WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 27TH, 2021
TOPIC: THE VISION IS FOR AN APPOINTED TIME
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then the LORD answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry’” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 New King James Version).
When we have received a prophecy from the Lord, we have a dream, or God has shown us a vision, it is natural to think that it will come to pass the next day! I am talking about a positive divine revelation, not wishful thinking. But the truth is that it takes time for some of the revelations to be fulfilled.
There is usually a time lag between when we receive a genuine revelation from God and when it becomes fulfilled. Whether we receive it directly or from another person, sometimes, what God says may look like a lie because it’s not coming to pass as quickly as we think. But if the revelation is actually from the Lord, we must never doubt it. We should hold on to the prophecy or revelation.
God doesn’t use the same time as ours. He has His own time. He doesn’t use our timetable; He has His own. 2 Peter 3:8 says a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. We must avoid being anxious. Philippians 4:6-7 says be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
From the Bible, we learn that whatever God says He wants to do, or whatever He has shown or told you He would do, is for an appointed time. He determines the time, not you or anybody. There is nothing you can do to make it happen before the time but you may delay it if you fail to cooperate with Him or obey Him.
The LORD told the prophet Habakkuk, “Then the LORD answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry’” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 New King James Version).
Please take note of the phrase “for an appointed time.” The prophet did not know that time. But what he was assured was that it would happen. The Living Bible renders verse 3 of this scripture thus: “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (The Living Bible).
God’s vision for your life would be fulfilled but it may not happen when you think. That’s why you need faith and patience. Many of God’s people are people of faith but they lack patience. Lack of patience in waiting for the fulfilment of the promises of God has made some of us quit standing in faith. Yet, the Bible says we should be imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12). Some of us are failing in this area.
God cannot lie (1 Samuel 15:29; Psalm 89:35 Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2). His promises cannot fail. All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). But it may not be fulfilled as quickly as we think or want. That’s where some of us have problems with God. Indeed, God could have shown some people some things but they could begin to assume and start predicting God by setting a time for the fulfilment.
Most times, we don’t like to be reminded that Abraham and Sarah waited for 25 years before God’s promise of a child for them was fulfilled. That’s a long time and, understandably, it’s not appealing to someone trusting God for the fruit of the womb. But it’s in the Bible. In the process of waiting for the fulfilment of God’s promise, Abraham and Sarah made a mistake by trying to help themselves. But God insisted that He would still give them the child He had promised.
On one occasion, Abraham laughed at the promise of God to give him a son by Sarah. Sarah also laughed on the same promise on another occasion (Genesis 17:15-18; 18:10-14). But when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old, they gave birth to Isaac, the child God had promised them. The vision was for an appointed time and it came to pass though it took a long time. Hold on to God’s promises; the vision shall come to pass.
Joseph’s dream that his brother bowed before him did not come to pass immediately. It looked as if he was just daydreaming, particularly after he had become a slave in Egypt and was thrown into prison over a false allegation.
Nevertheless, twenty-two years after he had the dream, it came to pass. Joseph had the dream when he was seventeen years (Genesis 37:2, 5-11). He became the Prime Minister in Egypt at the age of thirty (Genesis 41:46). That was a difference of thirteen years.
Pharaoh had dreamt about seven years of prosperity and the seven years of famine, which followed, was in its second year (Genesis 45:6) when his brothers came and bowed before him (Genesis 42:6; 43:26, 28; 44:14). Joseph finally revealed his identity to them (Genesis 45). That made the two periods nine years. If we add thirteen years to the seven years of prosperity and the two years of famine, it makes twenty-two years. Twenty-two years of waiting!
Joseph’s dream took twenty-two years to be fulfilled. During that period, his two dreams must have looked like a lie. His brothers made his father believe that he had died. His brothers must have believed that even if he was alive, he could not amount to anything having sold him to the slave merchants. But they could sell him; they couldn’t sell his dream. The vision was for an appointed time.
Don’t despair; your vision, dream, prophecy shall come to pass. Joseph went from his father’s house to the pit, to Potiphar’s house, to prison, and finally to the palace. However, he ruled as prime minister in the same land where he was both a slave and a prisoner. That is a testimony to the power of God.
We find Joseph’s summary of his sufffering in the names he gave his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. “Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, ‘God has made me forget all my troubles and the family of my father.’ Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, ‘God has made me fruitful in this land of my suffering’” (Genesis 41:51-52 New Living Translation). What a reflection!
You could be in your own pit now. Or, probably, you are in prison. But this is not your end. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b). Have faith in God. Don’t throw away your vision, dream, or prophecy because of your present challenges. People may have persecuted you, ganged up against you, sabotaged you, or conspired against you to frustrate your vision. Note this: they can’t kill your vision; they can’t stop your prophecy or dream from being fulfilled.
Although Samuel had anointed David king, it never appeared that he would sit on the throne. He became a fugitive, running away from Saul whom he had helped to kill Goliath, the Philistine champion. He was envious of David and wanted to kill him. Samuel who anointed David as the king had died before he eventually became king after Saul’s death. But he didn’t even first become the king of the entire nation. It was a long process for him.
Samuel first anointed him as king privately in the midst of his brothers (1 Samuel 16:12-13). After Saul’s death, the men of Judah, his tribe, anointed him king over Judah. During that period, the house of Saul was still ruling over the remaining tribes of Israel (2 Samuel 2:4). Later, all the elders of Israel came to Hebron and anointed David king over all Israel after the death of Abner and Ishbosheth, Saul’s army commander and son respectively (2 Samuel 5:3).
Before David became the king of the entire nation of Israel, he was anointed three times. 2 Samuel 5:4-5 says, “David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah” (New King James Version). The vision was for an appointed time. It came to pass.
Your vision is for an appointed them. Believe what God has told you. Believe it shall come to pass. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, told Mary when she came to visit her, “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45 New King James Version).
Don’t despise any progress you record towards the fulfilment of your vision or dream, no matter how small. Don’t despise your small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). David’s ascension to the throne of Israel was step by step.
Concerning the Israelites, the Bible says, “And the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 7:22-23 New King James Version). Take note: littl by little.
The vision is for an appointed time. However, wage a good warfare against demonic delay, hindrance, and frustration. Pray against the spirit of error, unbelief, and impatience. Obey the Word of God and divine instructions. Don’t be anxious. Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18a).
While you’re waiting for the appointed time, be faithful where you are. “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12 New King James Version).
Don’t be in a hurry. Wait for the appointed time. If it seems slow, do not lose hope. It will surely be fulfilled. Only be patient. The appointed time will come. It won’t be delayed by a single day.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful in my current position. Help me not to sabotage myself or delay the appointed time for God’s promises for me to be fulfilled. I come against demonic delay or hindrance against the fulfilment of my prophecy. My dream will come to pass in Jesus’ name. Father, hear the cry of those waiting for their appointed time; let nothing hinder the appointed time for the fulfilment of Your promises to them.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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