When I went through Search and Rescue school, a part of our physical training was running...a lot. We would run 3 miles; 3 times a week on top of doing over five hours a day in the pool. They would have us run in formation and I would be placed near the front and every single time I got stuck behind this guy who took potassium pills before our morning work outs to prevent muscle cramps. One of the not so pleasant side effects from these pills is that it gives you gas and I got the pleasure of running behind him for 3 miles. When we would do anything as a group there would be people at the front who would be the pace setters for everyone else and many times I was the one who set the pace because I was the smallest, I was the only girl and the youngest person in our school. To be honest with you, I was the most unlikely candidate to even go to this school because at that time I was 5'3" and weighed a whopping 110 lbs and I was being trained to go into the ocean and rescue whoever fell overboard or went down in an aircraft. I would frequently get paired with the biggest man in the class to pull around the training pool and do timed swims with because I had to be strong enough and prepared to rescue whomever I came across regardless of their size. Many times I wanted to quit because it was hard, my times were never the fastest, I wasn't the strongest one in the class and I often spent my time alone because I was the only girl there. But I graduated anyway AND I was given the "Most Inspirational Leader" award which is humorous because I finished at the last place in the class.
God is doing something that will strike many as odd, He is calling the unlikely to the front lines and is calling them to be the pace setters for the rest of the crowd. You may feel like you are the "smallest" and the most "under qualified" person to take on the tasks that have been placed in front of you. You may look around and see the "bigger" and "better" choices and you have talked yourself out of being obedient. You feel like you are disqualified from what God has called you to step out and do, because of your past or because of the lack of qualifications you think you need, to accomplish this call. God likes to call the unqualified to carry out His assignments because it glorifies HIM and not us.He did this all throughout history; He called on Moses, He chose David, He called on Esther, He called on a prostitute, He called on Mary, He called on the 12 disciples (every one of them unqualified to be a disciples), He called on Saul and He is still in the business of calling on those who are not "qualified" to be used by Him.
There are some of you who have been walking through a season that has been exhausting emotionally and mentally. You have had to allow God to bring hurts and unresolved issues to the surface so He could deal with them and heal you. You feel like you have been placed on the back burner, over looked, set aside, even invisible to those around you but God has kept you hidden so He could ensure your heart and your character are strong enough to handle the season He is about to launch you into.
He has taken you through the refining process MULTIPLE times in a ROW and you are wondering what you did wrong to have to go through this pain over and over again. Psalm 66:10-12 in the Message Bible says,"He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires, Brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit, Road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back; Finally he brought us to this well-watered place." He is preparing you to endure the paces that you will have to set for those around you. It's not easy to be a pace setter, you will at times have to run faster because your instructor is pushing you to, working muscles in a way you have never had to work them before. He is preparing you to face things you would not have been able to face had you not gone through this process. Do not get anxious and try to skip out on this process because you do NOT want to be caught unprepared for battles you will encounter, because they will crush you if you aren't prepared.
You are not just setting the pace, you are setting the course as well because not everyone can see where the trail is going, but the pace setters can. The pace setters also need to have humility because if you are leading with pride you will stop listening to the instruction from your leader (which in this case will be Jesus) and you will think these people are following YOU when in fact they are there to follow Christ, you are just the one selected to lead them. The prideful will also stop following the instructor and they will go their own way leading the entire group down the wrong path.
So, a part of this refining process is very humbling because God is done with the arrogant leaders who have stolen all of the credit and all of HIS glory and He will spend extra time on this character flaw, some will get stuck in this particular phase of the process because they won't surrender their pride. Humility will have to be something you pray and surrender DAILY because pride can sneak in anywhere and it can delay our process when we aren't diligent to acknowledge it. You may be positioned to be in politics, in the music industry, the movie industry, maybe He's calling you to start a non- profit, maybe it's ministry. Do not assume because you are called to be a pace setter that you are called to a public platform, He could be positioning you to pray and to lead behind the scenes so if the assumption is made that the public is where you are supposed to be you will never feel satisfied or fulfilled because you are out of alignment with God. Do NOT allow the enemy to lie to you and get you positioned incorrectly, you need to keep your ear tuned into God's voice so you are stepping into the correct position. In this season pray that God will use the good and the bad parts of your story and for Him to be glorified through you. Ask Him to continue to build you up so you are strong and ready to be used when it's time to step up to the plate.
God is calling the unlikely forward to take their places and you will be the inspiration to those around you. God is expanding your capacity, He is expanding your influence, He is expanding your territory so be at peace and find your rest in this season. Open your ears to hear and your hearts to receive from Him, you will need to be filled up to overflowing when you are called on or you will burn out. Some of you need to get out of your own way, your list of excuses had stalled you, your control issues has prevented you from allowing God to flow through you. Surrender all of that to Him and Get. Out. Of. His. Way.
The only reason I made it through Search and Rescue school is because I REFUSED to quit, do not quit in the middle of the refining process, do not quit when the battles rage against you, when you think the deck has been set against you. There is greatness being pulled out of you and your calling is significant! The body of Christ needs you!