WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 1, 2021
TOPIC: UNDERSTANDING THE TIMING OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“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 2:3 New King James Version).
Timing is defined as the choice, judgment, or control of when something should be done. It is also defined as the time at which an activity or event starts or happens, or is planned to start or happen. Many times we miss the timing of God regarding what He says He will do. Indeed, the LORD said, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19 New King James Version).
However, God can promise you something today and you think it will happen next day, next week, or next year. But it may never happen in the next five years or even more. Because of this misunderstanding, we, many times, take false steps, which sometimes even complicate things for us.
Sometimes we move without Him and experience defeats or losses. Some even frustrate themselves through anxiety. They eventually conclude that maybe God is not going to do what He has said or He has forgotten! They could also feel that they thought, and not God told them, what they had believed He said.
We need to be patient and wait on God to do what He says He will do. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 New King James Version). 1 Samuel 15:29 says, “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!” Titus 1:2 says God cannot lie.
God is not bound by your timetable. He has His own. Whoever believes will not act hastily (Isaiah 28:16b). Hebrews 6:12 says you should not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. God’s thoughts are not always our thoughts; our ways are not often His ways (Isaiah 55:8). A thousand years are as yesterday; they are like a few hours! (Psalm 90:4). With the Lord, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).
Who would have expected that God would take the Israelites through a long route after they left Egypt? A shorter route would have been more ideal so that they could get to the Promised Land quickly. But God did the opposite. He had a good reason for that.
Exodus 13:17-18 says, “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt’” (New King James Version). God had His timetable for the journey and the map to follow.
God has the timetable for your life and His promises; He has the map for your life’s journey. There is nothing God has promised you that He can’t do immediately – He has enough resources to do it. But He is following a timetable. That He has promised does not mean He will do it immediately. And that it is taking time to happen does not mean it will never happen. God never forgets His promises.
It took twenty-two years for Joseph’s dream that his brothers bowed before him to come to pass. He had the dream at the age of seventeen (Genesis 37:2, 5-11) and he became prime minister at the age of thirty (Genesis 41:46) – a difference of thirteen years. There were seven years of prosperity that Pharaoh had dreamt about and the seven-year famine was in its second year (Genesis 45:6) when his brothers came and bowed before him (Genesis 42:6;43:26,28; 44:14) and he finally revealed his identity to them (Genesis 45). That made the two periods nine years. Therefore, thirteen years plus seven years of prosperity and two years of famine added up to twenty-two years!
Though God chose Saul as king and Samuel anointed him as king privately, he didn’t assume the throne immediately. His ascension to the throne as the first king of Israel followed three stages (1 Samuel 10:1; 10:17-24; 11:15). God knows when you’re ready for what He has promised you. You may think you’re ready but God may say you’re not. God prepares you for what He has already prepared!
Although David was anointed king by Samuel, he didn’t enter the palace the following day. Neither did he become the king of Israel until many years later. David was anointed king three times before he eventually became the king of Israel! (1 Samuel 16:12-13; 2 Samuel 2:4; 5:3). “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” (2 Samuel 5:4-5 New King James Version).
The Bible talks about the sons of Issachar who had expert knowledge of the times and what it was best for Israel to do. In other words, they had an understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. I pray that you will have an understanding of the times to know what you should do. You will not act in haste and do the right thing at the wrong time.
God will do a new thing for you but don’t doubt His promises if it doesn’t happen as soon as you expect it. God’s timing is different from yours. “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 2:3 New King James Version). Cooperate with Him; don’t delay or frustrate the fulfillment of His promise. The Living Bible renders Habbakuk 2:3 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!”
What must you do?
1. Be anxious for nothing but pray to God. Philippians 4:6a says we should be anxious for nothing. “Be anxious for nothing” means don’t be worried about anything. Anxiety cannot make the promises of God to be fulfilled earlier than the timing of God.
Jesus says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25 New King James Version). Luke 12:22 says a similar thing. Jesus asks, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:27 New King James Version). The obvious answer is nobody.
2. Trust God and obey Him. Trust in God and obey what He tells you to do. Even if His promises are yet to be fulfilled, trust in Him and continue to obey Him. (Proverbs 3:5; Exodus 19:5; 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:19; Luke 6:46; John 15:14).
3. Continue to feed yourself on the Word of God. Feeding on the Word of God will strengthen your faith in him. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Study and meditate on the Word of God. (Joshua 1:8). Abide in His Word. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7 New King James Version).
4. Pray with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (New King James Version). The antidote to anxiety is praying with thanksgiving. Anxiety is self-destructive. It’s unhelpful. But praying with thanksgiving is refreshing. It boosts your faith while you’re waiting for the timely fulfillment of God’s promise. Pray with thanksgiving.
Psalm 55:22 says you should cast your burden on the LORD and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. A similar passage in Proverbs 16:3 says you should commit your works to the LORD and your thoughts will be established. Pray with thanksgiving.
5. Keep doing what you’re doing except God stops you; enjoy your present season. Don’t stay idle because you’re waiting for the new thing God wants to do. Don’t discard what you’re doing at present because God has promised to open a new door for you. Make the best use of your present level. (Jeremiah 29:4-14).
6. Wait patiently. Impatience will cause you to make costly mistakes. It will cause you to give up before the timing of God. Wait patiently. Persevere. Psalm 37:7 says you should rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him. According to the apostle Paul, whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4). In other words, the things that were written in the Scriptures long ago were written to teach us. “ They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises” (verse 4b New Living Translation).
Understanding the timing of God does not mean you know the exact time God wants to do something in your life or for you. But it means that you acknowledge that God has a time for everything He wants to accomplish in your life. As said in Ecclesiastes 3:1, to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven.
This does not mean you fold your arms and do nothing. Don’t sleep off and allow the enemy to sow tares among your yeast (Matthew 13:25). This could create a situation of demonic delay which could be misconstrued as a situation in which the time of God has not come. Be sensitive to divine timing and don’t be anxious and give up or act presumptuously or rashly.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that 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: Father, help me to follow divine timing for my life. Make me sensitive to your timing. Let me not sleep off and allow the enemy to sow tares among my yeast. I shall not experience a demonic delay in life in Jesus’ name. God’s plan and promises for my life shall come to pass at the right time.
(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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