13 Jan The Process is the Point
I am a “cut to the chase” kind of girl.
I like to take the shortest route and find the end as quickly and efficiently as possible. If I can skip a step or two and come to a viable conclusion—perfect! Done.
But, a few years ago, at a writer’s conference, I was challenged with these words by Lysa TerKeurst, “The process is the point.”
These are the kind of words that echo in my mind for days, weeks, or even years.
“The process is the point.”
We can also say:
The trials are relevant.
There is a purpose for this season.
Circumstances don’t define us.
That last one is tough but so true.
Circumstances aren’t meant to define us–
They are meant to refine us, but the refining comes through defining decisions.
Abraham knows about defining decisions.
At 75 years old, Abram, and his wife Sarai were childless. God made a huge God-sized promise to him. He said, Abram, I’ll make you a great nation and make your name great.
Abram was stoked!
He was tired of being childless.
He was ready…so he thought.
But, God knew Abram wasn’t as ready as he thought or as ready as God needed him to be.
There needed to be some circumstantial refining and the circumstance God chose was time.
I’m gonna be honest here. Time is a killer for me. Waiting is not what a “cut to the chase” girl handles well.
Abram and Sarai had some issues with waiting as well.
They were old to start with, and then God added even more time to the situation, and the pressure to fulfill the promise became a burden to their hearts.
So, as opportunities presented themselves like the custom of making a servant’s child your heir and letting your handmaiden bare children for you, they took action instead of waiting.
I don’t blame them. I’m pretty sure I would too. I would rationalize that these ways were how God was providing.
But, God said, No. This is not how this works. You are not to fulfill My promise to you by what you can do in your own power. This is My promise to fulfill in and through you through My power when I know you’re ready.
Well, that’s my paraphrase. Here are God’s actual words:
“I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And, I will make My covenant between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly.”
Abram’s response? “Abram fell on his face.”
There it was.
That was the point God needed to bring Abram to.
The process of waiting and letting Abram try to fulfill the promise on his own was the point that brought Abram to where God needed him…fully submitted to God. We know this lesson took because Abraham didn’t hesitate to lay Isaac on that altar several chapters later.
When circumstances were challenging, God didn’t change His promise to Abram; He changed Abram through the circumstances!!
And God wants to change us too.
He wants to bless us and fulfill His promises to us; but, He needs us to be fully surrendered to Him and His will. Unfortunately, suffering is the best way to produce that.
Suffering produces obedience.
This was true even for Jesus:
“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him…”
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Remember, His promises. Lean on them. He will never give you more than you can handle. He will provide what you need and will equip you to do the work.
Walk through the process with Him. Trust Him. Surrender to Him.
What process is God bringing you through?
What lesson is He trying to teach you through suffering?
Susan E. Greenwood is a wife, a mother, and a mother-in-law :D. She has over 28 years experience in youth and children’s ministries. Susan loves to write blogs, articles, devotionals, and curriculum. She has blogged for bible.org, and authors Mary Demuth, Lynn Cowell and Ruth Schwenk. Susan writes regularly for skitguys.com. Her passion is to help people live their Life In Stride with the Word of God.