Devotionals by Pastor Rick Warren
Two Times When God Wants You to Take It Slow
By Rick Warren
“May [God] keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors.”
1 Kings 8:58 (The Message)
Today is the last day that we’re looking together at timing. We’ve looked at times God wants you to move quickly and times when you should take life slowly. Let’s think about two more times when God wants you to slow down.
First, move slowly when you’re making any major decision. The book of Proverbs says a lot about this. Proverbs 21:29 says, “Wicked people bluff their way, but God’s people think before they take a step” (CEV).
And Proverbs 4:26 says, “Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure” (ESV). What does ponder mean? It means to think about, meditate on, or carefully consider. You can’t ponder quickly.
When do you need to ponder your path? When you’re making big decisions—maybe about a career move, ministry change, marriage partner, or major purchase.
Proverbs 22:3, “Sensible people see trouble coming and avoid it but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later” (GNT). The number one place “unthinking” decisions happen is in your spending. That’s why so many people are in debt.
The solution? “Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough” (Proverbs 21:5 GNT).
The last time to move slowly is when you’re waiting for a seed you’ve planted to grow.
The Bible talks a lot about sowing and reaping. When you plant a seed, you harvest a crop.
This happens in every area of your life. If you plant kindness, you reap kindness. If you plant gossip, you reap gossip. If you plant generosity, you reap generosity. Whatever you sow, you will reap.
But there is always a delay between planting and harvest. You don’t put a seed in the ground and next day have an apple tree.
And remember that in the laws of planting and harvesting, you get back more than you planted. When you plant one kernel of corn, you don’t reap just one kernel. You reap a corn stalk with several ears of corn, each covered in kernels. One seed multiplies, and you get back more than you planted.
Maybe you feel like you’ve spent a long time waiting for the harvest. Here’s a promise for you: “At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen!” (Habakkuk 2:3 CEV).
Know that you can trust God’s timing. Sometimes God wants you to go fast and sometimes he says to go slow, but his speed is always just right.
Solomon was one of the great kings in the Bible. Commit to following God’s timing by praying the same prayer Solomon did: “May [God] keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors” (1 Kings 8:58 The Message).
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