“There is a time for everything,” the Preacher of Ecclesiastes writes, yet one of the hardest lessons to learn is to watch and wait for God’s perfect timing! This week, as I listened to the Lord in the still of the night, I heard Him speak about timing, and the times we are living in. His insights helped me immensely, and I pray they will be a blessing to you as well. Here is what I heard Him say...
“Timing is an essential part of everything I do; something that must be learned in the Spirit. Just as truth requires grace, so a life well lived requires the right timing. Right things at wrong times confuse and annoy people. Like snow in harvest, they are the stuff of fools. Let your words be in season, just as I intend for them to be. Speaking when uninvited can invite disaster! Yet a word aptly placed will do much good.
“Timing requires discernment. The sons of Issachar were considered wise because they could discern the times. The reason so many of My people feel lost and ineffective is that they are being taught an abundance of “right things” to do but not the timing in which to do them. Discernment, not more doctrine, is what is needed to counter this.”
I have been pondering these weighty words. Evangelism, for example, is a good thing at the right time in someone’s life. We need laborers to reap the ripe harvest, and we rightly train believers to pray for and do just that!
However, not all people are “ripe” or ready to receive. Sharing the Gospel at the wrong time can be rooted in a pressure to perform or to “make things happen,” and can have the opposite effect, driving people away. We need discernment to know whom to share with, and when. Being filled with the Holy Spirit helps, but is not a cure-all; even a Spirit-led believer can miss it on timing!
What to do, then? Here’s more of what I sense the Lord is saying:
“Like a bad comedian, someone who shares at all the wrong times will quickly lose respect and be discredited. Seek, therefore, to discern what is needed when - and do only what I am doing! Discernment is your key to successful fruit-bearing. A fig tree should bear its fruit in season!
“In the same way, I take My time with you, waiting for the right moments to move, launch and activate you. To do so prematurely would hamper you, not help you. See how beautiful My timing has been over your life! Everything has been ordered and made beautiful in its time.
“Your frustrations have often been that you simply did not understand My timing, as it was dissimilar to your own. I will not be rushed. I am not in a hurry! I will wait for the right moments for all living things, that they may be in “sync” with My beauty and My plan.
“Fear of ‘missing it’ drives many people to come on too strong, too soon. I do not pressure My people! There is an acceleration happening now in My Spirit, but not of the kind that is designed to wear you out; no, that is the job of the enemy! My yoke is easy, My burden is light. In a place of Spirit-led acceleration, you will feel convergence all around you, not chaos. You’ll know joy and excitement in the Spirit, not the jumpy anxiety that comes from the devil. Seek Me for the kind of accelerated pace I can give that enables you to do more in less time, because I am outside of time, governing it!
“The enemy works only within his own time-bound framework. He knows his time is short, and he also fears, lest he reach his fiery destination too soon. You must know no such fear. You are on the continuum of eternity, reaching both forward into heaven and back into time to connect like spiritual things. You do not work alone, but in collaboration with people - even unknowingly - together bringing about My plans and purposes.”
RESET YOUR RESPONSE TO TIME!
As we connect with those who are of like calling and gifting, we discover both the paths we are on and God’s goals along those paths. We soon reach the point where we are able to pioneer and “blaze” the next steps on those paths, for those who will come along behind us.
God watches over His Word to perform it. We do not perform, but we do prepare the way. Any pressure - and the ultimate timing of all things - belongs to God. It is God’s burden to bear, not ours.
I want to break off of you, today, the time-bound pressure that the enemy brings to wear you down and ask the Lord to replace that frenzied urgency with quiet beauty. It's time to reset the way we respond to time! Pray with me:
I confess I have tried more than once to make things happen in my own way and my own time. Please forgive me! I realize now that you have a perfect, “kairos” time for everything - EVERYTHING - that happens in this life, and I want to be part of Your beautiful plan.
Put me back on Your timetable, Lord. Help me to discern the times and seasons You have for my life and for the Kingdom of God all around me. I trust You to show me when to speak and when to remain silent.
I reject the enemy’s pressure to accomplish things in a hurry. I renounce the lies that urgency means emergency and that busyness is holiness. I welcome the acceleration and pacing that You bring in the Spirit, which causes me to live and move and have my being IN YOU!
Help me to believe that the outcomes are up to You alone and that I can simply do my part in Your eternal plan, trusting that there will be others before and after me who will help fulfill every goal.
May the peace that passes understanding be my guide in ALL that I do for You. I rejoice that I need only align myself with Your plans and You will set me squarely in the middle of what You are doing in my time. Amen.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.