Read: Exodus 13:17-22
Key Verse: For every matter there is a time and judgment. —Ecclesiastes 8:6
God’s timetable may move slowly, but it does move surely.
It’s of no surprise to me that on a day when I’ve decided to shut off some of the things that have become more important to me than God’s presence the very first message back into my daily series of messages that come from the Our Daily Bread Devotional Publication is on God’s Timing. It’s clear to me that the timing of the latest series introduced to us by Pastor Cass Hill of New Life Christian Center in Centerton, Arkansas has issued a personal challenge to me about what I place a premium on. The new series is titled “Family Ties”, but in the process of introducing the series to us with the first message from it came the questions that challenged my heart. How important to me is the presence of God? How much of a premium do I place on spending time with God? I had to honestly answer those questions with not enough.
At the beginning of the year, the Lord gave me my theme for this year, and it was Being Serious About Being Serious With God. The whole point of that theme for 2012 in my life is that it’s time to grow up, and be serious about my relationship with God. It’s also time for me to be serious about being in fellowship with God, seeking His face, being in His presence, and learning how to be a more effective minister, pastor, husband, and leader of my family.
Pastor Audley Black’s church near the south coast of Jamaica has been in a building program since at least 2005. That was the first time I visited his church and saw that they were expanding. The last time I was there—in the spring of 2011—some of the walls were up. By that summer, they had started on the roof. When I suggested to Pastor Black that perhaps the church would be done by 2013 when I thought I might return, he said it was a possibility.
There was no hint of disappointment that this project could take 8 years or longer! No, Pastor Black and his people are excited about what God is doing, and they’re patient with His timing.
We are often not that patient. We want our church to grow quickly, our young people to mature right away, and our problems to be fixed today. – by Dave Branon
Waiting on God’s timing isn’t always easy is it? I don’t know maybe I’m just not as super spiritual as you are, but as far as I’m concerned waiting on God is often more trying then some of the trials I’ve gone through. I just wrote a message yesterday about not growing weary, and in it explaining the age-old principle that works in all walks of life. This principle is always present whether you’re a Christian or an atheist or an agnostic. What is this principle? Seed…Time…Harvest.
When you think of farming. I’ve yet to ever see a farmer who plants a seed for corn one day, and the next he harvests a corn-stalk full of ears of corn. Have you ever seen that? If you have let me know because I’d like to witness that for myself. What’s my point? Usually after the ground thaws from winter the farmer goes out to till his fields. Then he goes out to plant the seeds for whatever crop he wants to harvest. Then he spends months cultivating the seeds he’s planted by weeding, watering, and fertilizing his seeds. Then just before fall it’s time to harvest the crops. However, the seeds he planted take about 6 months or so to fully produce. What do you suppose would happen if it’s May and he has yet to see anything even coming up out of the ground. So, he gets angry and impatient, and goes and pulls up all the seeds he’s planted.
First of all, all he’s going to harvest are weeds, barely grown seeds, and all that time he spent tilling the ground and planting those seeds is going to be wasted. Secondly, if he’d have just waited until about July he would’ve seen the growth of his crops not only starting, but maturing. Finally, had he waited all the way to September he would’ve been able to harvest a fully mature crop.
What’s my point? This is how we treat God. We ask Him for something, and if we don’t see results the next day we get all upset and disappointed and quit on God saying that this God stuff just doesn’t work. The biggest area that people fail in is time. It’s easy to plant the seed of faith, and ask God for something. It’s easy to reap the harvest, and be grateful that you’ve received a reward from the seed you’ve planted, but it’s not so easy to wait on God especially if He doesn’t give you what you want right away…is it?
I’ve been praying for years that my mom would accept Christ as her savior. I’m 38 years old, and she’s 63. I’ve been praying for her for most of my life. She’s still not quite willing to accept that she’s valuable to God, and that she’s under no condemnation from Him. She still has yet to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. It’s very easy to get discouraged sometimes, and wonder if God’s ever going to answer that prayer…but I don’t. I have the faith that some day she’s going to accept Christ into her heart. That is seed…time…and harvest. There’s no harvest on my seed now, but that doesn’t mean I give up…it means I keep on cultivating the seed. I continue to water it, I continue to pull the weeds, and I continue to be patient, and wait for the God’s Timing.
If I get upset with God, get impatient, and decide I’m just not going to pray for my mom anymore…than I’m going to reap a harvest of impatience and all that time I’ve spent cultivating the seed of prayer that my mom will accept Christ as her Savior is going to amount to nothing. I don’t want that to happen…so I’m going to continue to be patient and wait for the day that she accepts Christ as her Savior.
Maybe we need to be reminded that some things take time—God’s time. For instance, when the Israelites first left Egypt, God sent them on the long route to the Promised Land (Ex. 13:17-18). During that time He prepared them, taught them, and challenged them. – by Dave Branon
God is not obligated or limited to our time frame. In fact, God is not even able to be boxed in by time because He created it. He is Alpha and Omega, He’s the beginning and the end, and therefore when we talk about waiting on God’s timing really we have no bearing or influence upon how quickly or how long it take Him to answer a prayer of our. We have no influence upon how long it takes Him to help us to grow or mature in areas because He knows how long it’s going to take for things to be absolutely perfect…and only He knows that.
In our microwave world, we want everything done instantaneously. But sometimes that’s not God’s plan. Let’s seek God’s help and learn to accept His timing. – by Dave Branon
I can be honest and admit that I have to ask God all the time to help me to be patient, and to help me to wait on His timing for certain things. I had to do that while I was unemployed. I knew that God had an open door waiting for me, and it was always easy to get discouraged. God’s timing may move much more slowly than I’d like, but the truth is He is always on time. Everything that happens on His timing is always perfect, it’s always right, and it’s never too late or too early…God is always on time.