“From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.” –1Chronicles 12:32 NLT
As of most recent the Lord has been dealing with me on the topic of persistence, integrity, and character as it involves the Body of Christ and even more specifically the Millennial Generation. I cannot recall the number of times, where I have heard the phrase, “living an inch deep and a mile wide.” And to be completely honest, I did not take to much notice as to the importance and value of these words, even when I did hear it. Nor did I dwell on how this would play a major role in my own life; until now.
Yet the truth remains, that too many in my generation have succumb to the proclivity of being an inch deep and a mile wide. Meaning that they have a desire to do great things, and to accomplish great feats, but without the character, integrity, and necessary persistence it takes to keep them in the room of “great things” and on the platform of “great feats,” by which they are called to.
I can remember growing up and hearing many sermons on 1 Chronicles 12:32. With pastor upon pastor stressing the importance of knowing the timing of God, as well as knowing the season in which He had placed you in. (As if to say that the time and season are not the same thing).
However, considering how the Lord was speaking to me, my mind became drawn to this particular Scripture by the Holy Spirit and I began to think—what if the way I had looked at this passage was incorrect. And what if, instead of placing an over emphasis on the clock, or time-element involved (which caused these men in the Bible to be recognized by God), but instead I emphasized their lifestyle and necessary spiritual endurance which caused them to have an understanding and the ability to follow-through with what they understood. Or remain obedient to the God they knew and loved.
Then the lightbulb came on!
What if the signs of the times, and best course of action had nothing to do with the clock but had everything to do with their character and their ability to be obedient to that which the Lord had called them too; until He gave them something else to do. And what if, the Sons of Issachar, whose father’s name means “there is a reward,” ultimately received that which they had made up in their minds to work towards: integrity, honor, and courage within their character? Or what if their reward of being recognized by God had nothing to do with them at all; but instead had everything to do with the faithfulness of their father?
What if they represent being A Mile Deep and An Inch Wide?
See the true message of this passage and even the question the Lord was continually asking me was, “Samuel are you okay with going deep in me, even though to your natural understanding it may seem like you have made no outward progression at all?” “My Son, would you be content with the roots of your faith growing deep enough to stabilize you in life and ministry for years to come without the instant gratification of immediate results?” “And how would you feel, if I never caused your name to be great in the earth during your lifetime, but allowed your children and grandchildren to grow and flourish because of your faithfulness, steadfast character, and unwavering integrity?”
I cried, and cried, and cried. And then I began to write.
Because I believe I am not the only one that this calling applies to. This is a calling for an entire generation to lay down the pride of their own accomplishments, abilities, and talents; and to take up the cross of their character, private devotion, and spiritual perseverance. No, it will not be easy and yes there will be times where we will fail and drop the ball. But, the faithfulness of God always meets those who stand on the mountain of their own repentance.
You see the Sons of Issachar had no desire to look at a clock or place themselves in the shoes of God for their own futures. No, they were much more interested in the depth of their relationship with the Almighty and the future impact and ripple in time that it would ultimately produce.
I pray that you, and I would both be and do the same.
Growing Deep and Not Wide,