Friday, May 11, 2012

If Time Is In His Hands Then We Better Recognize His Times

"Age to Age He stands, and time is in His hands, beginning and the end, beginning and the end."

We have all heard this song...but have we really understood this portion of the lyrics? It's too powerful. So powerful that when someone sings this song at church, it's almost as if we sleep in the verses and then wake up and react to the chorus. Why is that? Because it's too powerful and mind-boggling. Think about it: if a congregation or person were to really see that God controls time and that He establishes fast zones and slower zones, then they would realize that the Lord's timing differs from when they need or want something. If we were to realize this, then the enemy would not have an advantage over us anymore. Because he knows that if we complain, wine, or turn ourselves from God because we don't get what we want, when we want it, then we will not receive the blessings that God has for us. His word says in (2 Peter 3:9) "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Think about it.

When I was younger, probably 10 years old, my 5 cousins and I would get together on the holidays and play dodge ball. Whenever it was my turn to role the ball to the kicker there were times when my younger cousins could only manage to kick as far as about 6 feet in front of them. Imagine a drive way with enough space to fill four cars and that's how much space we had to play so 6 feet was not that much distance, bless their hearts. It was easy for me to catch the ball in the air if they kicked it, but there were times when I would get distracted. And all it would take was that one moment of distraction to miss catching the ball. In the same way, if we do not recognize the Lord's times and permit ourselves to get distracted then we will miss the blessing, the answered prayer, or our heart's desire because of our complaining and our, "why me? What did I do to deserve this?" Been there, done that. All I can tell you is to not see with your natural eyes, see with the eyes of the faith.

Here's a little bible story to back this up. I share this with you from my personal time spent with the Lord. Turning back the hands of time, here we go...

(Numbers 26-30) Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say. You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

At this point, God grew angry and I'm sure very hurt hearing His own people complain about him. Can you imagine the things they must have said? I'm sure it was much worse than "I wanna die!" I'm sure they said horrible things about God, wining, "Why me? I want real food! I shouldn't have listened to Moses! What a crock!..." and so on. How must God feel when we complain, wine, and don't trust Him? What are the consequences? As you read before, the Israelites were prohibited from entering the land of milk and honey. Because of mere words, God did not hand them the blessing destined for Him. Our words have power. What we say affects what happens to us. Like the Israelites, if we say we're gonna die so and so way then we are. If we declare prosperity then God will prosper us. But above all, the decision is ours. I include myself when I say this, will we chose to react positively to a negative circumstance, or will we keep spoiling the times of the Lord's blessings for our lives? We have to be like Caleb so that the Lord may also say this about us, "[he] has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land."

(Numbers 14:34) “‘Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy.’  Oh my goodness! Forty days became forty years! When we disobey and turn against the Lord what should have been a short waiting period for our blessing now becomes an agonizing eternity. One day now feels like one year. How many of us ask God why it's taking so long for our ministry to take flight? For our calling to be molded and put into practice? Because we've complained forty days now become forty years. Crazy, crazy powerful. We've got to learn to catch the ball the first time and walk in the times of the Lord.

(Numbers 14:39-45)  When Moses reported the Lord’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief. Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.” But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.” But the people defiantly pushed ahead toward the hill country, even though neither Moses nor the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant left the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those hills came down and attacked them and chased them back as far as Hormah. Tis, tis, tis. The Israelites got over their punishment so fast. How many of us react this way? God says no you missed the time zone that I provided for you and we simply try to push forward anyway. We can be stubborn sometimes. We think that just because we recognize what we've done wrong, this means that we're off the hook. We have to recognize the Lord's times and take advantage of them so that we don't miss out on what the Father has in store. If we do anything without the Lord's consent then we go alone, vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. We've got to listen the first time, recognize His times, and act on them.

(Jeremiah 31:19) I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.

(Jeremiah 31: 20-22) “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?” says the Lord“I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him. Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel;return to your towns here. How long will you wander, my wayward daughter? For the Lord will cause something new to happen—Israel will embrace her God.”

Do we not serve an amazing God? I'll never get tired of saying this: We've got to recognize His times. Well my lovely readers I hope this post has touched you in some way and if it has comment and tell me in what way. I encourage you to spend time with the Lord so that he may give you the patience to wait for either "forty days or forty years" and for the courage and faith to react when the time comes. Share with me what He is doing in your life and from my heart to yours, God bless.

I leave you with this beautiful song. I listen to it on my way to school every day and it leaves me knowing that God has everything under control in His hands. May you be blessed!

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