King Solomon declared that there is a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1) but as believers we are aware that God’s eye is always fixed on His people to bless them. If God has pre-decided everything then why would He delay to intervene to get us out of our troubles? Why did the world have to wait for the Redeemer for centuries while suffering under the heavy yoke of the devil?
Our role in receiving our destined blessings from God – We know we cannot control the circumstances in our lives for we belong to the Creator. We are His and created for His glory and we do not have any fixed rights but are totally dependent on God. We did not choose the time, place and circumstances of our birth but get thrown unto a particular situation and a family. We start falling from a young age, first in physical mobility and then in spiritual mobility, for that is what we are made for to live in this sinful world. We cannot find safety, security and stability in the world but only in the wilderness where we cannot survive without God.
After receiving letters of authority from the Chief Priest Saul left for Damascus, little knowing what was in store for him (Acts 9:3-7). After his conversion he did not ‘confer with flesh and blood’ but went to Arabia, to the wilderness to seek guidance from the God who had chosen him (Galatians 1:16-17). And there he received revelation of the ‘things of God’ for none other than the Spirit of God knows these (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). Lord Jesus enquired of the disciples and learnt about His perceived identity by the people as ‘John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets’. It was only Simon Peter who identified the Lord as ‘Christ, the Son of the Living God’ to receive a new name Peter (petros), a rock, for only he had received the revelation about the Messiah through the Spirit of God (Matthew 16:13-18). Apostle Peter, like us, had no knowledge of what his purpose in life would be but everything changed after being chosen by the Lord to be His disciple. ‘When the time had come for Lord Jesus to be received up’, He set His face to go to Jerusalem and in a village in Samaria the people did not ‘receive Him’ and James and his brother John sought permission from the Lord to call down fire from heaven to destroy the village like Prophet Elisha had done (Luke 9:51-56). They had received revelation from the Holy Spirit about their God given power to do this.
Solomon said, ‘Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint’ and then perish. The chosen three disciples, Peter, James and John had received revelation and were then witnesses to every miraculous deed of their Lord including His transformation. To achieve the fullness of our individual being we have to die to self and let the Creator have what was always His. Nicodemus was told by the Lord about the need for being ‘born again’ to see the Kingdom of God’ (John 3:3). Apostle Paul expresses the same fact as being ‘renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God’ (Ephesians 4:23-24) and that the things of the Spirit of God cannot be discerned without the teaching of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13-14).
In Lord Jesus a believer is blessed with ‘every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 1:3). Once we are one with the Lord in faith we become His friends and get to learn of all things of the Father in heaven (John 15:15). Our role is to be one with the Lord through close fellowship with Him through His Word and then seek the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead us on to being in the right place and time in will of God.
Why do we fail to achieve this? – The god of this world, the devil, acts in total opposition to the plans of God to lead people astray and away from God (2 Corinthian 4:4). Lucifer tried to exalt himself to be ‘like the Most High’ whereas he was created to be a cherub (Isaiah 14:13-14). In the Garden of Eden he disrupted the life of Adam and Eve through his lies and distortion of facts. He attempted to do the same with the Son of God in the wilderness by tempting Him in direct opposition to the plan of God. He acknowledged the status of Lord Jesus as the Son of God but wanted the Lord to act to prove the same (Matthew 4:1-11). This is the mistake we commit that we start a dialogue with the devil to prove our faith and status as children of God and that is when he traps us with his lies. He was made perfect in every way and his intelligence is far superior to mine but I have the infinite power and intelligence available to me from the indwelling Holy Spirit to counter. But it is better for me to avoid trying to prove anything to the devil.
When is God’s right time for me? – His right time started at my birth itself for God ‘chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love’ (Ephesians 1:4). I decided to ignore Him all these years and refused all that He desired to give me which in any case was much more than I received when I was in denial.
Why do we fail to identify and walk in the right time and receive God’s available blessings? – Blinded by the devil’s lies, we are led astray and continue to walk in our efforts by trying various astrologers and such like, trying to change what God has decreed and that too without His consent or involvement.
We lose the revelation and God’s promise – God’s promise to Abraham is clear, ‘I will make you a great nation; I will bless you make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed’ (Genesis 12:2-3). Through faith in the Lord Jesus we inherit the same blessing but like Abraham we start moving to Egypt, into lies and then bring back Hagar to try with our own efforts what only God can and will do. The disciples also lost the revelation of what they witnessed for more than three years, even transfiguration of the Lord and deserted Him.
We refuse to wait in faith and plan to fulfill God’s plan for our life with own efforts – ‘He who keeps His command will experience nothing harmful; and a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment’ (Ecclesiastes 8:5). David was anointed as king of Israel when he was between 8 and 15 years old and finally became king at thirty years of age after a long wait and struggle to just stay alive. Lord Jesus waited for the right time and started His ministry at thirty years of age. We refuse to wait for God designated time and plan and try to preempt His plan.
We fail to realize the right time and motive – Sometimes we act with a right motive but at a wrong time. King David wanted to make God’s house, the Temple, and Nathan, the prophet, supported him but though the desire was right it was not God’s time and David was stopped by God (1 Chronicles 17:1-12). David was advised by Joab, his commander of the army, to not carry out census of the Israelites but since he persisted, he was punished by the Lord with a plague which killed seventy thousand people (2 Samuel 24). The act was with a wrong motive to satisfy self and at wrong time.
Inadequate follow through – God promised Joshua just when the Israelites were to cross the flooded Jordan River, ‘This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel’ and he followed God’s instructions clearly and the waters were stopped by God to enable the Israelites to cross. During the battle of Ai, God told Joshua to ‘stretch out the spear that is in your hand towards Ai, for I will give it into your hand’. Joshua did that and he ‘did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of the city’ (Joshua 8:18 & 26). Prophet Elisha was sick and dying and told Joash, the king of Israel to shoot arrows towards the east to be delivered from Syrian empire. The king shot only three arrows and stopped and failed to receive complete deliverance for his people (2 Kings 13:14-19).
We listen to other voices instead of the Lord’s and make excuses without asking what we want– Bartimaeus, the blind beggar on Jericho road, cried out to Lord Jesus for mercy but many others ‘warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more’. Lord Jesus called out to him and on being called by the Lord, he threw aside his old garment, discarding his old life. The Savior Lord asked him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ He was clear in his prayer, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight’ (Mark 10:46-52). The Bethseda pool in Jerusalem had a lot of sick people lying in wait for an angel to stir the waters, to get in first and be healed, for the first to get in to the water received healing. A man with sickness of thirty eight years was blessed by Lord Jesus to be asked, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ His answer is typical like many of us, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the well’ and the Lord mercifully accepted this as his act of surrender and healed him.
Lack of fellowship with one another and with God – Apostle John’s message about the Savior Lord is ‘that you may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ’. Fellowship with the Lord and with the Father essentially also involves fellowship with other believers (1 John 1:3). The Son of God has given His glory of the Second Adam to us ‘that they may be one just as We (God the Father and God the Son) are one’. The disciples were all together ‘with one accord in one place’ and the great blessing of God of the Holy Spirit was poured out on them ‘as a rushing mighty wind’ (Acts 2:1-2).
We fail to fully believe God’s promise – Joshua received the promise of God’s continuous presence with him and that ‘Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you’ (Joshua 1:3). And in faith he walked, even to the extent of stopping the sun and the moon for a time (Joshua 10:12-13). He could finally declare before the Israelites, you choose for yourselves, ‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD’ (Joshua 24:15). We also have all these promises of Joshua and Abraham but are we ready to walk in faith for the day we decide to do that ‘our right time starts from that very moment’ and we can make the devil withdraw from our presence.
How do we receive the correct mix of right time and God’s blessings? – W.E. Gladstone, was Prime Minister (PM) of England from 1868 to 1894 and was approached by a young man who wanted to study law and sought his help. The PM continued to ask the young man questions about what he wanted to achieve by that at every stage of his planned career of becoming an advocate to practice law, then join parliament and do great work, finally retire and enjoy good life and finally die. The PM asked him the same question again, ‘And after that what?’ There was no answer with the man and he was told to first go and think through his whole life in entirety right up to eternity.
Have we given a thought to what we want to achieve in life and what will be the answer if the Lord calls out to ask, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’. Sarah forced Abraham to send out Hagar and her son Ishmael and after the water had finished, Hagar her son under a bush, to escape the pain of seeing him die of thirst, and went and sat at a distance. Then in pain and anguish ‘she lifted her voice and wept’ and God ‘opened her eyes and she saw a well of water’ to save the child and herself from thirst (Genesis 21:14-19). Invariably we want to adopt the ‘Hagar Solution’, to run and try to escape from the problem. But God is faithful and keeps the supply of necessities nearby; secondly, more often the supply is kept ready as if it was there for us only and finally no exertion is needed to receive of the supplies readily available which we are unable to see
Brother Lawrence, the famous seventeenth century theologian said, ‘Many things are possible for the person who has hope. Even more things are possible to the person who has faith. And still more is possible for the person who knows how to love. But everything is possible for the person who practices all three virtues’
Am I willing to live according to God’s plan or my own plan – Obedience to God opens doors that we never knew existed and in faith every time is my time, for the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end is with me. Lord Jesus told Apostle John, ‘I Am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forever’ (Revelation 1:18). People live and die but He sets a different schedule, for He is time, the beginning and the end. He compressed my suffering in hell fires till eternity to three days and in His resurrection gave me a new life. In Him for me every moment is the right time to receive blessings of abundance.
I was chosen by God before anything was and He placed me in the world at His right time and in Him every time is right and every place is right. I shall not wait for the time but claim what is needed from the treasures of the heavenly Father and thankfully give Him glory. The indwelling Holy Spirit guides and leads me in the right way for this! My role is to believe in His Word and act accordingly.