August 26, 2014

Habakkuk 2:2-3 Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come and will not delay.”

We often get tied in knots over God’s timing. That’s perhaps not surprising, but there’s a definite irony to it as well. God, being the Creator, is outside of time, because without matter, there is no time. (That’s physics.) He can quite literally see the end from the beginning of anything at all, so He, and He alone, knows what is genuinely right timing. That said, He has given us many statements of what is to happen when, for a number of reasons. The first is simply to prove He is who He says He is, so that we may have faith and trust Him. The second is so that we may be prepared to participate in what He is doing when the time is right. I haven’t counted personally, but it has been said that there are over 200 direct prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament, most of which He has already fulfilled, so they can be confirmed. That should give a high expectation of reliability for the ones that are not yet fulfilled! A third reason is simply to encourage His children that He does have a plan and He is carrying it out, whether the fulfilling of that plan is in their time or not. World events certainly seem applicable to various prophecies of End Times in the Bible, so there is every reason to be expectant of what God is going to do. However, trying to apply specific time tables to current events is not only an exercise in futility, it can also be a huge distraction from living out our commission in daily obedience. No one of an age to have any grasp of the concept is more than 100 years from their own personal Day of Judgment, regardless of God’s timetable for the universe, so the question is one of personal obedience, of accurate use of the time that has been allotted to us. We are to receive God’s prophecies as encouragements to faithfulness.

These two verses have been given to this church on four different occasions by four unrelated people, so I’ve thought about them a great deal. My personal vision, that I believe is for this church, is that Omura would again be the foremost Christian city in Japan, just as it was 450 years ago when Sumitada Omura was the feudal lord, the first such in the nation to become a Christian. To this point my vision hasn’t been fulfilled, nor is there any way I could personally make it happen. However, I am no more to stop believing than I am to stop breathing, because nothing is impossible for God. Applying these two verses to my vision, Omura’s time as the foremost Christian city may be brief, if the vision is for the end. I am not to try to second guess God, about either timing or methods, but I am to be actively faithful and obedient in whatever He shows me to do. After all, He’s powerful enough to use even me in His plans!

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me. Help me likewise be faithful to You. May my life be a signboard indeed, with the good news of Your kingdom written large, so that many may see and run with the news, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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