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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Perfect Timing

By Wayde Goodall
Oct. 13, 2013

“My time is not yet come” (John 7:6, KJV).

Timing is important. Jesus often spoke of His time or His hour. Focusing on the right moment and the right season, as well as knowing that all preparations are complete, will help you determine the right timing in life’s decisions.

Sometimes we feel pretty sure we know the right decision; however, the timing is off to make that decision. We might know who is the best employee to hire, but the season in their (or our) life might not be the best. We can have vision, anticipation and even plans; however, the time to move on these ideas needs further development.

Timing and patience often work hand in hand. Proverbs tells us, “Whoever is patient has great understanding” (14:29, NIV). You can likely look back on moments of decision when you experienced “right timing.” Likely you have periodically felt that now is the appropriate time to decide or to move on an idea that has been in your mind (or heart).

New Testament scholar David Thomas pointed out to me that the Greek word translated as “time” in a number of key passages has a larger semantic footprint that points to “timing” or “a season.” For example, Jesus often refers to timing when explaining or responding to when an event should be done or not done in His earthly life (John 2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:27; etc.). On these occasions, the Greek refers to times not to be moved nor avoided. This time is the hour when God has determined something is going to happen.

God has perfect timing. When we determine to be patient and wait for His direction, we sense an event is right and that this is the right moment. When Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified” (John 12:23), He understood the correct timing of the will of God.

When we make life-changing decisions, we need to be sensitive to the greatest time of God’s opportunity, recognizing when the circumstances are right. This can help us to know when to move forward or to change course. God’s timing can signal us to stop doing something or to start doing something else that is even more right.

Thinking, sensing and having the courage to decide on a course of action are all part of this principle. Proverbs tells us, “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways” (14:8). The best means of giving such thought is through regular communion with our Creator.

God cares about our decisions, and will give us a sense of timing in the (often complicated) process of life. We can pray for this sensitivity, which will allow us to wait, or to move on something that has been on our minds. We can have a sense of “this is right” in our critical moments of decision.

A few principles I apply to my life when making decisions are:

• Pray — “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).

• Think — “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways” (Proverbs 14:8).

• Ask — “Wisdom is found in those who take advice” (Proverbs 13:10).

• Sense — “By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).

• Focus — “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:25,26).

• Align — Consider the conditions, the opinions of trusted friends, and your sense of the will of God. “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” (Acts 15:28).

The wise follower of Christ is cautious about when and how to make decisions. Your calling to Kingdom service is a calling from God. Know that He will direct you as you depend on Him.

WAYDE GOODALL is dean of the College of Ministry at Northwest University (Assemblies of God) in Kirkland, Wash.


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