Bible Study

The Timing of God

Michael Beck

My times are in thy hand (Psalm 31:15)

Christ’s birth was according to the timing of God.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law (Gal. 4:4)

The start of Christ’s ministry was according to the timing of God.

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:14, 15)

The death of Christ was according to the timing of God.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim 2:6)

Jesus now waits for the timing of His second coming.

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (Hebrews 10:12-13)

God’s TIMETABLE for the unfolding of world history and each individual is according to His perfect WISDOM.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (Romans 11:33,34)

Jesus knew the mind of the Lord. He was sensitive to the timing of the Father. He knew when to wait and when to go.

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51)

Christ’s life was according to God’s perfect timing. Jesus reproved those who did not respect God’s timing in their lives, but moved whenever they chose to.

Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. (John 7:6)

Christ was made aware of God’s timing for His life through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (Matthew 4:1)

God’s children are led by the Holy Spirit, not only in what they do, but when they are to do it.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

The wisdom of God picks timing that will glorify Him. We pick timing that satisfies us.

Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. (John 11:1-6)

There are some things which we always have the opportunity to do. There are other things which present themselves to us for a limited time.

For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. (Mark 14:7-8)

We are given limited “windows of opportunity” in which to bless and do good to others.

As we have therefore opportunity (kairos), let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)

The timing of a gift as well as a word are important. There is a time to speak and a time to keep silence. In order to speak when we should, we must be listening to the Holy Spirit.

The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. (Isaiah 50:4)

We bring ourselves joy or sorrow according to our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s timing.

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23)

Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20)

We can deceive ourselves about God’s timing.

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built. Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? (Haggai 1:2-4)

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already (i.e., now) to harvest. (John 4:35)

We can miss God’s timing in two ways.

1. Acting in haste when God wants us to wait
2. Waiting when God wants us to step out and move forward.

The folly of acting in haste, or in slothfulness, is that God will not be working with us.

We leave God behind when we move in presumptuous haste.

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. (Jeremiah 23:21-22)

God leaves us behind when we are slothful.

He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame. (Proverbs 10:5)

Patience is the strength to wait.

Courage is the strength to move.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.