Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
Tree of Life 10/04/98
Tree of Life for 10-04-98
Philippians 2:12 ...be accomplishing your own preservation with respect toward Christ and reverence toward doctrine."
In proceeding with our study of the problems and distractions which confront those believers who are engaged in preserving their devotion toward the person of Christ and the mind of Christ/Bible doctrine, this week we noted the problem of Divine Timing. The matter of timing can make or break any situation! And in the matter of timing there is always the choice of waiting on God's perfect timing or instituting your own (human) timing.
By way of definition, timing is the selection of the best time or speed for doing something, or patience in doing something in order to achieve the desired effect with maximum results. For the church age believer timing is a matter of adjusting to the plan of God, i.e. predestination and synchronizing with it by way of being sensitive to divine guidance. Divine guidance is offered to every believer who accepts it. Divine guidance may come in one or more of eight ways:
* Through prayer, Acts 11:5.
* Through objective thinking from Bible doctrine, Acts 11:6.
* Through perception of doctrine, Acts 11:7-10.
* Through providential circumstances, such as people brought into our paths, Acts 11:11.
* Through the filling of the Spirit and then the humility to obey God, Acts 11:12.
* Through fellowship with other positive believers and comparison of spiritual facts, Acts 11:13-14.
* Through recall of doctrine perceived, Acts 11:16.
* And then there is divine guidance through disaster.
From the moment we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior our timing and schedule must begin to change to appropriate the unique spiritual life God has predestined us to. We must learn what God's plan entails and do our best to live in that plan through His power. When we are not in the timing of God we are not getting away with anything, we are actually losing out on God's highest and best! Good or bad timing is a matter of utilization of the problem solving devices. Even if you have made bad decisions there is still hope through using the problem solving devices and remaining in God's plan for your life. Any curse can be turned to a blessing if we operate according to God's rules and power, GEN 50:20; PSA 76:10.
Divine timing is a part of the virtue of predestination and virtue brings capacity. Capacity in the life of the believer then allows God the freedom to bless the believer, which also glorifies Him. God's highest and best can only be distributed under His terms otherwise He would not be glorified. Divine timing is a personal matter between the believer and God, we are not to monitor the timing in any other believer's life, HOS 8:7; ROM 14:4; GAL 6:7-8; MAT 7:1-2. Under the subject of divine timing if mistakes are made on the part of others it's none of our business, God is to be the final judge in handling the situation, JOH 7:24; 1CO 4:5. For the believer who fails in the subject of timing the first thing in view is always rebound, 1JO 1:9. Every detail of timing is a matter of predestination. God has accounted for and provided for every day of our lives, right down to the daily hearing of the word of God, REV 2:7. What often passes for coincidence, luck, or good fortune is really a matter of timing in life. There is no luck in divine timing, only the virtue of God.
Bad timing is a matter of being out of fellowship with God hence falling apart under pressure, being out of the will of God, having wrong priorities and so making wrong decisions be it due to ignorance or rejection of the plan of God. We are each given one day at a time, and if we do not live each day for God it is considered lost opportunity. Under the principle of equal privilege and equal opportunity bad timing equals lost opportunity. Rejection of the plan of God is a slow and subtle process. It comes by way of either indifference, apathy, rejection of Bible doctrine, or antagonism toward Bible doctrine, each in turn causing the believer to be out of synch with God's plan. God's highest and best must be delivered in His time!
To line up with God's will, plan, and purpose for your life requires understanding and mastering in perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. We must realize that we are imperfect and therefore our timing is imperfect unless we are living in the will of God. Apart from the will of God timing in the life of the believer is related to his own flaws, emotions, and arrogance. Of course, divine timing does not guarantee the non-existence of failures, but rather it offers divine options when failure presents itself, ROM 8:28; 1CO 2:9. Good timing requires humility, objectivity and being teachable apart from which bad decisions are inevitable. And the price you pay for bad decisions is never fully revealed until the eternal state. So, timing in the Christian life is the believer choosing to execute the will of God rather than his own will. Under the timing of God you leave all the details to God as well as leave your enemies to His discretion, DEU 32:35,41. Such a principle of application becomes a great source of peace to the believer who truly operates in it. God will bring divine blessing forward only if you remain obedient to His will. And His will includes His timing! The normal desires we have in our hearts, which were placed there by God, can cause us to seek out our own (often quicker) timing. But if we seek God first and remain obedient to God's will our desires will be met in the proper time and the proper time always offers the greatest happiness. But God must come first, not just in your verbal claim but in your daily decisions. God will not tolerate anyone or anything placed before Him. And though you may think that because you have been getting away with doing so that all is well but if you are not in God's timing you are losing out, you are limiting God! In light of elevating others or something over God eventually it will be revealed to you and it may even take losing someone in your life for God to clear the way for blessing. This was the case with Abraham and his father, Terah. Abraham could only go so far in his spiritual life while attached to his father, who was a worshipper of a moon god. Abraham attempted to obey God's will but got half way and stopped to remain with his family. Finally God had to kill Abraham's father to free Abraham to continue in God's plan. Such cases of the overruling will of God can also be seen in Joseph's story as well. Point being, your timing will always be off until God's plan becomes the most important thing in your life.
Divine timing requires the humility to make the proper adjustments while not blaming others nor justifying self. Every time you use your environment or circumstances for an excuse for bad decisions you are out of line with divine timing. God can never be wrong, only our perception of what is happening can be wrong. And that is basically due to arrogance. Becoming very pushy and trying desperately to make things happen is a sign of relying on your own timing. In divine timing situations flow naturally together. In God's plan, under divine timing happiness seeks out the believer, PSA 23:6. We are born at the right time and we die at the right time since both of these decisions are made from the sovereign will of God. Then there is the matter of what comes in between, i.e., all the decisions in our lives which... can and should be made in the right time. It is all a matter of understanding the surrounding aspects, ECC 3:2b. So, timing in life is a matter of understanding and knowledge of God's plan. Timing goes sour when one's scale of values goes astray. ECC 3:9 tells us that there is no profit if we are not in God's timing. The whole problem of timing then rests on man's failure to do the right thing at the right time. And this is due to man's failure to depend on GOD!
If you enter a disaster in life while in bad timing you will not be prepared to handle it properly. The biggest problem man faces is that he does not want to wait for God. Man is generally too busy with his own plans. Inordinate ambition causes people to seek fulfillment of their desires in the wrong way and in the wrong time. Promotion in God's plan refers to avoiding being led by your flesh. The option is open to us to be led by the Spirit but it requires understanding and then patience. Waiting for God's promotion means being faithful in the little things. That is what prepares us for greater things. Life is not how we make it but how we take it. Many are unstable due to their lust patterns and ambitions and therefore become frustrated. Once in such a state the believer is no longer qualified to deal categorically with the problems of life. In every situation the believer is always faced with one of two choices:
- God's perfect plan in God's perfect time, or
- Man's own quickly snapped together string of superficial plans.
Wrong timing is always related to wrong motivation. If our lives have any significance it comes under the timing of God in the execution of His will, plan and purpose. All that we are and ever hope to be, we owe it all to Thee!
ECC 3:11 "He makes all things appropriate in His time"
ECC 8:5 "A wise heart knows the proper time and procedure."
ECC 8:6 "There is a proper time and procedure for every delight."
Timing is everything in life.