How do you know when it is time to pull that infamous plug?
How do you know when it is time to fully enter in to a new project?
How do you know when it is time take a rest?
How do you know when it is time to declare a resounding and enthusiastic, "Yes!" to a new opportunity?
How do you know when it is time to press the pause button on well-laid plans and hoped-for dreams?
How do you know when it is time?
So often, as leaders in the body of Christ, we anxiously search for the will of God and strongly desire to walk in His specific destiny for our individual lives. What a magnificent search that is ... to discover the will of God!
What a profoundly fulfilling and divine treasure it is to make the discovery of God's eternal purpose for a mere human life!
However, I have learned that just as important as the "what" question is the "when" challenge.
It's not only important to ask of the Father, "What should I do?" but it is vitally necessary to ask a follow-up question, "When should I do it?"
How do you know when it's time?
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven" (Eccl. 3:1).
Just because God has always worked through one venue in your life does not mean He is limited to working only on that single and well-traveled route. Although God never changes, I know Him to be a God who loves to stir up change!
It is in moments of change and transition that we must lean not unto our own understanding and we must determine to move ahead not in our own strength. I believe the reason the Father loves to change things for His children is simply because He loves His children so much.
He loves to bring His children to a crossroad where they must listen for His voice in the deepest canyons of their heart.
He loves to present situations and circumstances to His children that are unable to be conquered with human strength alone.
He loves to allow mysteries and unanswered questions to linger in the hearts and minds of His dearly loved sons and daughters simply to give them the opportunity to cry out for His wisdom and for His perspective.
"It is He who changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding" (Dan. 2:21).
How do you know when it is time? I have an answer for that question: You humbly come to the Father and ask Him what time it is.
"Father, what time is it?"
"Is it time to move? Is it time to close the door? Is it time to walk through the open door? Is it time to wait? Is it time to turn around? Is it time to walk away?"
"Father, what time is it?"
And the Father, who is generous in the giving of eternal and unquestionable wisdom, will answer your question in His time. He is not in a hurry nor is He limited by your earthly schedule.
He knows exactly what time it is! He knows how old you are ... how many years you have left to serve Him ... and how many hours you have in a given day.
Perhaps you know precisely what God has called you to do but are anxious and impatient concerning the timing of His plan.
Maybe you are weary and discern that it is time to take a break from the busyness of life and it is actually past time for you to rest a while.
Come to the Father, who is never anxious and who is never weary. Ask Him to give you His perspective on the timing of your life. Request the God of eternity to enter into the man-made calendar of your days and to bring order into the confusion of your jumbled hours.
And perhaps you should remind yourself from time to time that God is not constrained by your human calendar. What a vibrant truth it is that there are some things about time this side of heaven that you and I will not understand until the joy of eternity! There are also items on the eternal calendar of heaven that make absolutely no sense to our limited, human thinking.
The next time you ask the Father, "What time is it?" perhaps this is the answer that you will receive:
"He has made everything beautiful in its appropriate time. He has also put obscurity in their hearts, so that no one comes to know the work that God has done from the beginning to the end." (Eccl. 3:11).
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.
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