Monday Morning Devotion-August 24, 2020
The Right Time
From days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides you, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4
When God? When are you going to answer my prayer? Ever feel like saying that? If
we are honest all of us have felt like that even if we haven't actually verbalized it. In fact, now as the vicious coronavirus continues to plague every corner of the world that could well be a prayer that is being lifted up.
You know what? That is just the way the evil one wants to make you feel. Think about it. Have you ever heard from God? I'm talking about an audible voice coming down to you from somewhere else and known for sure it was God's voice you were hearing. I haven't. If you have you are very fortunate. I have never heard God's voice and don't know what it would sound like if I did hear it.
However, I imagine I would recognize it if He did decide to speak directly to me in a voice that I could hear. I'm sure it would be unlike anything I had ever heard before. I would expect it to be loud like thunder. Strong. Clear. Unmistakable.
And then I could be wrong. There is this thing about the "small voice." There is also the fact that God's language, as I have learned in Centering Prayer can be silence. He invites us to "be still and know that He is God."
Now I am not saying that I have never heard from God. Thankfully, I have on many occasions. And even though it wasn't an audible voice that I heard it was a clear message from Him. It changed my thinking during those times, and I knew that I couldn't take personal credit for it. It was the One who was much smarter, more in touch with the circumstances, and who was concerned about my welfare who was communicating with me. In fact, I felt a sense of peace and was comforted in the knowledge that when it was the right time all would be well.
A few years ago, in a small group we studied Adam Hamilton's "Making Sense of the Bible." In Chapter 16 "How Does God Speak to and Through Us?" Hamilton admits that he has never heard God's voice audibly, but he shares how he has heard from Him many times:
"°when I feel God speaking to me it comes as a flash of insight, or a gentle but persistent nudge, or occasionally as a conversation in my head. These experiences most often come when I'm praying, or when I'm reading scripture, or when I'm listening to a sermon or a song. They sometimes happen when I'm taking a walk, or when I'm sitting with friends talking about matters of faith. Sometimes it's while reading books that have nothing to do with my faith. I once felt God speak to me as I was watching a Broadway play! I often carry a little moleskin journal with me to make note of these moments of inspiration."
So how does Hamilton know that this inspiration is coming from God? I broached this subject in a devotion on May 26, 2014. Here's what I learned from Hamilton. He knows it's from God in the same way that we can ascertain if a message is God-sent or not. By testing it.
Hamilton wrote that: "He tries to determine if it measures up with scripture. Is it in any way scriptural? Does it line up with the character of God revealed in Jesus? Is it consistent with the ideas of scripture taken as a whole? Are there scripture verses that align with this?"
So, we have the Word to help us. And if you think about it there are probably times, maybe even many times, in your life where you faced uncertainty. You just didn't know what to do. Maybe there was even a feeling of helplessness where making the right decision and figuring out what to do was concerned. Then it all worked out. That's because it was the right time--- in God's time.
Dr. Charles Stanley says: "Satan tries to get you to doubt God when things you long for are not unfolding as quickly as you wish. Just remember Who owns the clock. God does! He knows a great deal more about the right schedule than you ever will. He's having you wait. Sometimes this is so He can fully orchestrate His promises to you."
A Bible study I discovered on-line said this' "God speaks to us through the prompting of our minds and hearts." I believe that is true. But we need to try to make sure we are tuned in to the right station or channel. Is the message more than just what we want to hear? Is it what we need to hear and is it coming from God?
We are human. We covet things. Sometimes the enemy uses this against us. If we are folks who read the Bible and pray this can sometimes be used to confuse us. We want something and we feel like we are being led to have it. Maybe we want it so bad we can misinterpret a scripture or misconstrue the message that is there.
Sooo°does it pass the test? We ask this and we try to ascertain if it measures up to what we know about the character of God. Would it be something that would go against the teachings of the Bible? What are the positives and the negatives? And what is that still small voice telling us that will strip away and expose static and tell us not what we want to hear, but what He wants us to hear.
Our faith tells us that when it is the right time that's when God will act and it will not be a spur of the moment, rush-to-a-solution-outcome because it will be heaven-sent.
Prayer: Lord we pray in faith and listen for your answers. Help us recognize when it is the right time and the right way to act. Amen!