Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
God’s plans and His promises are magnificent, but they are on His schedule. That can be a very hard thing for us to accept at times. We get a Scripture and try to run with it and end up making a mess of things. Quite a few people have had their faith severely damaged as a result. It is rare that God gives us specific time schedules, though it does happen, as in Jesus rising on the third day. On this particular occasion the delay between the promise and the fulfillment was seven weeks, but when God promised the return of the Jews from Babylon, the period was 70 years! For that matter, we sometimes forget that there were hundreds of years between the various prophecies of the Messiah and the point when He actually was born in Bethlehem. Peter was spot on when he reminded us, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 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.” (2 Peter 3:8-9) However, we must not forget the flip side of that, that God can do all sorts of things seemingly at once, they happen so fast. We aren’t to be impatient, but neither are we to lag behind when He says to move. There are various things happening that have convinced a lot of people that we are indeed in the Last Days, and that could well be. At the same time, God’s plans don’t just deal with “the sweep of history,” so to speak, but with each individual. We are to seek Him for what we are to do now, not just wait passively for whatever to happen. And then, there’s the whole issue of false prophesies. I won’t go into the heretical movements that have been spawned by such things. We are to hold onto God’s promises, knowing they will be fulfilled but not trying to dictate to God exactly when that will happen. He’s more than able to handle it all!
I have felt for quite a few years that a moment would come when suddenly this church would grow massively in numbers. It feels like that could even be starting right now, and frankly, it’s scary. All sorts of things are happening, and we have little or no control over it all. That’s a good thing! I need to be focused on my Lord and let Him be in control, knowing that He can handle it, and that I most certainly can’t. I am to listen carefully and obey faithfully, knowing that His plans are good, however different they might be from what I would have dreamed up. I need to recognize those God has designated for different tasks and trust them with those tasks, while supporting and encouraging them along the way. That’s very, very different from me doing it all, which is how I’ve tended to operate in the past. God’s timing is perfect, and I’ve got to rest, relax, and rejoice in it.
Father, thank You for this clear, timely (!) Word. Help me not lag behind, much less run away, but also not go off on any tangents or try to make things happen on my own. May Your name be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, in and through me and this church, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!