One of the most difficult areas to understand and embrace in this journey is God’s timing. What is He thinking? We get a promise from Him through His word to us; a scripture, a prophet, or a friend that resonates with our spirit. We receive it with joy and anticipation that we are about to see a big change in our lives and then nothing. Nothing! We wait for days. We wait for weeks, many times months and years, and still, it is a dry well. In our exuberance, we shared it with others. As time passed, we ended up embarrassed that we were fooled again. Thoughts assail us of ‘false prophet’. Those we have shared our promise with begin to suggest that maybe it wasn’t God. Slowly and methodically we allow the promise to fall from our heart in disappointment, disillusioned about our ability to hear.
We are an instant society. If we desire something, we have learned to use credit. However, God’s kingdom does not operate on credit. We have all heard stories about those who have won the lottery only to be deeply in debt several years later. Credit is like that. It can give us the ability to have what we want before we are mature enough to steward it. God in His wisdom has a different plan. In God’s economy, time is a very valuable asset that He uses with wonderful precision to do His work in us.
There was a man in a certain city who loved God. Every day he would get up at sunrise to spend time with the Father. He would pray and listen in earnest to the things that he might hear from the Lord. He had learned to cherish this time and the things that he heard, writing them down lest he forgets.
One day as he was sitting before the Father, he heard in his spirit a promise. “I am leading you out of this business. I have work for you to do that will be exactly how I designed you. You will be closing this business and working for Me.”
Since the time he had been a teenager, he had lived with such a hope hidden in his heart. For fifty years, he had risen from bed every day to make an income from the work of his own hands. His business had been used by God to provide for raising a family, but he never let go of that dream. The children were now grown and launched out into their own journey. On that day while sitting in the sunrise before the Father, he heard the word that he had longed to hear. It was not a ‘call to the ministry’ but an offer to be in the service of the Father. Over a lifetime of seeking the Father, he had learned that God has a timing for everything. So he hid this word in his heart and left for another day of labor under the sun.
Several years before, he had tried to launch out on a new business venture only to see his dream falter and finally collapse in a heap. It was not that the idea was bad. He even felt that God was behind it blessing it, but that business failed. He was now working hard to deal with the debt of that failure. In the ensuing years, he had realized that he had not been prepared for that new business. He had jumped into it without having all he needed. That had been an indelible lesson in learning the Father’s ways.
He did not dismiss this new word from the Father. Instead, he planted it deep in his heart to see how the Father would lead. Time marched on. Each day he would rise with anticipation that as he walked out each day with his Father, his Father would make room for the promise to come to pass.
Not long after he heard the word, his business began to dry up. In dealing with the challenges of less work and still in debt, he learned new levels of trust in the Father’s ability to provide. It was so very different than what he had thought. He had to face his inability to provide for himself and his family. He had always been able to figure a way to make things work. Now, his pride was being conquered by his failure. The way he had always walked was stripped from him to be replaced with an ability to trust his Father’s path more than his own wits. Over those three years of watching his business dry up, he was sustained by his wife’s encouragement to trust what he had heard.
The pressure to save oneself can be very great indeed. Each day was a day to choose whether to trust the Father and to seek His grace and provision, or reject the word as his own imagination. For thirty years, God had provided through every crisis and need. That provided the platform for the couple to stand in the murkiness and trust in the One who gave the promise. This was, indeed, another in a long line of words the man had received. They had both sensed the Father’s heart upon it. With all the man’s seeking, and that was every day, not once had the Father spoken correction to him. God had told him once before that he needed to hold to the last word he had heard on the subject unless he had heard otherwise. In this case, not only had he not heard a word to the contrary but had heard several words of confirmation over the years.
A day arrived when the couple had to leave their home of twenty-two years because they did not have the money to pay the mortgage. It was not just a house, it had been the home they had built and raised their family in. He had spent many hours improving it, and making it efficient so that they would have a home in their retirement years. As they drove away that day, it was with mixed emotions. They were heartbroken to leave it behind, but they were excited about what the Father would have for them. As the foreclosure loomed, the Father told him that it was time to close his business. He would not need it anymore. It was time to fully lean into the next season of their lives.
For the next five years, they wandered in the wilderness God had prepared for them. They had nowhere to call home except where God led them. In obedience, the man had divested of all the tools of his trade as well as his truck. There was no going back. God was faithful to His promise for they never went hungry. There was always a roof over their head, even if that roof was their car several times. In following the path that God laid out for them, they learned and grew in trust and wisdom. Every day was a challenge of learning the ways of the Lord and growing in confidence that what God said is what He would do. It wasn’t always pretty or without emotional times, for no trial at the time seems worthwhile, but in the many small decisions, they built muscles, faith, and a testimony to God’s faithfulness. They learned how to hear and obey.
None of us would give our ten-year-old a car to drive. He isn’t ready. God lives in now. He is I Am. His promises are seeds, but we hear them as now words. Food can’t be obtained from a seed, it must grow and mature and then bring forth the crop. It is embracing that seed and the tests that come with it that build the maturity to hold the promise when it is released. Anything less would be as irresponsible as giving a ten-year-old a car to drive. It is human to think that we are more mature than we really are.
There is a rhythm to God’s timing that once embraced leads us in hope. Look at the picture at the beginning of this article. There is a progression. His promise, planted by faith in our hearts, is tested by that very word in order to bring us into alignment and produce the ability to walk in the promise. In the fullness of time, God releases the promise for the work has been done in order that we might steward that promise in maturity.
Let His word test you. Embrace the journey so that God can bring you into the promise in victory and awe. The promise that you try to fulfill before God’s time will be a poor imitation of what He had planned for you. However, those who will take the journey with God will reap a bountiful harvest beyond their imagination.
About the couple above, we are still on that journey. God has provided a dwelling for this season with the provision to cover all our costs. We have no debt and live today without using credit. God is my boss. I don’t ‘have a ministry’, but every day is filled with serving His desires for His design in us. In this time, I have written two books, Zion’s Dawn, and the soon to be released Zion‘s Hope. These books had their genesis in the wilderness with the Father as He mentored us in His ways and paths. From my spirit poured out a story like none I have ever read. God did not want another teaching book. He wanted a story that would cause the reader to embrace their own journey into God’s design in them.
The scriptures use the term, “in the fullness of time” when talking about promises being brought to fulfillment. Those words are pregnant with meaning. You don’t conceive today and give birth tomorrow. However, the promise is no less sure at conception than at birth. It is the months of carrying the promise that prepares the mom for the baby. There are no shortcuts to the full promise God desires to give us. Be convinced in your heart that the One who has promised is the One who can bring it to pass.
In the middle of the journey, I awoke on my birthday to these words:
With each step in the journey, more has to be cleansed from you so that you don’t fail under the pressure of the future steps. It is not about pressure for pressure’s sake. It is about being able to walk where few dare to even think about walking. You have longed for the stars, but to be among them requires much tempering. That calls for heat and pressure. It has been difficult and painful, but you have continued to take the next step at my request. … I have said before that nothing is in your life by accident, neither is the timing off. The more you can trust Me the easier it will be for you. Time is not your enemy, but it is a useful tool in my hand to bring you to higher realms. I created time as a gift for man and not a curse. Run your race a day at a time looking for the treasure I have placed in each one. It is why grace and mercy are so important. With the morning comes new eyes to see and ears to hear for those who will receive the mercy for what is past and the grace for the day you are in. You look on 63 years with sadness for what has not been, but I rejoice for what it has brought forth in your life. All of this that has gone before has worked into you an exceeding weight of glory which shall not be taken away. … You have chosen well, but you have chosen the hard road. Truly it is narrow and few find it. I did not design it that way, but a path becomes a road because many will walk on it. I have assigned to you those who have walked this path before you to encourage you and help you along the way. (Hebrews 12:1-2) They pour upon you the frequency of light they received in order that you might go even further than they did. That is how they share in your success. You are not alone for a company goes with you. Your present circumstance actually makes it easier to walk not harder. Lean into what I provide for it is true meat and drink.
I bless you today to live in the hope of God’s promise while He works in you the maturity to walk in the promise when it comes. I bless you to allow it to grow at His discretion while you embrace all the challenges that will prepare you for the fulfillment. I bless you today with patience and tenacity so that no one will dissuade you from the fullness of your birthright and calling in Him. Jesus paid the full cost for the glory set before Him. I bless you to see the glory that awaits you as you reach for His highest in your life.
If you would like to download the picture at the beginning of this article to print as an encouragement and reminder, you can do so here.