As per the Scripture, ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven’ and God created man to live in the present with hope in Him for the future. Our prayers are most of the times directed for blessings for the future and when after sometime we see no change in the present situation hope in the future also diminishes and disappointment sets in. But how can I know the right time for my life to receive blessings and answers to my prayers?
God created man in His image and likeness and ‘a little lower than the angels’ and crowned him with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5-6). Man has been appointed by God as ruler over all of His creation. Man as a spirit being was equipped by God to operate in two time periods. One is the ‘chronos time’ or the time that is set as per the movement of the worldly things as the sun’s rising and setting and this time is linear and sequential. It is the perspective that governs our life on earth and is about sowing seed in the ground to prepare for the future needs of food. The second aspect of time is ‘kairos time’, which is strategic in nature and is about quality of time as compared to its quantity or length. ‘Kairos’ is about the intrinsic qualities of time itself and the question ‘what time is it?’ and ‘what is it time for’ provides a better understanding the two. The second question is about the notion of appropriate time and it is about expecting when the desired is about to happen, to seize that opportunity and take a proper decision about its use.
‘Kairos’ is the moment of truth and describes the moment when the time is right to move in faith to receive the destined blessing into which moment we are led by the Holy Spirit. The Scripture definition, ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2). When the Greeks translated this verse from Hebrew into Greek, they expressed every reference to time as ‘kairos’ and not ‘chronos’. Chronos is a measurement of time and kairos is about judging its significance; kairos is like an open door giving us a chance to view the consequences before going in and it does not control us or our future. Kairos time is never wasted.
We know that God is time and through faith in the Lord Jesus, all believers are accepted by God as His children and joint heirs of all that He has created (John 1:12). God says, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High’ (Psalm 82:6). Now, this is our true identity in Lord Jesus and He has given us His glory that was given to Him by the Heavenly Father before sending Him into the world as a man (John 17:22). This is the glory of the Second Adam, restoring all authority and power of Adam in the Garden of Eden to all believers. The indwelling Holy Spirit helps us in correct interpretation and use of time where we rule and are not ruled.
Righteousness and justice are the foundations of God’s throne (Psalm 89:14). In His love He has made us a part of His Divine family but a just Father also desires accountability in our lives about right use of the given time. God visited Adam and Eve ‘during the cool of the day’ in the evening and this visit was probably to listen to their needs, check about their performance during the day and generally have a dialogue as a Father would have with His children (Genesis 3:8). This could not have been a one way talk, with Adam and Eve talking and God only listening. Lord Jesus has defined the role of the indwelling Holy Spirit as a Teacher and One who reminds a believer the Savior Lord’s words (John 14:26). Again this would be a two way dialogue.
Is my prayer a one way conversation where I speak and God listens? Am I through this way trying to command God to fulfill all that I desire or am I giving Him a discretion to do His will in my life? Praying the most difficult prayer in Gethsemane Park Lord Jesus put across His request but with a clear understanding, ‘not as I will but as You will’ (Matthew 26:39). He was well aware of the consequences of His decision. Prophet Isaiah ‘saw the Lord sitting on a throne’ in the Temple and expressed his fear of death on seeing the Lord, was cleansed of his inequity by a seraph with coal from the altar. God probably spoke to the seraphim about a suitable person for a task and Prophet Isaiah overheard and volunteered (Isaiah 6:1-8). He was attentive to God and His voice and took the right decision for his future.
Man having been created in God’s image and likeness is bound by heavenly laws and a child has to live in obedience to the Father (Genesis 1:27). The basic teaching to a child about family traditions is about upholding the family honor and name. Am I as a child of God upholding the traditions of our heavenly family? God believes in us even if we don’t always believe in ourselves and I must remember this to find the path from darkness to light. I must fear and revere God out of love for Him and not love Him out of fear. As a father I may not always give what my child desires but I will give her what is best suited for her.
Lord Jesus’ promise is very clear, ‘whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (John 14:13). Name is synonymous with the character of an individual and the first condition is our asking must be in line with Lord Jesus’ way and the second is about glory of the Father in heaven. In such a state of mind I will completely surrender my will and act in obedience to God’s will. Apostle Paul could ‘give thanks in everything’ for he was aware that is God’s will for us in His Son (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Then every time is right for me for I delight in the places my Shepherd has placed me in for He meets all my needs but not necessarily my wants.
For everything for my life, God has set up a time schedule and all events of my life train me to move towards that destination. I am not aware of that time otherwise I will try and lie idle till the last minute. I can cry out to God claiming my right time but no father would like his child to make a fool of himself by receiving something which he/she is not equipped to handle. I must wait for God’s schedule and seeing my desperation God may grant me something against His will but that may cause grief to me.
Can we impede the onset of ‘right time’ in our life? – The greatest sin that a believer commits is not realizing and living as a child of God. Did the heavenly Father suffer the pain and agony of His Beloved Son being spit on, tortured and then crucified to just give us healing from disease or to settle our losses that we have suffered due to our own financial mismanagement? The day a believer realizes his true status as a child of God, the evil spirits immediately accept and start withdrawing from before him/her. The disciples could accept this fact in faith and shake the earth with their Gospel message. My right time started the day I surrendered myself to Lord Jesus as my Savior.
Power of spoken word – ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue’ (Proverbs 18:21). The process of creation was set in motion and completed with the spoken word of God (Genesis 1). Man is the only being created in God’s image and has inherent power to operate in the spiritual and the material realm and the ability to create with the power of the spoken word. God commanded Moses to send twelve persons to spy out the land of Canaan, ‘which I am giving to the children of Israel’ and they brought a cluster of grapes carrying it between two people on a pole because of its weight and size (Numbers 13:2-33). Hebrew word ‘tur’ is used to mean ‘explore, guide, investigate, select or spy’. The aim of sending them was to confirm to them the fullness of the land and then lead the troops in. But 33 they considered themselves as ‘grasshoppers’ in their own and the Canaanites sight. How could they expect God to give such great blessing to morally and mentally defeated people for they would have lost what was given out of fear. In like manner if I consider and speak out about my status as a failure in everything filled with the fear of not being successful before attempting anything, despite my right time being there, I would be like the Israelites moving in circles in the wilderness.
Am I prepared to move forward? – Bartimeus, the blind beggar of Jericho was asked by the Lord, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ and he answered clearly, ‘Rabbi, that I might receive my sight’ (Mark 10:50-51). He had spent ‘kairo’ time about this moment and as he was called he threw aside his garment of a beggar and stepped forward in faith and hope to start a new life in the Savior and after being healed, ‘he followed Jesus on the road’. His right time came with and in the Savior Lord. On the other hand, the man with infirmity for thirty eight years was also asked the question by the Lord, who chose him from within ‘the great multitude’ lying there, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ He explained his failure to get well with his own efforts for ‘I have no man to put me into the pool’ (John 5:1-7).
Am I clear about what I want and have I defined my request to the Lord in my prayers? – Get me a marriage partner, get me a job or get my loan paid are all vague prayers. Jacob saw the ladder in his dream and received the blessing of inheritance of the land for himself and his descendents with the promise ‘I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land’. Then Jacob made a promise to God to give a tithe of all that God will give under the condition that if God would fulfill His part (Genesis 28:13-22). Am I making a commitment to serve God and follow His will on receiving the answer to my prayer? Multitudes received healing from the Lord, ate at His table but the call from the crowd before Pontius Pilate was, ‘crucify Him’ ((Mark 15:13). Am I looking for God in the Savior Lord or just a miracle worker from whom I will receive my blessing and go? The right time is not only about receiving material blessings for this world but also for life in eternity. My life must glorify God, be lived in faith in the fulfillment of God’s promises for me without depending on my own efforts to succeed and then my right time is now and this very moment.
When there is a long period of draught – David cried out to God, ‘How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?’ (Psalm 13:1). This is the general complaint of many of us, for today’s generation desires everything and wants it now. God’s perfect timing helps me grow in faith and secondly, my waiting ensures my total dependence on Him and Him alone and then He alone gets the glory. David declared, ‘My times are in Your hand’ for he was aware of God’s control of both chrono and kairo time, the quantity and quality of my time. I must not focus on the ‘when’ question but say, ‘I trust in You, O LORD; I say You are my God’ (Psalm 31:15 &14).
Man is created to live with revelation knowledge and not head or worldly knowledge and discernment is difficult if I am always trying to figure out the future. When in trouble King Saul went to medium to inquire of her (1 Samuel 28:7). On the other hand, when David’s camp in Ziklag was looted by the Amalekites, who took everything, he called Abiathar, the priest, to enquire of the LORD about his future course of action.
What do we do when no answer is forthcoming? – first, we wait with patience. Patience is fruit of the Spirit and God desires this in our lives for He is never late but He is never early also (Galatians 5:22). It takes time for the seed to germinate and grow up to produce fruit and God desires that we ‘let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing’ (James 1:4).
Second, Accept God’s timing – Joseph was sold as a slave, imprisoned on a false charge but he carried on in faith for the right time and became the Prime Minister of Egypt. David was anointed by Prophet Samuel at the age of around 15 years and became king at 30 years of age. I must wait while persevering in prayer and faith like the widow seeking justice from the evil judge (Luke 18:1-8).
Third, learn to rely on God – ‘A man’s steps are of the LORD; how then can a man understand his own way?’ (Proverbs 20:24). Trusting in self effort is rejecting God’s help and Lord Jesus has taught that ‘apart from Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). I must humble myself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt me in due time, where due time is the right time (1 Peter 5:6).
My Promised Land is Lord Jesus, knowing Him, enjoying His presence in my life and having contentment and joy in Him and then in His authority and power every moment is right time for me. At the right time God puts the desire in my heart and I am led by the Holy Spirit to pray for and seek that. The seed of faith that was sown in me germinates and grows to bear fruit in my life. Life is in the Lord and in Him is the life of abundance and this blessing leads me onto my right time in Him. Till then is waiting and preparation time!