Yesterday I shared something that I call “filling in the gaps” and how it can hinder authentic church life. To fully understand this post it would be beneficial for you to read Pt. 1. You can find it here.
There is still another way that I have found myself filling in the gaps, and I have witnessed others doing this too. Here’s one of my personal examples:
In September of 2013, RC and I started sensing a change. We had felt something similar before, when we left employed ministry, when we left the institutional church, when we moved to Gainesville, but this time was different. We were right where we believed God wanted us. We were a part of a beautiful (I didn’t say perfect) church and we were witnessing and participating in Christ’s life on this earth.
However, because we had this urge within, we couldn’t sit still. RC and I had always wanted to own a home again, and so we thought maybe it was time to do that. Time to put down some roots. We value the advice and insight of our brothers and sisters, so we asked some of them to pray with us concerning this direction. One evening, meeting together with those praying with us to discuss a specific house we were interested in, some words came out of my mouth for the first time. The brothers and sisters talking with us didn’t have peace about us buying that house, or possibly any house, but my spirit was urging me to move.
A little frustrated I said, “I really don’t think we’re gonna be in our townhouse another year.” Honestly, this was the first time I had had that specific thought, and there was such a relief in my spirit when those words came out of my mouth. Why? Because that was all the Lord was telling us at that time. Because that was what He was revealing to us.
I went home with such a sense of relief. But do you know what I did then?
I filled in the gaps.
Instead of waiting on the Lord for the next piece of the puzzle, I went ahead and filled in what I didn’t know with what I wanted it to be. Or with what I could imagine it could be. If we weren’t going to be in our townhouse another year, then we were obviously going to be living in our own home.
So after getting outbid on the first house, having our contract fall through on the second house (for a reason so rare both agents were baffled), and delays on the acceptance of our offer on the third house, the Lord finally had our attention enough to slow us down. And as we stopped and waited, He gave us the next piece of the puzzle.
He made it clear that we would in fact be leaving Gainesville, but to where He didn’t say. So this time, instead of filling in the gaps and running ahead, we waited. We decided to learn from our previous, and kinda costly (we had already gone through inspections) mistakes.
Of course, we wondered. We imagined. We prayed. We discussed. But we didn’t act.
And finally, the Lord gave us another puzzle piece. And on and on it went. One puzzle piece at a time. And this time our brothers and sisters had complete peace about our direction.
This isn’t the only time the Lord has shown me something and I’ve filled in the gaps with my wish dreams. My agenda. My very limited imagination. And usually, it goes all wonky when I force my way. But how abundantly patient our Jesus is. How exceedingly capable, that even our filling in of the gaps can’t thwart His Purpose. He will have His way.
I believe that the Lord will bring us through circumstances that show us the damage of “filling in the gaps”. He desires Sons and Daughters that will willingly wait for Him to reveal each puzzle piece in His perfect timing. Sons and Daughters with no desire to fill in the gaps with themselves, and their limitedness. Sons and Daughters who want His whole purpose, His whole puzzle, and know that only He can do it. Who know that He is doing it.
So here’s to letting Christ, alone, fill in the gaps. =)