I want my dreams to come true right now.
Sometimes, I wish God was like a vending machine; I put in a prayer and God gives me what I want. We all know it doesn’t work that way.
God has a plan, a path, and a purpose for each of our lives. It all leads us to our destiny. He also has a process to get us ready for that destiny. In this article, we will focus on learning to trust the process. The process to reach our destiny requires tremendous trust in God.
Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character.Psalm 105:19 NLT
God gave Joseph dreams to show him what his destiny would be. But, Joseph wasn’t ready to live it out just yet. Before he could reach his destiny, God had to shape, mold, and refine Joseph’s character. Just like Joseph, we can have big dreams and a destiny God has planned for us. And, just like Joseph, most of us are not ready for those dreams to be fulfilled, yet.
The power of yet
I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go.Philippians 3:12 Voice
Paul realized that he, like Joseph, was in God’s training process and had not arrived at his ultimate destination, yet. In fact, so many great men and women of the Bible had to trust the process of God getting them ready for their destiny.
Moses did not yet have the humility to lead the entire Israelite nation (Exodus 3:11). Esther didn’t have the courage she needed to save her people, yet (Esther 4:16). And, the disciples of Jesus didn’t have the faith to build God’s church and change the world, yet (Luke 22:32). The faith is in the “yet”.
You and I are no different. I often want to give up on the dreams God has put on my heart, because I can see all of my inadequacies, sins, and failures. Those difficulties just reveal that I have to trust God’s process and let him change me.
The process is different for each of us and for our kids if we are parents. Sometimes the process includes difficulty, disappointment, and heartbreak. Other times, it involves opportunities and successes. All of it is a part of God’s process, and if we trust him, we learn and grow.
That beacon of philosophy and wisdom, Sesame Street, has a great song, The Power of Yet, with Janelle Monae that captures this process. We can all use a little Sesame Street to help us along our journey!
Here are 4 principles that will help us trust the process God has us involved in to reach our dreams and destiny.
Pause and reflect
- What are the areas of my character God has to build inside of me in order for me to be strong enough to fulfill the dreams God has given me?
- How am I responding to the process God has put me in to shape me?
Choose a right view of God
I want to know Him inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death,  so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.Philippians 3:10-11 Voice
In Paul’s journey toward his destiny, he was not focused on the destination but on knowing and understanding God better. He knew that experiencing God’s power came from knowing him “inside and out.”
The biggest obstacle for me in learning to trust the process that God has me in to grow is that I often have a wrong view of God. This leads to me mistrusting what God is doing and trying to take control of the process myself. What is your view of God?
|View of God||Response to God’s Process|
|Distant, Impersonal Entity||I am on my own so I need to take control of my own life.|
|Evaluator||I am always blowing it so I might as well quit.|
|Punisher||I will always be made to suffer so I am negative about life.|
|Loving Father||God cares and is training me so I am free to make mistakes and grow.|
Pause and reflect
- What are you focused on? Do you want to know God better and better, or are you focused on a different goal?
- What is your view of God and how does it affect your response to God’s process of training you to grow?
- Which view of God best describes where I am at? Do a Bible study to learn who God really is. A good place to start is understanding all of the names of God in the Bible.
- What is my view of training? Do a Bible study on Hebrews 12 to understand how God loves and trains.
Let go of the past
Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission.Philippians 3:13 Voice
When I graduated high school and went to college, I moved from Michigan to North Carolina. I remember thinking that I had a big opportunity to throw away all of the mistakes, insecurities, and fears from my past and redefine myself, because I was going to a place where no one knew me.
I soon discovered that a change of scenery did not change who I was internally and that I was the same person in North Carolina that I was in Michigan. In Philippians 3, Paul talks about the opportunity we all have spiritually to really leave our old life behind. In fact, being close to God requires that we learn to let go of our past.
To truly know him meant letting go of everything from my past and throwing all my boasting on the garbage heap.Philippians 3:8 TPT
When I fail to let go of my past, I end up carrying too many burdens and too much baggage, and it prohibits me from having the faith to change and grow. One of the best things about God is that he frees us from our past so we can start new.
What are the burdens you need to let go of so you can grow?
- Discouragement – This is when loss and disappointment has affected me and my faith is tired. I need to pray so I can specifically identify the discouragements I need to let go of.
- Guilt – This is when my faith is blocked by the shame of sin. I need to pray and talk specifically about what is making me feel guilty so I can leave it behind.
- Indifference – This is when my faith is gone, and I just don’t care anymore. I need time with God so he can re-awaken my heart to care for people.
- Old paradigms – This is when my faith is outdated, and I am trying to recreate the past rather than letting God build a new future. I need to pray visionary prayers and get in my Bible to see what God is trying to build.
Pause and reflect
- What are the specific burdens you need to let go of so you can grow?
- How can you change your time with God so he can give you the faith to start to grow again?
- Who can you talk to and get help from to identify and let go of these burdens?
Keep looking ahead
I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.Philippians 3:14 Voice
Not only do we need to let go of our past, but we need to keep looking ahead. Paul says he is sprinting toward the goal and focusing forward. When I ran track, our coach taught us to keep our eyes looking ahead instead of down, all around, or looking back. It was most important when we were the most tired.
By looking ahead to where we wanted to go instead of at the other runners or the crowd, it would make our bodies move forward toward the finish line. In other words, our bodies would go toward whatever we were looking at.
Similarly, I have found that in life, when I am the most tired is when it is the most important to look ahead. It is tempting to want to look down or look at others, but God wants us to look at him and the destiny he has planned for us (Hebrews 12:2, 12-13 NIV).
Pause and reflect
- What are you looking forward to?
- What future is God training you for?
Develop an attitude to learn
All of us who are mature ought to think the same way about these matters. If you have a different attitude, then God will reveal this to you as well.  For now, let’s hold on to what we have been shown and keep in step with these teachings.Philippians 3:15-16 Voice
I don’t always have the best attitude when I am in the middle of God’s process of training me. Many times I have grown bitter, felt sorry for myself, or just been resistant to the whole thing. The older I get, the more I see the importance of developing an attitude to learn. I have so far to go in becoming who God has destined me to be. It is okay that we are not there yet.
God has both you and me in a process to become everything he wants us to be to fulfill our destiny. The key is always wanting to learn and not becoming fixed or entrenched in who we currently are. Learning to trust the process is all about having a disposition that is eager and happy about learning.
Pause and reflect
- What is your attitude about learning?
- If you are a parent, what disposition toward learning are you teaching your kids by your example?
We can all grow and develop inner strength when we focus not on a formula but rather on the experience of God’s love changing us from the inside out.
- Read about people in the Bible who had to learn to trust God’s process to shape them for their destiny (e.g., Joseph, Moses, Esther, Jesus’ disciples).
- Write down how they responded by both trusting and/or resisting God’s process.
- Set up a time with a friend to talk about who God is training you both to be and how you are responding to it.
- Listen to Paint Me a Picture, The More The Mary-er Part 3, to learn more about trusting God’s process.