Take A Seat
If you have ever played an organized sport then you understand that there's the court and the bench. Despite popular opinions, they are both important, and here's why I think they are: the court is the place where players come to show up and show out, but it's the bench where they recharge and refuel. The bench can be a place of refuge and rest. However, we often look at the bench as the lesser thing, the place where those who aren't that great sit. In competitive sports this might be true; however, when it comes to God calling the shots that's not how He operates his court.
Have you ever been in a season of your life where you felt as though God told you to, "take a seat?" It's a humbling feeling. And if you aren't careful to control your thoughts the enemy will wreck havoc--twisting words and playing mind games, making you believe lies. Satan's tactics haven't changed since that somber day in the Garden of Eden.
When God calls you to take a seat today it's because He cares about your tomorrow. If we truly believe Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" then you can trust that your time on the "bench" is producing something good in you that He will allow to be put on display on His court, but not a minute too soon or too late.
If I can be transparent with you, I've been sitting on the bench. In fact, I'd venture to say that for the the last 10 years God has called me to "take a seat." Truth be told, warming the bench isn't so bad. He has taught me so much. You see when you are on the bench you are much closer to your coach than if you were on the court, which means you aren't having to sift through the noise of the crowd to hear what your coach is saying because He's closer to you in your season of sitting then when you are playing on the court. God's not interested in putting you on the court prematurely much like a coach isn't willing to risk using a player who was recently injured in the game against the other team's all-star point guard. There hasn't been enough time for healing to reintroduce him to the game. He may be dressed and ready to play, but the coach knows "not now."
God is more concerned about the long term outcome than any one game. The coach understands this too. He see's the bigger picture--the playoffs. He understands there's more at risk in the playoff's than there is in this one game.
God's more concerned about sanctifying you than He is concerned about how many people are shouting for you to "get in the game!" Sanctify originates from the Greek word hagiazo, which means to be "separate" or to be "set apart." His purpose in sanctifying us is so that His name would be made great, not our own.
Maybe God is calling you to "take a seat." Can I just encourage you for a minute-do it. Sit Down. Warm the Bench. Listen. Watch. Learn from Others. Grow. Take it all in.
Allow the sanctifying work of our good, good Father to challenge you to change. You may think you are ready to "play this one game," but God knows there are so many more ahead that He's preparing you for those. They mean more than just this one, I promise you.
Oh and just so you know, while He may be calling you to sit this game out, He still expects you to show up for practice. It's at practice where He is developing you, strengthening you, and equipping you. Practice is where you get to use your gifts to make them stronger so that you can be ready to shoot when it is your turn to enter the game. Study the Playbook. Listen to the Coach's guidance. Support the players in the game ahead of you. And when your shot comes, take it!