Are You On God’s Timetable?

by | May 31, 2004 | Woman

Whether it’s in business, politics, sports or stand-up comedy, experts tell us that timing means everything. Prayer, too, can be a matter of timing.

Failure to understand God’s timing regarding a matter we are praying about can lead to spiritual disappointment and missed opportunities.

For any given prayer or undertaking in our lives, we need to discern whether the Lord is saying one of these four things:

  • Never
  • Always
  • At certain times
  • Not now

The Bible declares that from before the creation of the world, God intended us to be “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Rom. 8:29, NIV). And anyone who studies the life of Jesus can’t help but be impressed with His unruffled peace and perfect spiritual poise.

No matter the situation, the Lord knew what to say and when to say it. Whether He was healing the sick, walking the dusty roads of Judea, or preaching and praying, Jesus always did the right thing with perfect timing.

This keen understanding of divine imperatives and precise spiritual timing is at the heart of what it means to be mature in Christ. Some things must never be done, while others must always be observed.

At certain times a particular action is the only proper course to take; at other times even good things are inappropriate because the Lord is saying “not now.” An inability to understand and obey these principles is a mark of spiritual immaturity and carnality.

When we fail to believe that God is serious when He says “never,” we suffer the hurtful consequences of our disobedience. The same is true when we respond halfheartedly to an “always” command.

But when God responds by saying “at certain times,” it can be difficult to know what precisely to do, especially when the decision has no obvious moral quality to it. Just as challenging is the ability to hear God’s “not now” response, bidding us to cease an otherwise proper course of action.

GOD’S IMPERATIVES A most dramatic moment in Old Testament history well illustrates these principles. The Israelites had just left Egypt after the Lord had delivered 10 plagues on their enemy.

Following the desert road that led to the Red Sea, they had camped at its edge. But Pharaoh, who had let them go with great reluctance, changed his mind once again, pursuing them into the desert with a host of chariots and soldiers.

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord (see Ex. 14:10-16). This was the first spiritual test God’s people faced after their emancipation.

As Pharaoh’s army drew near, the Israelites panicked, blaming Moses for delivering them in the first place. In their moment of crisis, they couldn’t muster an ounce of faith in the God who had already proven His love and faithfulness.

It was in this setting that they heard one of the Lord’s most important “never” words, a word that applies to us today. It came through Moses, who boldly declared, “Do not be afraid” (Ex. 14:13).

Whether it’s the Israelites at the Red Sea or you and I at the beginning of the 21st century, fear and timidity are never God’s will for His people. To be controlled by fear means the death of faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6).

It doesn’t matter how many chariots pursued the Israelites then or how many terrorist cells plot mayhem today. Fear is never an option for the children of the living God.

When we ignore God’s word, “Do not be afraid,” we sadden the Spirit of God and forfeit the blessings He intends for us. In fact, fear is far worse than diseases such as cancer or AIDS because they only attack the body while fear assaults the soul.

In times of doubt and anxiety, Christians must distinguish themselves by their faith and fearlessness. You may protest when looking at ominous headlines and wonder, How can we not be afraid?

Instead of letting the news control your emotions, read what the Bible declares:

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

Read Time: 1 Minute 59 Seconds Bishop J. Drew Sheard and the General Board of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ announced Tuesday the death of one of its most beloved leaders, Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Hutchins was 65....

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

They are saying the charismatic movement is divisive. Whenever people get involved in the "new emphasis," there are disruptions in the status quo. Red flags go up. Lines are drawn. I would ask: What else could be expected? Any force as great as this is bound to make...

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Read Time: 6 Minutes, 42 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? Could these gods actually be the unseen movers and catalysts of what's happening in America and the world today? Could they lie behind the current...

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Read Time: 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Most made-for-TV Christmas movies are like eggnog and sugar cookies—way too sweet, yet extremely addictive for a lot of viewers. But these Hallmark-style movies—the ones with predictable love stories that always end with jingling bells...

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 1 Minute 51 Seconds At a recent gathering where a member was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you, TURN and see; embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Read Time: 2 Minutes 25 Seconds If you search the phrase, “where does life come from?” the first explanation reads: “The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event—and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past.” The...

RECENT ARTICLES

Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and...
7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

Read Time: 1 Minute 9 Seconds What will turn the nations around? What will restore the world to sanity? There have been revivals from Old Testament times up through the year 2000. Today we need both a revival and a reformation. Here are 7 elements needed to usher in...

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 27 Seconds From the very first tent stake we drove into California soil, until now, there has only been one dream. And, after two years, that dream came true in Roseville. Roseville is the victory we have yearned for. It confirms that an era of...

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

Read Time: 5 Minutes, 2 Seconds A river is a source of life. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Jesus told His disciples that if we believe in Him, "rivers of living water" will flow out from within us, from our hearts. "Anyone who believes in me may...

Pin It on Pinterest