Posts Tagged ‘timing’

Christmas Time

December 5th, 2014

When the time had fully come, God sent his Son.” Galatians 4:4 NIV.

God achieves His eternal purposes in the calendar and daily appointments of your life.

My thoughts and comments today are about “Christmas time.”

Christmas is a good time to thoughtfully examine life. Fast paces and busy schedules leave little time for purposeful reflection. Hurrying with little time to spare or running late and borrowing scarce minutes from the next event on your schedule, life becomes a blur. Lives are lived in a rush, wanting everything right now.

God’s plans rarely, if ever, coincide with your calendar. Nor does He submit them for your approval. But God is never late, though sometimes it may feel to you like He is. The psalmist trusted his times to God’s timing. “I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hands.” Psalm 31:15 NIV. God has an impeccable sense of timing; your objective should be to synchronize your life with God’s plans and His calendar. “The steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord, and He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 NLT.

The Christmas narrative begins in the story of Zachariah, a priest of the Levites, and his wife, Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary. As a young, loving couple they anticipated their first child as so many others have. Year after year they waited, until their dream adjusted to their reality. Apparently, they reasoned, they desired a child they would not have. Eventually, Zachariah’s appraisal was honest and accurate, “I am old . . and my wife is also.” Luke 1:18 NLT.

Then God startled Zachariah with news of the son for whom they had prayed; he was to be named John, a herald of the Messiah. At God’s time, your circumstances will not hinder Him from doing what He purposed to do – however long the years have been or whatever the circumstances of the moment. God is never late; you and I are often impatient.

God is neither cruel nor unfeeling, never unsympathetic or uncaring about your dreams and desires, but the calendar of eternity charts the purposes of God, not the random clocks of mortal plans. Your Father knows how and when to best fulfill your prayers, and precisely when and where His eternal plan intersects with His intentions and blessings. See Jeremiah 29:11 NIV. The trust issue is your acceptance, obedience, and faithfulness meanwhile.  

In the purpose and providence of God, the day would come; “There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came to bear witness of the Light, that all through Jesus might believe . . and of His fullness we have all received.” Read John 1:6-9/16. God’s plan was more vast and inclusive than Zachariah and Elizabeth’s hopes and plans, “. . that all through Jesus might believe,” reaching even to you and me today, and all who will follow. God coordinated the birth of John exactly when he could be the herald of the Savior. They would be content with a child; God gave them a messenger of Messiah.

While they may have thought the answer to their prayers was late, Christmas time is always the best time. That is true in your life as well. Christmas came exactly when and as God intended, When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” Galatians 4:4-5 NIV. God achieves His eternal purposes in the calendar and daily appointments of your life.

Today, my prayer for you is that you will expect God at any time while waiting for Him every time.

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Trusting God

April 23rd, 2013

“The vision is yet for an appointed time . . it will surely come.” Habakkuk 2:3 KJV.

Trusting God’s timing takes the hurry and worry out of daily life.

My thoughts and comments today are about “trusting God.”

We are servants, sometimes slaves, to time. Clocks and calendars will rule your days, pushing you forward hurriedly, pressuring you to do more and do it faster. Clocks, biological and chronological, relentlessly tick away as reminders of how far you have yet to go and how little time you have to get there. No wonder people are so impatient.

Seldom is anyone allowed their own pace. A child’s developmental progress is measured by “the norm.” A student’s academic potential is gauged by predetermined expectations. Career advancement is expected by preset standards of certain accomplishments. However, your best success comes when you are most ready to enjoy and best able to use it wisely. 

You have to find the place of trust as David discovered, ”I am trusting you, O Lord; You are my God. My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 31:14-15. Your times are in God’s hands; that reality changes everything, taking the worry and the hurry out of daily life. You live best when you keep pace with God; He is eternal. He separated the day from the night and set the seasons of seed-time and harvest. He neither rushes nor delays, yet faithfully and relentlessly fulfills His will and promise.

The times and seasons of your life or not random nor mere products of God’s whimsy. “[God] has set the right time for everything.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 TEV.  The promises spoken over your life are by divine plan and appointment, and will best be accomplished as God wills and when He plans. The vision is yet for an appointed time. Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come.” Habakkuk 2:3 KJV. You can worry about it, but that will merely press you to hurry things along by your plotting and pushing. You will not change His appointed time. You will not force God’s hand but may accomplish something far less that you never intended.

For God’s best in your life, follow His counsel every time. What God plans and promises is worth the wait. “The vision is for an appointed time, though it tarry, wait for it . .” My Dad tried to teach me, “Anything good is worth waiting for.” Choose who and what you are waiting on. Waiting on the Lord builds trust and patience. Waiting on a promise without trust may just produce impatience, worry, and doubt. “Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

The schedule often concerns you but it is the certainty of His Word and character that makes the wait worthwhile. What now appears to you as delay may only be time needed for God’s preparation – for His purpose to be accomplished and for you to be prepared to receive it. “The vision . . will surely come.” When it is God’s timing, timing really is everything. Trust prevents daily life from overshadowing the awesomeness of God in your life.

My prayer for you this day is: trust God for His best at all times, and wait for that.                                   100807

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Stops and Starts

November 23rd, 2011

“Tell the people to move forward.” Exodus 14:15 NIV

“Life requires leadership for the success of your journey.”

My thoughts today are about “stops and starts.”

Life is a journey, and on any journey there is a place from which you begin and a place where you hope to arrive; in between are a sequence of stops and starts along the way. The problem comes when you are stopped when you should be starting, or starting when you should be stopped. Wisdom is to know when you should do which. There is a rhythm to your life that is unique; timing is everything. The right thing at the wrong time isn’t right and the wrong thing at the right time doesn’t work.

Israel seemed to have bad timing. They were stuck in Egypt and Moses, with God’s help, could barely dislodge them. It took a miraculous deliverance to get them started and on their way out of Egypt. Then they were stuck at the Red Sea, with an impassable obstacle ahead and a pursuing army behind them. They wanted to go anywhere, but there seemed no where to run. That’s when God spoke through Moses, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today . . the Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14 NKJV. Stand still? When they were ready to be anywhere except where they were, God said for them to stay put. Ever happened to you? Sometimes God allows life to have you where you are because there is something you need to learn about God in that place and situation.

I find it interesting that the very next instruction from God through Moses was this, “Tell the children to go forward . . (they) shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” Exodus 14:15-18 NKJV. Stand still; go forward; it’s confusing. Go forward? How? Obedience in the moment releases the miracle that is just ahead for you. Your willingness to obey even when you do not fully understand allows God to work in ways you could not foresee. See Ephesians 3:20.

How is a person to know what to do and when to do or not do it? Life requires leadership for the success of your journey and that comes from those who have been where you have not yet been and know what you do not yet know – people who care and share – caring about your progress and sharing from life experience. Leaders are not smarter, just more experienced from their mistakes and successes; with the benefit of their experience you can be smarter, exceeding their success and being spared their mistakes while you gain experience and wisdom to share with others who will follow you. Moses had to learn to listen and obey God; Israel had to learn to trust God to speak through Moses. It is my opinion that an individual does not fully develop a sensitivity to hear and obey God well, until learning to recognize the voice of God spoken in the words of others.

The Bible says, “The steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Proverbs 37:23 NLT. Someone once suggested that both the “steps and the stops” of the Godly are directed by the Lord! I find the latter – the stops – the harder of the two to hear and heed. When God says to stop, it is wise to stop. When God signals you to start, it is a mistake to stay. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV. Your best success will always be found in the center of God’s will.

My prayer for you today is that you learn to recognize and follow God’s rhythm for your life.

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A Sense of Timing

April 16th, 2010

“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

“Being in the right place at the right time is not coincidence; it is God’s providence.”

My thoughts today are about a “sense of timing.”

I remember during our college years when I prepared to ask Gayle to marry me. I was planning and waiting for just the right time to propose. The night I finally chose to do so, wasn’t it! (Thankfully, there was another time that was, and the rest is history, as they say). It is commonly said, “timing is everything.” Well, I am not sure it is literally everything, but it’s certainly close.

A good sense of timing is important. Sometimes, saying or doing even the right thing at the wrong time does not turn out well. A contemporary said of Adlai Stevenson, twice a losing presidential candidate in the ‘50s, “Adlai Stevenson has a genius for saying the right thing, at the right time, to the wrong people.” That doesn’t work so well. I think I have met people like that; in fact, there are times when I am one of them. Ever happen to you?

You will find that so many things in life are about timing. The wrong time for the right thing will not provide the best chance for success as you hope. Here’s a quote I read from a man whose phenomenal business and financial success give some credibility, “The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” Ray Kroc, McDonalds Corp.

For the follower of Jesus, being in the right place at the right time is not coincidence; it is providence. When you are walking in the will of God, doing what is pleasing to God, and listening for God’s direction, when and where you find yourself at any moment can be providential – God graced and directed – and good things happen for you. The best things that happen to you come with God’s fingerprints of provision and blessing. See James 1:17-18 NLT.

Here’s where David found the right time and place, “I trust in You, O Lord; You are my God. My times are in Your hands. Psalm 31:14-15 NIV. When you place your times in God’s hands, you begin to understand better the moments in time in which you are living. The Bible commends the sons of Issachar as being “men who understood the temper of the times, and knew the best course for Israel to take.” 1 Chronicles 12:32 NLT. I wish to be that kind of man, and have that kind of people in and around my life.

When is the right time to do the right thing? Right now! The sooner the better! If you are looking for the perfect time – to make the change you need to make, to do the thing you left undone, to right a wrong, to repair a damaged friendship, to heal a hurt you caused, to forgive an unkindness, to make a fresh start, or to do God’s will more fully – the perfect time is now.

My prayer for you today is to give time to eternal things that are of first importance.

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God Has a Better Idea

June 30th, 2009

“That the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4 NIV

“The least of God’s ideas will be bigger and better than even the best of mine – or yours!”

My thoughts today are this, “God has a better idea.”

Things are not always as they first seem. The reality of the moment may not remain the reality, as you knew it to be. Again today, my thoughts and comments are taken from the account of the death and miraculous resurrection of Lazarus. Martha and Mary had placed all their hopes on Jesus’ coming immediately, but Jesus waited four days before He came.

Be prepared for the fact that God’s plan always has an element of timing, and He alone determines when that will be. The matter is never only what God wants to do, but also how He intends to do that, and especially, when He chooses to accomplish that. See Psalm 31:15 NIV.

You may only see life in the present moment. For most of us, now is the operative word. Immediately is what you assume to be the opportune time for what your impatience wants God to do for you. But the right thing at a wrong time is no better than the right time but a wrong thing. God looks at life across the span of eternity – what was, is, and will be. Right now may not be the right time. God always has the better idea at exactly the right time. You can trust God with your life completely – every bit, piece, and minute.

This wasn’t about what the sisters assumed at all – the quicker the better. Martha and Mary’s idea for a successful outcome was Lazarus’ healing, but he died. God had a bigger and better idea! Lazarus would be more wonderfully and perfectly “healed” than they could even imagine. God wants your life to become a living testimony of His power and love for all to see. “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” See Ephesians 3:20 NIV. I have learned this across the years: the least of God’s ideas will be better than even the best of mine – or yours!

Lazarus’ unfortunate sickness and death had become (1) an occasion for the glory of God. “This sickness will not end in death; it is for the glory of God so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4 NIV. You are not in such a hurry that you would rather preempt God’s glory being shown to others, would you? Live your life in such a way that lets others see who God is.

Paul was in a Roman prison awaiting his martyrdom as he wrote these words, “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21 NKJV. The timing of either, he left to God for His glory.

There is another important element with which God concerns Himself – that (2) your faith would be real, and strong. See John 11:15 NKJV. “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let patience grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.James 1:3-4 NLT. Ready for anything! Does that describe you spiritually?

My prayer for you today is: trust God’s timing for every moment and situation in your life.

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