Summary: An examination of the importance of and manner in which we are to wait on God in our lives.
The saying goes: “Timing is everything.” That is so true.
You see this to be obvious in the trauma operating room. The surgeon knows that to operate too quickly - before the patient’s vital signs are stabilized - will probably kill them on the table. But, he knows that to wait too long will cause the patient to die of their internal injuries.
You see that “timing is everything” in the airport’s control tower. The air controller must direct dozens of aircraft with perfect timing or else tragedy results in the air or on the tarmac.
You see that “timing is everything” in the kitchen. The cook knows that the margin between under-cooking and over-cooking can oft times be measured in mere moments.
You see that “timing is everything” is true on the basketball court. If the player shoots too quickly, the ball will fly erratically and miss. If the shooter waits too long to shoot, the defense has time to get set and block the play. Timing in shooting must be precise.
You see that “timing is everything” on the farm. If the farmer plants too soon, the young crop can be destroyed by a late Spring freeze. If he waits too long, the crop may not have the complete time necessary to bring the crop to maturity before the Fall’s first frost.
You see that “timing is everything” at the stock exchange as the investor must pay very close attention as to when he buys and when he sells the stock to ensure a profit.
The fact is, the importance of timing can be seen in just about every activity, project and purpose we engage in.
Of all the things in which timing is important, it is most so in our daily walk with the Lord and in our decision-making processes.
One of the primary reasons why believers step out of God’s purposes and out of intimate fellowship with the Lord is that they make wrong decisions because they do not know God’s methods and timing. Feeling that they know what they want to do and achieve, and feeling somehow unable to wait until they receive some clear direction, they move ahead and make decisions apart from understanding the will and purpose of God.
Or, feeling uncertain as to what to do in a given situation, rather than wait for clear direction, they act on their emotions or first impulse in order to receive relief of their frustration and anxieties. We are an "instant generation." We want to do things now, get things now, resolve things now and move ahead.
Yet, there are many, many verses in Scripture that speak about the need for and the blessings of waiting upon the Lord. This does not mean that sometimes when you step ahead of Him that God will not bless you to some degree; however, it certainly is not going to be God’s best. And, yes, it does mean that often you will make a big mistake for which you could be very sorry.
Let me give you a couple of Biblical examples of godly people who failed to wait upon the Lord and paid a heavy price:
Abraham is known to be the epitome of faith and, certainly, there were times in his life when his faith was phenomenal. Never the less, there were a couple of instances where his faith fell short. We’ll consider one of those instances.
When God brought Abram to Canaan from Ur of the Chaldeas, God promised to give the entire land to Abraham and his descendants. That promise (found in Genesis 12:7) was interesting because, at the time, Abram and Sarai were childless.
Well, time passed and Abram and Sarai still had no children. Abram’s faith wavered. In Genesis 15:2, Abram told God that it would be acceptable to make his servant Eleazar of Damascus his legal heir and Eleazar’s descendants could inherit the land on Abram’s behalf. God said, ‘No way! When I said your descendants, I meant your natural descendants… not adopted descendants.’ Abram responded happily and his faith was bolstered…. for a time.
Again, time passed (ten years since the original promise) and still no children. In Genesis 16, we find Sarai convincing Abram to have a natural child with her Egyptian maid-servant Hagar. Instead of waiting on God’s direction, Abram submitted to his wife’s suggestion and had a son by Hagar - Ishmael. The result was bitter strife in Abram’s household.
Sarai grew envious and spiteful of Hagar and Ishmael. Abram was now in a mess. He was just befuddled as to what to do.
It was another four years before God answered His original promise by miraculously allowing Sarah to give birth to Abram’s child - Isaac. She was 90 years old and Abraham 100.
Abram brought strife to his own house and the entire world because he did not wait upon God. You see, Isaac became the father of the Jews and Ishmael the father of the Palestinians. To this day, hatred and bloodshed reigns in the Mideast because Abraham tried to help God do God’s work according to Abraham’s timing and Abraham’s methods.