Four years ago God gave me a dream. One of those way-too-big visions that you have to grow into. The almost impossible. Some days my heart feels like it might implode with all the expansion and stretching.  And as I work towards making it a reality it’s both exhilarating and time demanding. But just as I feel ready to fully throw myself over the edge into the unexplored and unknown, I stop.

The second guessing is excruciating. The anxiety about the unfamiliar is terrifying. I find myself shuffling backwards, completely unsure of what to do next and confused by the lack of clarity. Surely God wouldn’t ask me to step out in vulnerability and trust if I couldn’t see a clear way forward?

So I talk myself off of the ledge. I move backwards and pause. I must be wrong. Perhaps my excitement to move forward deceived me and I’m only conjuring up a hope, but not something to be birthed into reality. 

And that’s where it all begins. The presumptive, dangerous thinking.

I think, when things are unclear and scary I shouldn’t move. That’s a sign to stop and wait. Do nothing. Freeze.

So I wait. Time slips by. Days and weeks. I feel frustrated that nothing changes in my life. I’ve crept further from the edge and deeper into self-doubt.

And then last week I saw my misstep.

Not all seasons are for waiting.

To be honest I think we all need a lesson in what genuine waiting looks like. There are seasons where we simply stand and look for Jesus to act on our behalf. We tarry with expectation, pause in prayer and actively engage in looking to Him. Those are genuine and much needed seasons. But beware. Fear masquerades as patience.

We need to discern our seasons carefully. What looks like waiting is often fear of failure. We refuse to step over the edge because we’re not sure if we’ll succeed. But linger too long this way and we’ll look back with regret, resentment and even rage. We end up believing God never showed up for us, when in fact He’s looking to us for the next move.

It all looks holy at first. Patient confessions, deepening queries and long-suffering prayers - they all have such a godly tone. Religion comes disguised as wisdom. But it's a thief designed to slow you down, disappoint you and keep you in a box of your own making. Religion demands we understand everything before taking action, and whispers time and again for more caution and more delay. Too easily this becomes our default position and soon enough we’re never moving, only questioning. We end up frustrated in a stagnant and dissatisfying life.

What was the last word God spoke to you? Was it to reflect, wait and trust Him? Then do that. But if the word was to act, move in faith and push past some of the entangling insecurity and fear - now is a season to advance. Have you noticed the themes in your life (the books you’re reading, the sermons you’re hearing, the conversations you’re having) confirm that word? What about the wise council in your life? What do they sense and feel?

Don't spiritualize your delay. Fear and religion would love to have you waiting and second guessing until the day you die. Resist their ploys, edge toward the cliff edge and take that dive.