. I started this blog.  And God revealed to me in so many ways the need for community among women.  I kept seeing this need for a safe place to take all the brokenness and messy stuff to each other.  I saw that women needed encouragement and support more than ever.  So my friend and I began a women’s ministry at our church.   I thought that was probably enough to satisfy what my heart was hearing from God. 

But God is so much bigger than just satisfied.

Those pangs on my heart begin to beat even louder as I discovered more about my calling and purpose.  To be honest, sometimes I still don’t know what this calling is going to look like in the long run, but I can tell you this.  I feel very strongly that writing is a large part of my calling.  I dream of writing books and having my words leap off a page and onto your heart.  I (hopefully) use my words to let you know that you are not alone.  That there is someone else out there that gets you.

I dream of writing Bible studies and speaking to groups of women.  I dream of making the Bible come to life for women.  And I do feel God has confirmed a lot of that for me.  But there is also something He has been speaking to my heart the last few years on all of these God-sized dreams I’ve stored up.

 Not yet.

Two hard words to hear for this dreamer.  Not yet.  It is not time for that dream.  Have you ever sensed God telling you that it’s not time for something?

Now you may think that’s a pretty Debbie Downer way to look at dreaming.  But I would like to encourage you that it’s actually a good thing and I’ll explain why. 

Why God Might Say Not Yet

He is preparing you. I can attest to this idea very much.  Spiritual maturation is an important piece of understanding and pursuing our calling.  I have certain responsibilities that have been handed to me in the last few years that if given to me five or so years ago, I would not have had the experience or maturity to fulfill them the way they needed to be.  It is preparation for a greater calling.

In the season of not yet, God is showing me that He is preparing me for what’s coming.  I need to be sound in His Word if I am to fight the enemy’s lies about my calling, lead women to understand Him more, and have a better understanding of who He is.  I need to figure out my strengths and weaknesses and work on improving certain skills. 

What does this preparation look like for you?   Maybe you need to let go of some things in your life so He can work.  Maybe you’re not in the Word as much as you would like to be.  Maybe you are walking through a hard season and He is trying to draw you closer to Him.  Maybe you are making some decisions in your life that are putting a distance between you and God and God wants you to confess those and return to Him. 

Something else needs your attention first.  A few years ago, I was asked to consider taking a new leadership position.  As I spent time in prayer over it I really felt that God was telling me it was not the right time to take this position on.  As much as I wanted to say yes, I knew that I needed to say no.  A few months later, my husband lost his job and we also found out we were expecting our second child.  When I think back to that decision now, I see God's protection in it. 

God’s protection is not always physical.  Sometimes it is protection of our hearts and minds.  He knows what makes our hearts overwhelmed.  He knows what distractions pull us further away from Him.    

God knew that a hard season was ahead, even though I didn't.  He knew I would need to carry a heavier load and that my family was going to need me more than ever.  That leadership position would have overwhelmed my schedule and more importantly, my heart.  

Sometimes God says not yet because He knows the season ahead and what we will need to face it.  

God knows what we can handle well and what we cannot.  Maybe there is a tough season ahead for you that you’re not even aware of yet.  But God knows.  And He knows exactly where you need to be planted to endure that season and come out stronger.  

Preparation & Protection.  I can't help but see this played out in David's story.  

There were many times when God told David not yet.  As a young boy He was told by Samuel that He would be King.  God had anointed and appointed him.  But did he go straight to the throne?  No way.  God prepared and protected David by calling him into hard seasons and showing him that He was with Him on the darkest days.    

David had to keep shepherding the flock (1 Samuel 16).  He continued to go back to work, hard labor work mind you, and work on his skills.

Then he faced Goliath.  Well hello, Mr. Giant, didn’t think you were part of the plan. (1 Samuel 17)  Sometimes you must first face your own Goliath to get to a higher place of faith and trust in God.

Then we see that David was on the run for many years. (1 Samuel 21)   He was chased and targeted by his father-in-law of all people, for years.  He had to flee for his life.  What a dark season for David.  That definitely wasn’t in the job description for becoming King.  Oh but it was.  It was in the fine print. 

God’s protection, God’s preparation for David.  Do you see this journey?  Then after all of that, David becomes King.

 “So there at Hebron, David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel, just as the Lord had promised through Samuel.”
1 Chronicles 11:3 (NLT)

But David had to walk through some really hard, really difficult faith stuff before the promise of being King was fulfilled. 

So what do you do in the season of not yet? 

Continue to pray.  Read your Bible and immerse yourself in the Word.  Ask God to confirm things for you.  Pray that He will put people in your life in the exact moments and seasons you need to help you grow in your faith.  Hone your strengths, work on your weaknesses.  Because trust me, your calling will bring both to the surface and you will need to be prepared. 

I know that God is placing certain people in my life during this season of not yet to help me work on my craft and calling and they are also inspiring me to dream bigger.  Look at the people in your life right now.  Do you have someone who is pushing you in this season to keep trying and keep dreaming?  

The timing of when we get there and how we get there is different for each of us.  How God equips us is different.  But it all works together for His Kingdom, His glory. 

So maybe you’ve been hearing God whisper to your heart “not yet.”  It can be a hard pill to swallow. But not yet doesn’t necessarily mean no.  And it doesn't mean to stop dreaming.  God is for dreamers, I know this.  We must keep being faithful, keep pursuing our dreams and keep trusting that He is preparing the place and time when He will speak to our hearts now is the time.

Now is the time, sweet child.

-Have you ever experienced God saying to you, “not yet”?

-How have you seen God’s protection over situations in your life?

-Is there something you feel God is using this time to prepare you for?

Still struggling with the season of not yet?  These are some resources that have helped me in the waiting (preparation) period.  I hope they continue to encourage you!

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