Between the promise and the payoff….

I have heard Steven Furtick say this in a message several weeks ago at Innovate 08, and I think he said something similar at Catalyst in Atlanta a week or so ago.  Basically here is the idea:

Between the Promise and the Payoff there is a Process.

He spoke from 1 Samuel about the life of David and how he was annointed king as a young teen (promise) but didn’t become king (payoff) for years (process).  He spoke about David’s process and how because he was doing what he was told (carrying cheese to his brothers) he was positioned to fight a giant – the process.  He said something that really struck a cord with me: “We forget the promise, and forfeit the payoff because we’ve fainted in the process.”  Another point that hit home with me was “The process wasn’t pointless!  The process was the point!”  This has really been eating my lunch lately.  God has given, I believe to everyone knows Him, a dream, a promise, a passion.  That thing inside of you that says, “If I could do anything for the Kingdom of God, something that would make Him famous, and would be my dream, it would be…..”  I don’t believe that has to a job in a ministry for everyone, either.  It reminds me of Eric Liddell, the runner whose story was made famous through the movie chariots of fire.  He said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”  The payoff is the dream that you KNOW deep inside it would bring God pleasure.

Right now, I’m in the process…and it is the hardest thing to do to wait on the payoff.  The process is the point, but I think I might say the above statement like this:

Between the Promise and the Payoff there is a Process and a Price.

The Price is the patience, the pain and the persistence (okay, I thought I’d roll with P’s 🙂 ..)  it takes to wait on God’s timing: to work through the process.  It is even more difficult when you can see glimpses of Payoff.  I don’t think ANYONE sees the full Payoff because we would sell God way too short.  But I do believe that God helps us to see glimpses of the Promise or we would lose all hope.  So, to those of us who are in the process, here are a few thoughts:

1. Don’t faint in the process.  It’s hard, it is gut-wrenching, it is painful but don’t flinch.  Don’t faint in the process.
2. Be faithful where you’re planted in the meantime until the Payoff.  Remember, it was David being faithful to carry cheese that put him in the postition to face Goliath, to take the next step in the process.
3. It is not up to you to complete the process.  God will do that.  It is simply not your job to bring about the Payoff.  You can’t do it.  You can prepare, equip, study, serve and be as diligent as possible but only He can bring the Payoff.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will
continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ
Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

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