By Dianna Hobbs
Everyone loves the scent—everyone but me.
We have an automatic air freshener dispenser in the main bathroom on the first floor of our home.
After our supply was depleted, my husband Kenya decided he would grab a refill while running errands.
Unfortunately, the store didn’t have any more of our favorite kind in stock. So Kenya and our boys, Kedar and Kaleb, who were out with him, had to make a selection from the other available options.
They all agreed that the “Maple Waffles” aroma wafting through the air would be refreshing.
I actually hadn’t given the freshener any more thought until earlier today.
“What is that smell?” I asked, trying to figure out exactly what that unfamiliar fragrance was hitting me in the nostrils.
“It’s the new air freshener,” my husband Kenya responded.
“Oh, it stinks,” I grimaced.
“Really? You think so?” he asked. “Everyone else likes it.”
It’s odd that it seems nothing more than an offensive stench to me—something like our efforts to please God with gifts and sacrifices, but no obedience.
In Isaiah 1:13, God said the incense His people burned before Him was a stench in His nostrils. He didn’t want anything else to do with their pious festivals and sacrifices.
Their hands were unclean.
But the good news is, God didn’t leave them stewing in their own filth, drowning in guilt and shame. He sent His word in verse 18 and said, “Come now, and let us reason together…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
In verse 19 the Lord told them, “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land.”
Obedience was the key to their abundance. Obedience is also the key to our abundance.
Many times, however, we struggle to obey God. We get hindered and sidetracked by our own desires. We fail to realize that obeying Him is not just about keeping The 10 Commandments. It is also about waiting when He commands us to do so.
After all, God knows what is best for us and when it is best for us to receive it.
Consider this, though: how can we carry out His commands when we’re caught up in our own way of doing things? How can we please Him if we do not submit to His will by accepting His timing?
How often do I say timing is everything? That’s because it is. And not just any old timing.
Things happen when He is ready and not a moment sooner. Sometimes, though, we get antsy. Our own cravings, desires and appetites for specific things—even good things—can get really intense, before we are in position to receive them.
So we jump out of alignment with the will of God. We walk in disobedience on the path toward selfish pursuits.
We don’t want to exercise restraint, be patient or disciplined enough to realize it is not our wants, but His will that is most important.
I know we often pray for things to happen quickly. We want breakthroughs, promotions and increases—all good things. But the question is, are we willing to wait for God’s timing?
In my life, when I have rushed to make things happen, I have ended up with failure, disappointment and stress. My disobedience and hastiness landed me right back at my starting point, or worse, further away from my goal than I was when I started.
I have learned my lesson.
When you move ahead of God, the progress you think you’re making turns out to be no progress at all. Furthermore, anything you do in His name, while rejecting His leading, doesn’t bring Him glory. It becomes a stench in His nostrils as Isaiah references.
So don’t get in a rush. Do it His way, which is the right way.
Friend, if you don’t want to be circling the same mountain over and over; stuck in the same rut longer and longer; and hindering your own progress again and again, wait on the Lord.
Though the craving for what you desire may be there, which is perfectly okay, be resolved that you will surrender your will in exchange for His.
Walk in complete obedience and eat of the good of the land.
When you’re led by the Spirit of God, you will remain on the right path leading to destiny. The wait will be so worth it.
To help you trust God’s timing, I’m stirring Psalm 27:14 ESV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
As you drink down the contents of your cup it will empower you to keep on trusting the Lord in the meantime as you wait on your due time.
Do what Proverbs 3:6 says and acknowledge God in all your ways and He will direct your path.
Named one of the “70 Most Influential Black Christian History-Makers” by Black Christian News Network for her stellar work as an urban faith-based media specialist, Dianna (Pronounced Dee-Anna) Hobbs is changing the culture for Christ. As President & CEO of Empowering Everyday Women (EEW) Online Magazine, America’s #1 web publication for Christian women of color, Dianna Hobbs and her team endeavor to inform, uplift, inspire, and empower women of God to live out their faith in an increasingly faithless society.