“He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires, Brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit, Road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back; Finally he brought us to this well-watered place.” Psalm 66:10-12 (The Message)
When I went through Search and Rescue school, we had to run...a lot. We would run three miles three times a week, on top of doing over five hours a day in the pool. We ran in formation. I would be placed near the front and every single time I got stuck behind this guy who took potassium pills before our morning workouts to prevent muscle cramps. One of the side effects from these pills is that it gives you gas, and I got the pleasure of running behind him for three miles.
Whenever we anything as a group, there would be people at the front who set the pace for everyone else. Many times I would set the pace because I was the smallest. I was the only girl and the youngest person in our class. To be honest with you, I was the most unlikely candidate to even go to this school, because at that time I was 5'3" and weighed a whopping 110 lbs. Yet, here I was being trained to go into the ocean and rescue whoever fell overboard or went down in an aircraft. Many times I wanted to quit because it was hard. My times were never the fastest. I wasn't the strongest one in the class, and I often spent my time alone because I was the only girl. But I graduated anyway AND I was given the "Most Inspirational Leader" award which is humorous because I finished at the last place in the class.
God is calling the unlikely to the front lines to be the pace setters for the rest of the crowd. You may feel like you are the smallest and the most under qualified person to take on the tasks that have been placed in front of you. You may look around and see bigger, better choices and you have talked yourself out of being obedient. You may feel like you are disqualified from what God has called you to step out and do, because of your past or the lack of credentials you think you need to accomplish this call.
God likes to call the unqualified to carry out his assignments because it glorifies him and not us. He did this all throughout history. He called on Moses, David and Esther. He called on a prostitute. He called on Mary, the 12 disciples (every one of whom was unqualified to be a disciple) and Saul. He is still in the business of calling on those who are not qualified.
There are some of you who have been walking through a season that has been exhausting emotionally and mentally. You have had to allow God to bring hurts and unresolved issues to the surface so he could deal with them and heal you. You feel like you have been placed on the back burner, over looked, set aside, even invisible to those around you, but God has kept you hidden so he could ensure your heart and your character are strong enough to handle the season he is about to launch you into.
He has taken you through the refining process multiple times in a row and you are wondering what you did wrong to have to go through this pain over and over again. Psalm 66:10-12 in the Message Bible says, "He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires, Brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit, Road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back; Finally he brought us to this well-watered place." He is preparing you to endure the paces you will have to set for those around you. It's not easy to be a pace setter. You will at times have to run faster because your instructor is pushing you to work muscles in a way you have never had to work them before. He is preparing you to face things you would not have been able to face had you not gone through this process. Do not get anxious and try to skip out on this process because you do not want to be caught unprepared for battles you will encounter. They will crush you if you aren't prepared.
You are not just setting the pace, you are setting the course as well, because not everyone can see where the trail is going like the pace setters can. The pace setters also need to have humility because if you are leading with pride you will stop listening to the instruction from your leader (which in this case will be Jesus), and you will think people are following YOU when in fact they are there to follow Christ. You are just the one selected to lead them. The prideful will also stop following the instructor go their own way leading the entire group down the wrong path.
Humility is something you need pray for daily, because pride can sneak in anywhere and it can delay our process when we aren't diligent to acknowledge it. You may be positioned to be in politics, in the music industry or the movie industry. Maybe he's calling you to start a non- profit or a ministry. Do not assume because you are called to be a pace setter that you are called to a public platform. He could be positioning you to pray and lead behind the scenes. If you assume a public platform, you will never feel satisfied or fulfilled, because you are out of alignment with God.
Do not allow the enemy to lie to you and get you positioned incorrectly. You need to keep your ear tuned to God's voice to ensure you are stepping into the correct position. In this season, pray that God will use the good and the bad parts of your story. Pray for to be glorified through you. Ask him to continue to build you up, so you are strong and ready to be used when it's time to step up to the plate.
God is calling the unlikely forward to take their places and you will be the inspiration to those around you. God is expanding your capacity. He is expanding your influence. He is expanding your territory. So be at peace and find your rest in this season. Open your ears to hear and your hearts to receive from him. You will need to be filled up to overflowing when you are called on, or you will burn out. Some of you need to get out of your own way. Your list of excuses has stalled you. Your control issues have prevented you from allowing God to flow through you. Surrender all of that to him and Get. Out. Of. His. Way.
The only reason I made it through Search and Rescue school is because I REFUSED to quit. Do not quit in the middle of the refining process. Do not quit when the battles rage against you or when you think the deck has been stacked against you. There is greatness being pulled out of you and your calling is significant! The body of Christ needs you to set the pace.