The title of this post comes from a phrase used in the dialog of old war or spy or “cops and robbers” movies when something big was about to happen and there was a whole group of folks that wanted to be at the right place at the right time so they wouldn’t miss it. Actually, it is symptomatic of the inordinate obsession with “time” that we humans have. Being concerned with time is not altogether bad. When we have an appointment, we want to be “on time.” When we are on a trip, we want to make “good time.” But, our concern with time can be carried to inappropriate lengths, particularly in the areas of how fast something can happen and when it will happen. It is also very unfortunate that concern with these two matters can infiltrate our spiritual lives.
We live in a society that has developed a microwave mentality. We want things and we want them now! Why cook it when you can “nuke” it? Why go into a restaurant and sit down when you can pick up fast food at a drive thru window and eat while you hurry to get someplace else? We have cell phones, we have pagers, we have email, we have cell phones that receive and send pages and email, and now they are running commercials for cell phones that send and receive pages, phone calls, email and full color television pictures of our faces as we talk so that we don’t even have to take the time of being in another person’s physical presence for them to see what we look like. Incidentally, this piece is being written by a guy sitting at a computer. This guy has subscribed to a fast access internet service to overcome the extreme wait in getting “on line” via a traditional modem. Figuring that he should practice what he preaches (or writes) this guy took a break from writing and checked the length of that extreme wait. It took 73 seconds to get on line through the method that is formerly used. Hmmmm!
This “I want what I want when I want it” syndrome has affected a lot of folks relationship with God. God’s Word is full of great and precious promises of what God wants for us and what He is willing to do for us. God expects us to recognize Him as our source of all things good, but He also expects us to recognize that He is, besides being a provider, the determiner of the time frame in which provision will be made. In our theme verse for this blog God tells us to, “Wait for the appointed time.” In fact in the first chapter of James God tells us to “count it all joy” when we have to wait for solutions for problems. Why, because it builds up our faith and our patience, two traits found in short supply in our modern society. Think about it, if God instantly granted every request that we make, there would be no need for either faith or patience. And, if God instantly gave us everything we asked, I feel that we would be just like the prodigal son and squander it all.
Now let’s take a minute to consider this obsession we have with when things will happen. We tend to not want to experience physical or emotional discomfort for any longer than it takes to get to the medicine cabinet and take a pill. When things go wrong we keep asking God, “when are you going to do something God?” I hope that I’m not being trite, but the answer is “When the time is right.” We forget that while we are staring at the tree in front of us that God is seeing the whole forest. God’s timing is never wrong but sometimes we feel that we need to “help God out.” Rather than trusting God and “Waiting for the appointed time,” we forge ahead with our own timing and our own resources hoping that God will put a seal of approval on what we do. A quick Biblical illustration of the folly in that approach is what happened with Abraham and Sarah. God made them the wonderful promise of a child. When the promise didn’t come when they thought it should, they tried to help God move the process along and ended up with Ishmael. When God’s promise came about and Isaac was born, a conflict started that is still causing problems almost 5000 years later.
The Bible teaches that there are times when God will reveal to us when something will occur, but Scripture makes it abundantly clear that there are things that God reserves for His knowledge alone. Some people have what seems to be an insatiable curiosity over “end times.” There is even a contingency of preachers working under the self-proclaimed label of prophet that make their living by making projections of when these apocalyptic events will occur. They, and those that make it possible for their ministries to prosper, ignore the admonition of Jesus in Acts 1:7 that “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power.”
There is nothing wrong with having concerns about the “end times.” There is nothing wrong with preaching about them. After all, they are in Scripture and, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) BUT, when we take a realistic look at it, there has not been an age since the ascension of Christ that the prophesied “signs” of the end have not been present. The message is that we need to be ready at all times.
Let’s synchronize our watches! Something big is about to happen and we want to be right place at the right time so we won’t miss it. But let’s remember, God is the Master Timekeeper. It is by His timepiece that the whole of creation functions. There is a popular Gospel song that says, “Our God is an on time God.” He is never early. He is never late. We may have our compulsions about how fast things will happen and when things will happen, but we can rest in the assurance that in His perfect timing the events of our lives and of this universe will occur according to His plan.
I recently happened across an article written by a lady whose honesty I have to admire. She, a born-again believer, relates the story of attending a revival meeting at her local church, accompanied by her un-saved husband. During the singing, the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
(Acts 16: 16 – 31) 16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry...[ abbreviated | read entire ]