I’m a big fan of God-given dreams. I believe that if we are open, the Holy Spirit wants to show us parts of God’s plan for our lives. Maybe in quiet moments, you’ve heard the Holy Spirit tell you about something he has for you. Maybe you’ve received prophetic encouragement about what you’re called to do.

But then, nothing.

I don’t know about you, but at this point I’m ticking the Amazon Prime box on my life-calling delivery preference. “I’m ready, Lord! Make it happen!” (within 2 business days, please)

But God callings aren’t like parcel deliveries. They’re more like precious seeds planted in the soil of our Spirits. And seeds take time to grow.

“In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” (Isaiah 61:3)

It’s in this growth period that the Holy Spirit refines our character and strengthens our gifts, but most importantly, He calls us closer to the Lord. God wants our entire hearts, our full surrender, and our complete obedience. This time of preparation – the distance between the call and the sending – is much, much less about growing our talents and more about establishing an intimate and unshakable relationship with God. He wants all of us, set apart, and focused only on Him. This happens best when things get real quiet in our lives, which may seem like the opposite of what we were expecting. Just like a seed spends the first part of it’s journey underground,

“In the holy place of hiddenness, dreams and devotion thrive. That spiritual space is refreshed in lonely places; it is well watered by deserts. May that sacred space always be well watered in us. Then, when possessions and power do come, we will be quick to use them for God’s glory and not for our own.” (from “Anonymous” by Alicia Britt Chole)

In this time of inactivity, we may need to do some pruning as well. In 2016, I spent a few weeks doing missions work in Nicaragua. One of our projects was building a safe house on a mountainside. I was digging up large rocks in the ground to be used in the foundation. I would pull and tug and dig at weeds entangling the rocks but the process was exhausting. I found myself picking out the surface weeds but ignoring the deep ones. The Holy Spirit spoke to me, “We need to get them all out. It’s for your good. The ground must be clear for a solid foundation.”

This is what the Holy Spirit does in us. May our hearts be open to what he’s saying as he prepares us for the work he has for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Lord, I surrender to your plans and purposes. Holy Spirit, refine me, draw me deeper, and bring me to a place of full obedience and trust in you. It’s not about me, it’s all about you. For your glory and my good.

Lindsay Deller