Sometimes things don’t work out according to our plans. And sometimes the reason for that is that we don’t get God’s timing exactly right. In our flesh we’re prone to impatience. And the world tells us we need to dive right in and get started now because time’s a-wastin’.
However it’s far better for us to manifest the fruit of the spirit of patience and wait on God’s timing.
In this episode:
- Missing God?
- Preparation Time
- Seeing Time in Scripture
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
Oh, man. What happened? Sometimes things don’t work out according to our plans, do they.
I had this whole plan to get this podcast off the ground at the first of the year. I even got a good start at it and cranked out a handful of episodes. And then I missed a week. More, really, because I like to release new episodes in the morning my time. Here it is the evening and I’m just recording this.
At the beginning I was doing pretty good too. When I started I recorded several episodes in advance so that I had some room to breathe if something went wrong. But then… life happened.
I had a couple of big work projects pile up, because I’m still doing work as a web developer to pay the bills while Lisa and I transition to full time ministry. Plus we had several meetings with folks about our plans to head to Scotland later this year as missionaries.
Then on top of it all I’ve been doing battle with a really nasty head and chest cold. Really?!! Jesus paid for all that mess on the cross 2,000 years ago. Sickness has no place in my body!
Yet here I was, coughing up all kinds of nastiness and I could hardly talk. Well, I could talk. But it mostly sounded like this. And that’s not the kind of sound I want to record in a podcast.
All in all, it wasn’t anything like what I had in mind. But hey, I’ve got a Ricola in my mouth and I’m feeling pretty good over all right now.
When things don’t go the way we expect sometimes it’s tempting to think that we missed God. In my case it could be tempting to think that because life got in the way of me staying with the podcast “obviously” God didn’t prompt me to start it.
Except that I really did hear God about this. I suppose one could argue where I was a little off was in the timing.
You see sometimes God reveals something he has for us to do so that we can enter a time of preparation to be ready for that something when the time comes. For example, the apostle Paul was called into the ministry by Jesus at his conversion in Acts chapter 9.
But Paul made the same mistake that many of us do. As soon as he became a believer he started preaching about Jesus right there in Damascus. And like most of us who hear the call, but don’t pay attention to God’s timing, it went very badly. In Paul’s case he had to sneak out of the city to avoid being killed.
It wasn’t until years later that Paul’s preaching and teaching ministry really got started. Paul doesn’t step into his real life’s ministry assignment until the beginning of Acts chapter 13, something like 14 years after his conversion.
What was Paul doing in the time between when he was originally called to ministry at his conversion and when he was finally separated by the Holy Spirit in Acts 13:2 for that work? Paul was preparing.
Paul was working in the church even though he wasn’t necessarily working in his true calling yet. He hung out with Barnabas and partnered with him. Isn’t it interesting that even the apostle Paul started out working for someone else’s ministry before he eventually launched his own ministry?
There’s a saying I heard over and over again while I was at Bible college: Preparation time is never wasted time.
The world tells us we need to dive right in and get started now because time’s a-wastin’. We need to get in there and get it done because don’t you know? Lives are at stake here!
But that’s not how things work in God’s Kingdom. God takes time to prepare his leaders.
Seeing Time in Scripture
One challenge we have in reading scripture is that it’s easy to lose sight of the passage of time. Saul is converted to following Jesus in Acts chapter 9 and then 4 chapters later he’s heading out on his life’s ministry.
It’s easy to miss the 14 or so intervening years that happened during those 4 chapters.
David waited over 20 years from the time Samuel anointed him king until he became king over Israel. And he passed up opportunities to take the throne by force too, because David was a man after God’s own heart.
God invests the necessary time to prepare us for what he’s called us to do. But only if we’re willing to be patient and wait on his timing.
In my case the good news is that waiting an week or so to get a podcast up and running isn’t that big a deal. It was a very inexpensive lesson for me to learn.
And I’m already applying that lesson to my own life. But that’s going to have to wait until next time.