As I travel the world I have noticed a phenomenon about ‘time’ – every culture (and sub-culture) has a different approach to it.
The one thing we have in common is, we all value time, but it’s what we do with it that differs. In the hills of Egypt, India, Greece, Turkey – away from the influence of manic ‘ten-days-to-do-everything’tourists, the locals enjoy their ever-warm days with an attitude of, “if it doesn’t get done today, we’ll do it tomorrow”.
Tomorrow. It’s a wonderful term, but can be about comfort as well as deep anxiety.
The comfort that has to override everything we think, do or say about it, is that God has measured out time, and is already promising to be there. Not only when you need him, (how foolish a thought!) but because you can’t be anywhere that He is not. Selah!
There is a time when you are in no rush but God is!
When God is in a rush
It’s a fantastic concept, and for God, the only time He pushes for immediacy is when it comes to getting right with God. Hebrew 3:15 expresses it clearly, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” There is a time when you are in no rush and God is! That alone should press all the buttons that calls to all action stations.
If God is saying “Today”, “Now!” and as He holds time in His hands, then you have to be a fool not to listen! What is on the horizon (or what isn’t!) that God asserts Himself so? He is gracious, take His advice.
When you are in a rush.
But the scenario that brought you to this page is the consideration of waiting on God when you are in a rush. It may not feel like it but this is a good place to be! It speaks of one or all of a few things;
- You face a situation and you are waiting for God’s intervention – an answer to prayer.
- You face a situation and God is waiting for you to seek His guidance more – prayer.
- You need God to answer prayer – but Providence isn’t working to your timescale
- You are waiting for God, unaware that you are being tested!
- Someone is about to preach!
The answer to some of these is to take things into your own hands, after all, God helps those who help themselves. As soon as you read your bible you release it is your need that God assists. God is the one that helps those who cannot help themselves.
The answer to prayer is on its way, but it may be coming from a distance; or from a heart that is yet to moved to follow the leading of the Spirit. One thing is for certain, God is always exactly on time. His time.
God’s timing is so important to us. One of the UK’s Church leaders used to have a catchphrase which has now gone out of use, “Be the first, be the best – make it happen!” A fine statement for pioneers and not settlers, but the last part of the statement is where people trip up. Don’t make it happen.
The Lord’s Prayer holds your attention, not so much the pace of the prayer, or urgency – getting God to break in, crush the enemy, heal the sick and produce many signs and wonders. No, the pace is slow, considered and deliberate. It’s a brilliant prayer. It’s not in the English text of the Bible, but I do think it is a good thought, “Give us today, the bread of tomorrow”.
One of the wonderful things we can reassure ourselves about is that when Jesus is telling us not to be anxious, he tells us not to worry about tomorrow, but to consider what God is already doing, to think about today and God’s gracious provision in it.
You’ll notice that I have not covered the last issue; – someone is about to preach. For all who saw and experienced John Wimber’s ministry, you will have noticed the great attention he gave to waiting on the Spirit and not rushing into preaching, notices, offerings etc. God came first, and having made room for God to come first, he was ready to make even more room for him.
The heart of the matter is that if you are in a rush, and taken time to be waiting for and seeking God’s help, He will help you. You can’t be too dependant on God. It’s not a verse that was written in a good frame, but the truth is consistent for us; those who honour God will be honoured by Him. (1 Samuel 2:30)