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Winning at The Waiting Game
How God Built Me to Last
By Tracy L. De Volt
AuthorHouse LLCCopyright © 2014 Tracy L. De Volt
All rights reserved.
God makes Deals
Wisdom involves knowing God and the subtleties of the human heart.
J. Oswald Sanders
My appetite for God became an insatiable one. Many days found me locked away in my room surrounded by different Bible translations seeking absolutes from the only Source I suspected had answers. Nonetheless, I realized how little understanding I was receiving: the more information I learned the more the realization came as to how little information was being learned. It was like scooping out water from the ocean with a teaspoon and realizing how much more you actually need to survive.
This is when the principle of mentorship was introduced to me. I remember saying, "I need a teacher. I need someone who knows ALL of this stuff and will simply teach me quickly so I can move on." Then the thoughts came, "As if such an individual existed and would take time with a zealous, ignorant kid like me", and more despair. Well, the awareness refused to leave until dimly I realized it was God bidding me to seek Him for such a thing as a personal mentor in His Word. As prayers for this person arose from my soul, people started helping me more and more. I remember how refreshing and empowering it was to sit at the feet of such Bible teachers such as: Pastor Roy Brown, Rev. Georgia Gordon, and Bishop Kenneth Davis. Oh my, what awesome learning I experienced.
Eating but hungry ...
Though these were my teachers, they were not my mentor. They each imparted what they were assigned to impart and simply sent me on my journey of discovery. I was yet reaching to God for something I knew not of and desired strongly. Others came along all of which I thought surely was "the one" but did the same as the others; taught me and sent me on my journey. This happened so consistently, I ignorantly perceived it as rejection. One day I was literally crying out to God, begging Him to give an Elijah for my life. I later learned that this place of intense pain and confusion was exactly where and what God wanted of me and for me. Not to wound me but to form me, to turn me and yes, to build me.
This fall day became the spring of my entire life's discovery in God. This day was the worst and best day of my life. I came to a place, at twenty-three years of age, that few come to know. As I cried out to God, He spoke to me. I remember it as if it were that very moment in time.
"Get up!" I did and very quickly. "Stop crying!" I stopped but started trembling in fear. What was going on, I marveled. As I sat on the side of my bed trying my best to gain composure and not run from the room screeching, God communicated to my spirit both personally and purposefully.
"I have dealt with others about mentoring you but for various reasons they would not. But how about I make you a deal ..." God makes deals? (This is a valuable lesson, friends. Please do not miss it.)
"How about I make you what you didn't have and if you let Me, I will build you to last". Make me what I didn't have and build me to last? I will admit, even though this was not an audible voice, it seemed so to me. God had communicated something to me I simply could not fully understand. Regardless of my lack of understanding, His joy and peace flooded my soul. I knew that day I had received something priceless; something divinely imparted; and above all something timeless. I knew, no matter what came my way (at the time of this writing, it has been well over twenty years) that day would never be far from my mind. That day would be a marked day in my life, ministry and journey with God.
Over the past twenty-five years, I have learned that my story is not so different from yours. We all have, by God's grace, come to a place of discovery, not only of God but ourselves. Our stories are expressly unique though unremarkably similar. What I learned here is a lesson I have taught in various venues across this country and it is simple; very simple. Are you ready to hear it? God is an adaptable God. Though He does not and cannot change in character; He can and does change everything else. Yes, He does! Yes, He can! Our God is limitless. He is not resourceful alone but He is the Source alone. We will discuss this in a later chapter, but please let me expound just a moment.
Being built requires yielding ...
When I say, God makes deals, I mean exactly that. He does. He takes what is seemingly an impasse or a dead-end and transforms it into a bridge or better yet a highway. What an amazing lesson to learn in one's sapling season. Just when I started to put some things together in my head as it pertains to absolutes God steps in and shows me that He is the Absolute of absolutes. He is the Source of resource. Looking back now, I marvel in amazement at how this simple yet profound truth served to curtail many future struggles and devastations. I have had my share of them, but Holy Spirit continues to bring me back to my center in God by reminding me of what He said all those days, weeks, months and years ago.
When God builds, He builds to last. I like that don't you? He has purpose, structure, and function in it all. However, like every Master Builder, He works in sections and segments; seasons and stations of our lives. It may look to us as though He should be constructing this part but we don't see Him anywhere on the landscape. We later learn He was over yonder in another seemingly unrelated station or section working on us. This is the mystery of being built to last. Why and where God is constructing us is not important at all. What is vitally important is how we are continually yielding to His workings. This, my friends, seems to be the most challenging part of being built to last that I have discovered. Letting God work on me within the confines of time and timing has proven me in many ways and I imagine you as well.
As we examine the principles associated with being built to last, we must first examine a couple of words and concepts lost to most and known to few. Buckle up! Let's go for a ride as we are by God being built to last.CHAPTER 2
Defining Factor of Disappointment
Success is not measured by what a man accomplishes, but by the opposition he has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
Charles A. Lindbergh, Aviation Pioneer
Overcoming obstacles is one of life's certainties that is if we are committed to fulfilling our destinies. This fact is not a popular topic but needful nonetheless. For the purposes of this book, I will focus on one; the defining factor of disappointment. Disappoint is defined as "the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one's hopes or expectations" (Dictionary.com). It can also be any thing or person to cause such a feeling. Some major causes of disappointment may be:
being a perfectionist (imaginary world)
unrealistic goals (lack of priority or do-ability)
having false ideas about rejection or failure (not using failure as feedback)
unforeseen tragedy, calamity and distress
Disappointments can result from unfulfilled expectations of self, others, events, and outcomes either less than or contrary to what we desired. And please understand this friends, life is riddled with potential disappointments. Our remedy for all of life's disappointments and setbacks is the prevailing power of hope. As God is building us, the enemy of our faith is attempting to destroy us. These disappointments have the power to mark us like an insignia upon our hearts. How we respond or overcome the impact of the varied disappointments will be the making or breaking of us all.
God's Word has given us His eternal hope ...
Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)
11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.
11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?
1 Thessalonians 5:24
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
These Scriptures aid us in our walk towards fulfillment. They allow us to set our expectation in God, who will not, cannot fail no matter what faces us. If trusted in, leaned on and relied upon, He will finish what He has started in and with our lives.CHAPTER 3
The Waiting Game: Why must we wait?
You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather is.
The Waiting Game! Dictionary.com states, "The waiting game is a tactic in which one retreats for a time in order to act more effectively at a later date or stage" This is used in almost every walk of life and situation of circumstance. We want to examine this in a slightly different light however. Life has many textures, hues, shapes and phases. Learning to navigate this mystery called life is a journey we all must take. How we fair depends largely on whether or not we learn to navigate effectively. So much of life as we see these days is hinged on what we possess or acquire rather than what we learn and experience. God's great desire for us is penned in 3 John, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul propereth". Prosperity of the soul is pivotal to our acquisition of the various things we desire.
Process and waiting are not words most people appreciate hearing. These words often inspire negative responses. Sad to say, these words are not commonly understood. Furthermore, although in most cases, our promise, dream, hope, aspiration and wisdom—are received and experienced within the boundaries of the process of waiting. Process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. Waiting is simply the action of staying where one is or delaying action (process) until a particular time or until something else happens. I like to think of it as preparation time.
Prep for Game Time
My spiritual father, Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin Sr., said something many years ago I have never been able to forget. In our Faith Library class, on the beautiful campus of Rhema Bible College in Tulsa, he encouraged us to prepare for our future in God and in this life. He would often say, "Beloveds, preparation time is never wasted time". Now as wise as Dad Hagin was, he didn't come up with that himself. Oh no. He cited fellows like Abraham and Isaac; Joseph; Moses; Apostle Paul and above all the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All these men went through the process of waiting? Could it be that waiting is what God uses to prepare? His purpose behind the waiting game process is to get us ready to win? Friends, if this is true and it is, then let us learn the essentials of winning in this most important game. Let us gather ourselves. Let us become trained enforcers of God's principles and techniques in order to achieve our ultimate goal; being built to last. If the above mentioned patriarchs of the Faith, inclusive of Our Lord had to master them then we are certainly no greater than they.
The remainder of this book is to arm you, as Holy Spirit through the Word of God armed me to outlast my adversaries (both natural and spiritual) and to possess my mountains of influence for His glory. He took a broken, confused, drug-addicted young girl from the 'burbs' of Chicago, IL, and built her to last! These simple truths found in the subsequent pages are exactly what He taught me. So friends, such as I have, I give freely unto you. Read, learn and grow in the knowledge of your Father. You can WIN at the waiting game!CHAPTER 4
Principle of Rejoicing
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Before I share these simple points taught from James chapter 1, let me say that I am well acquainted with the fact that we of our own selves are and can do nothing. What I am about to share with you are truth deposits and grace impartations I received over years of trusting God to build me according to the prophetic word He spoke into my heart. Until very recently, I had not shared these truths in full for various reasons. Mainly, I had to prove out what I was seeing with a lifestyle. One of our greatest failures in the Body of Christ is we are too quick to spout off information in theory and void of experience. Secondly, I was not in a position to share these truths with a prepared people who were able to hear them. (Yes, this is a shameless plug to the best church-folks in the Mid-west; Lighthouse Worship Center of Aurora, IL) Timing, as we have briefly explored is crucial to affect. Moving too soon can abort God's plans. Lastly, over time one's confidence grows as faith and wisdom expands in a heart. This is what has happened to me. As I have watched God build my strength of character, heart of love, and commitment of faith, boldness abounds. And with prophetic-kick-in-the-pants from Dr. Gaither and Apostle Jonathan Swain, God gets His way after all. He is still making me what I didn't have.
The Principle of Rejoicing
In our above mentioned Scripture passage, count here means to account, deem, to consider or to think. This is a powerful point many miss. James is speaking to people who have suffered many things and are waiting on the fulfillment of their promise from the Lord Jesus that He would return in glory. This is the literal context of this entire Letter. He is encouraging the people to not lose hope in what God has promised. How is this accomplished? By beginning with the simple act of thinking a certain way, we can find assurances otherwise forfeited.
Our thinking is of utmost importance, friends. How we consider and what we consider makes enormous impact upon our outcomes. Often we have heard the saying, "Attitude determines altitude". Attitude is our perspective or viewpoint. God needs something from us in order for Him to bring His will to pass in our lives. He needs our will, our determination. Technically, our wills are the only thing we truly own. God wants us to consider, deem, think and account our experiences as joy. This is what I have come to call the Principle of Rejoicing.
In this passage, the word joy comes from a root word which means "cheerfulness". This word, here translated joy, means to "be exceeding or greatly joyful" (Strong). It speaks of persisting in or abounding in joyfulness or being increasingly joyous. Again, this is based in what we think not necessarily what our emotions say. This is why I call this a principle. It works when worked. It produces exactly what it is designed of God to produce regardless of situation. Rejoice!
You remember from elementary school learning about prefixes and suffixes don't you? "Re" as a prefix means "back to the original place, again," also with a sense of "undoing", re-"again, back, against." Rejoicing then can also mean, referring to our joyfulness or joyousness. It can easily depict our repeated action of answering every trial, test, hardship, setback or whatever, with a determined attitude of exceeding joyfulness and cheer. It is refusing to be moved from God's promise no matter how long one may have been waiting for its fulfillment to manifest.
It stabilizes us in faith and empowers our determination to stand and see the end of our faith which is His manifestation. Oh my dear ones, this is paramount to our successful navigation through this life. Our joy is indeed our strength. This willful decision to be a person of exceeding joyfulness can lift you high above your present circumstance and bring you to an awareness of God few know and of which even less have heard. Here is what we fix our minds on and remain unwavering in our choice. This joy is what God's kingdom is made of according to Romans 14:17, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost". Joy is literally divine in its essence and scope. We choose to possess and maintain ourselves in joy; we are insulating our lives with God-stuff. The ramifications of this principle's power are as deep, wide and vast as God Almighty, Himself.
Excerpted from Winning at The Waiting Game by Tracy L. De Volt. Copyright © 2014 Tracy L. De Volt. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse LLC.
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Table of Contents
Section One: The Wisdom of Waiting, 1,
Chapter 1 God makes Deals, 7,
Chapter 2 Defining Factor of Disappointment, 15,
Chapter 3 The Waiting Game: Why must we wait?, 19,
Section Two: How to win, 23,
Chapter 4 Principle of Rejoicing, 25,
Chapter 5 Employing Patience, 31,
Chapter 6 The Need for Wisdom, 39,
Chapter 7 Believing Prayer, 45,
Chapter 8 Serving While Waiting, 51,
Section Three: More Strategies for Winning, 59,
Chapter 9 Author & Finisher: Faith Food ..., 61,
Chapter 10 To the Preaching Woman: From my heart to yours, 67,