There are times when I would not be surprised if next to the definition of “planner” you saw my picture. I may not be that bad but for the most part I plan, EVERYTHING! I’d plan my outfits, my trips to the store—this helps me to not overspend #aintnobodygottimeforthat. I planned my time with family and friends so strategically that I’d find myself rehearsing our conversations. The conversations that were yet to happen, by the way. I say all this to say, I’ve learned that while planning is a good thing, we should always be prepared but it’s not something that needs to be done in excess, ask me how I know.
Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
What happens when you can’t prepare? I was recently presented with opportunities that I was not prepared for—I hadn’t planned for them nor did I have time to. Aside from writing, I love public speaking. I believe that it is part of my calling—how, I’m not sure yet but I know that it fits in somewhere. It’s been in my heart for years now and I’ve had moments of practice and even opportunities to “show myself approved” by practicing and preparing in advance. But in realizing this particular area of my calling, I never anticipated the opportunities that may come without preparation.
It’s easy to turn down opportunities that we haven’t planned, prepared or “rehearsed” for which is what I wanted to do. I can’t even begin to tell you the fear I felt, the temptation I felt to instantly say no apart from inquiring of what God would want me to do. On my end, I reasoned out all of the reasons I should say no beforeI sought God’s heart on it. I was so sure that I would fail because I hadn’t prepared that I failed to realize that if God was in agreement with it, and He was—in fact He orchestrated it—then maybe, just maybe He would help me.
Like Paul discovered in 2 Corinthians, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And like Paul, I too can say, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I wasn’t “technically” prepared or rehearsed, but greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). I have the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me and that alone is enough to say yes to whatever God asks of me knowing that He willNOTfail me, He WON’Tleave me there to struggle. Instead, He will equip me with whatever I need in that moment. Whatever needs to be said, He will give me the words to speak. Why I didn’t remind myself of this at the time, I don’t know. BUT I’m thankful that things didn’t go so badly after all…
I was reminded of a few things, the gift of praying in other tongues, the gift to pray at all and the fact that I WAS PREPARED! You see, I probably listen to the Word more than I listen to music. Not to boast but for some reason that’s just been my life. Not only that, I read a lot—the Bible (not as much as I’d like to but quite a bit), books about the Bible and other resources. In the moment, I didn’t consider that preparation, it was just something I enjoyed doing. So, when the time came to “show myself approved” after praying and asking for utterance, everything that needed to be said, was said. I also found that I delivered better than I ever had when rehearsed!
Life isn’t a show that we rehearse for. God wants to awe us; He wants to surprise us and bless our socks off. When we’re about His business and doing those things that please Him, we may find opportunities in which we feel unqualified for on the other end of our Kingdom business. It was in the daily tasks that I saw as enjoyment and took pleasure in for God that I was presented with an opportunity that I didn’t think I was ready for. I’ve learned that God doesn’t operate like us. Plan, be prepared—of course. But consider this, what if that thing you do every day is preparing you for what God has for you to do next? What if that “off guard” opportunity was a set up to test what you’ve been unknowingly preparing for all along? #ThinkAboutIt