A couple of weeks ago, I stood in my office with my dry-erase board, where I had just written my goals for 2020. I prayed over each one, believing that God would answer everything I had written down. I remember vividly when the Lord began to speak to me and said, “EJ, do you have the character to steward what you have been asking of ME?” I sat down and began to think of how I have been preparing for this new year. Had I taken 2019 serious enough to prepare for the 2020 I was believing for?
Now, I want to ask you that same question; Do you have the character to steward what you have been asking of God?
Character is broken down two ways: “Y’all mentals,” as Marshawn Lynch would say, and the moral qualities that are distinctive to you.
Now that we have an understanding of character, ask yourself these two questions:
How have I mentally prepared for what I am asking of God?
How have I morally prepared for what I am asking of God?
When we look at Genesis 16, we see that Sarai was asking God for a son, but she was not mentally prepared to trust God that her prayer would be answered in HIS timing NOT hers. This weakness led her to have a moral failure by allowing her servant to have a child with her husband. Sarai showed that she hadn’t yet developed the character to steward what she had been asking of God.
Maybe for you, you’re asking God for a spouse, but how are you preparing for that person? Has your life revolved around YOUR wants, needs, and desires? Or have you taken the time to serve others before yourself?
Some of us are believing for financial breakthroughs, but how did you spend money in 2019? Did you save it? Did you sow it?
The habits you created in 2019 may cause 2020 to be a year of breakthrough, but for some, it may not be the breakthrough you were expecting. But I do believe God wants to break through the bad habits in your character that held you back last year.
Let me tell you a story. Before I was a Young Adult Pastor, I was a Children’s Pastor at a church in Memphis. I had over 140 kids weekly that I would shepherd and teach. Each week we held two services where I had to preach, and we would have worship, a message, and prayer. I remember I was driving to church one morning, but I hadn’t prepared for my message. I thought, “Hey, I know the Bible. I can preach it without having to prepare.” I remember at that moment the Lord spoke to me, “EJ, if you were preaching on the main stage in front of thousands of people, would you have been this unprepared?” Talk about a gut punch! After that, I began to prepare and not belittle the platform. In preparation for how I was asking God to use me, which was to get the opportunity to speak to an older group of people more regularly, I had to be faithful where God had me.
Here are some questions to gauge your character:
Am I cutting corners in personal development; What spiritual disciplines am I willing to learn?
Am I being intentional with my time; Am I effectively prioritizing my needs and wants?
Am I learning everything I need to learn in my current season; Are there obstacles that I am trying to avoid?
I encourage you to allow God to develop any potential “weaknesses” in your character so that when HE answers your prayer, you can steward everything He brings to you in a healthy way.
EJ Brown is the Pastor of Youth and Young Adults at 7 City Church in Ft. Worth, TX. He graduated from Kennesaw State University with a BS in Exercise Sciences and Leadership with a Minor in Coaching. He is pursuing his Masters of Theology degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. EJ is the author of the book “Unlocking Your Potential In Singleness: How to maximize your single life” where he gives singles useful tools to thrive, not just survive, during their single season of life.