[The Spirit of God] puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. - 2 Corinthians 5:5 MSG
After three years of unemployment, I finally received what seemed like a promising professional opportunity. The job was a part-time program manager position at a Baltimore City nonprofit. The position did not pay much, nor did it come with any benefits, but it was a job—something I desperately wanted. After three interviews, I was informed that they were moving forward with another applicant—I was devastated. I really wanted that job, not because it was a good job, but because I was desperate. In my desperation, I was ready to settle for less than what God had planned for me.
Throughout our lives, we are often told that we need to settle down. So, we live looking for places to settle. Some of us settle in relationships while others settle on jobs and environments that cause more harm than happiness. We settle for less when we don’t believe that God can provide us with more.
Desperate Times & Desperate Measures
I imagine this is how Sarai (Sarah) felt after God promised her husband Abram (Abraham) that He would bless them with a son (Genesis 15:4), yet her womb remained barren.
Abram's wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, and so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Why don't you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me.” - Genesis 16:1 - 2 GNT
Sarah confused delay with denial and did what we often do when in doubt—she questioned God’s character by accusing Him of keeping her from having children and she attempted to take matters into her own hands. Sarah was desperate for a baby; I was desperate for a job, and today, you might be desperate for both, or you’re desperate for a relationship, affection, money, stability, or health.
Now, scripture tells us to be still (Psalm 46:10) and to wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14) but waiting on God is difficult when the bills are growing and you don’t have a job or when the years are passing, and you are still single. Our impatience leads to desperation and when we are desperate, we make poor decisions and settle for less than what we deserve.
Before making an important life decision, always ask yourself the following: Am I settling down or am I leveling up? To put that another way: Are you committing to a relationship, job, city, or mindset because you believe it is what God has for you or because it is convenient and satisfies your short-term desires?
God is faithful. Though Sarah made a bad decision, God still honored His vow and blessed her and Abraham with a child. And though I did not get the job I thought I wanted; God blessed me with an amazing professional opportunity just three months later. My willingness to settle almost caused me to miss my blessing. Your blessing and breakthrough are closer than you think, so don’t settle or you might miss it. Instead, trust that God will honor His vow to bless you abundantly beyond what you can imagine.
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