Galations 5:22-26, Matthew 28:19

Josiah Parr looks at what it means to go at God's pace and in His timing.

Josiah Parr
Josiah Parr

When I first moved to the UK little things caught my attention, like the fact that the traffic lights turned from red, to amber, and then to green when it was time to go. In Australia the lights go from red to green!

Growing up in Sydney, I always felt like I was in a rush waiting at the red light. I'd find myself edging forward in anticipation for the light to change and to be able to get to where I was going, which amused my wife greatly. Vicki is from New Zealand; the pace there seems infinitely slower and more about the journey and observing the beauty of the surroundings. 
The contrast of one small thing made for a clash of culture whenever we got in the car, as I'd be edging forward and Vicki would be telling me to chill out and enjoy the view. I then would be commenting on the amber giving way to green to distract from the fact that I'd already taken off!

Red Light

This was a perfect description of me, always wanting to be at the destination and not really taking time to enjoy the journey.

After two years here in England I got itchy feet, and I began to inch forward in anticipation of moving. It was at our leaving meal that everything changed.

Vicki and I were asked to stay and take over the youth ministry at our church. We decided that we hadn't had the green light to leave yet and that we still had a lot of growing to do. Little did we know that that decision would keep us in the UK for a further 12 years.

There are times when God will keep you right where you are, and He will teach you all the lessons needed for the season you are in.

In Galatians, in the Amplified version, it talks about patience. Not just waiting, but how we act when we wait, as being the fruit of the Spirit.

God is always producing fruit in our lives, so don't rush it!

Amber Light

The great commission in Matthew 28:19 begins with the word "go." It's very easy to interpret that as an encouragement to leave where you are and do something significant for God.

There are some commentators though, who say that there is a key word missing in this. It's made up of two letters that becomes very significant when added in.

It's the word "as." So it would say "as you go into the world preach the gospel, make disciples of all men, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit."

Wherever your world is: your school, college, job, family and friends, you can reach them for the kingdom.

You cannot be effective for God somewhere else unless you are effective where you are.

Green Light

Recently as a family we felt the light was changing to green. We sensed God was calling us into a new adventure.

In three months time we will be moving to New Zealand to plant a church. This is a massive step of faith for us, especially as we recently had a new edition to our family, a little baby girl. 
I know that God has used these last few years to grow us and to show us more of who He is. These things cannot be rushed, no matter how impatient we may be.

Whether you are at a stop or a go, you can trust that God is with you and that He will direct you.
Ralph Abernathy said "I don't know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.