The Long Game
“[Zechariah said,] ‘Praise be to the Lord, God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he said through his holy prophets long ago.’” – Luke 1:68-70
Do you have a one-month budget?
Do you have a 1-year plan? How about a 5-year plan? 10?
Most people tend to think short-term. The question that goes through our minds, whether we realize it or not, is,
“How will this action affect me now?”
If something will make us feel good, now, we want to do it.
Some people think a little further out. They may plan a week or a month ahead. Maybe even a year. This allows people to consider other consequences to their actions beyond just the immediate effect. They can even start planning a few steps ahead.
The best generals, financial planners, and chess players think several moves ahead. They consider their resources, the effects of their actions on themselves, what others might do in response, and how those all move them towards (or away from) their ultimate goal. The question that goes through their mind (and they are fully aware of it) is,
“How will this affect my ability to reach my ultimate goal?”
There are many challenges to long-term thinking. It requires insight, self-honesty, and time. It also requires sacrifice.
You may want something immediately, but need to give that up for the sake of your ultimate goal.
Let’s say your goal is to become completely debt-free in five years. One day you visit a friend’s house to watch a movie and you are amazed by their 80-inch super high-definition TV and surround sound. It makes your 40-inch TV seem pathetic. You may want to go out and by a new TV and sound system, however, if you want to achieve your debt-free goal, you will need to sacrifice the immediate satisfaction of a new TV so you can meet your ultimate goal.
God Thinks Long-Term
In Zechariah’s prophecy, He points out that Jesus’ coming and God’s plan of salvation, had been foretold long ago and throughout history through the prophets. In fact, God knew exactly when to send Jesus.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” – Romans 5:6
People, throughout the ages, wondered when God would send the Messiah, send His salvation. They wondered why God didn’t act in their specific situation and why God would allow sin.
Today, we still wonder.
Why would God allow this?
When is Jesus returning?
God is still playing the long-game. He’s told us why.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
It’s not easy. It requires sacrifice. It requires not giving into the desire for immediate gratification. Yet, we know it’s good. We know it’s all done for our salvation.
There are a lot of things I see around me which causes me to wonder why you would allow them. There are also things in my life which I would prefer you remove or would give. Help me to be patient. Help me to trust in Your plan.
In Christ’s Service,