The topic of our message this week is entitled, “The appointed time.” Job 14: 14 ; “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.”
A bus-stop is usually an interesting place and full of activities. You find some people who come there sluggishly; they are not really in a hurry. Such people pick and choose the vehicle to board. Whereas you find some people struggling to catch any vehicle going their direction because they are already late. Sometimes in their rush, they enter the wrong bus. Some would prefer to take taxis in order to meet their appointments. It all has to do with timing.
It is a bad thing when you miss the appointed time. Jesus said to the city of Jerusalem, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23: 37 – 39).
Jesus told Jerusalem that her house would be left desolate because she did not know her time of visitation. The Messiah was promised and they refused to recognise Him. They decided that the best thing for the Messiah was to kill Him. This is the reason Jerusalem is still in trouble now. When the Jews came to Jesus and said, “Look at this beautiful temple. Isn’t it wonderful?” Jesus said, “A time is coming when none of these stones shall stand on one another. They shall all be thrown down.” They did not believe Him because the temple was solidly built and had gold and different kinds of ornament in it. Eventually, the word of Jesus came to pass. The temple with everything in it was destroyed, and now there is a mosque there. It is a bad thing when you miss the appointed time.
Time is an important part of our lives. All the popular questions that we ask ourselves about time, for example, How old are you? What is your experience? How long is this or that, etc, are not of interest to God. Rather the question He is interested in is, “What have you done?” To God, every purpose of His has a time. Isaiah 55: 8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Verse 11 says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Sometimes when you are pestering God concerning a particular thing and He does not grant it immediately, it is because His ways are higher than your ways and He knows the best time to grant your request. At times when it seemed as if God was not moving, it was not that He was not concerned. It could be that the time was not yet right. When the mother of Jesus told the people at the marriage at Cana of Galilee to approach Him for wine, He said to her, “Woman, my hour has not come,” and when His hour came, He said, “Father, this is the hour. Glorify Yourself.”
Beloved, one fact you must know is that if God is for you it does not matter who is against you. Anyone that is against you shall eat his flesh and drink his own blood. But if God is against you, no matter who your supporters are, they would be destroyed by fire. God has a purpose for making this message available to you. I believe that you are not reading it by chance but by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
It is a fruitless effort to bring your bucket out when the rain has stopped falling. Psalm 119: 126 says, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” I counsel you to confess this scripture seven times and to pray it aggressively because it is time for God to bless you. If it were not time for God to work in your life, you would not come across this message. Now is the appointed time. Please pray the following prayer points:
1. Oh Lord, it is time for You to do a miracle in my life, in the name of Jesus.
2. All powers trying to keep my life stagnant, be roasted, in Jesus’ name.
The God we serve is very particular about time. One of the worst demons that satan assigns to people is the one that slows them down so that they never do anything on time. This demon is called the spirit of the tail. It is a powerful demon that we must watch out for. God will never come late into any situation. What we are saying is that miracles may not come at your own time but God will not come late. Many times in our lives, we try to time God forgetting that He has His own timing. People may be mocking you now that you are running about and carrying Bible but one thing is sure: the answer to your prayers will not come late. Good change will not come late. Your favourable situations will not come late.
When we fulfill our own part, God will certainly visit us. For example, we start our programmes on Sundays at 7.00 a.m., Mondays at 5.30 p.m. and on Wednesdays at 5.00 p.m. All these periods are already written down in God’s book. So, immediately we get close to these periods, there are special angels who are around to record the names of the early risers, that is, those who come on time, and once the service starts they take off. So, God is particular about time. If God says we should meet at 7 a.m. and you get there at 7.30 a.m. you better apologise because with God,7 is 7. Some people come when the angels have gone. You, as a child of God, must do all things on time. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to break down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Everything in the plan of God has been timed. Your miracle has its own appointed time. When Joseph was in the prison, he interpreted the dreams of the chief butler and the chief baker. According to his interpretation, the butler’s dream meant that he would be restored to his job while the one of the baker meant that he would be killed.The butler was happy and promised to tell the king about Joseph when he is restored. But the Bible says that when the chief butler got to the king’s palace, he forgot all about Joseph. Why did he forget? God caused him to forget because that time was not God’s appointed time for Joseph. Two years after the man had forgotten him, God Himself brought him out. God has a time-table for your life. John the Baptist was to be six months older than Jesus Christ. It was God’s time. We are discussing this today because the Lord said your time has come. The children of Israel were in bondage for 430 years but when it was God’s time to bring them out, it took Him only one night. The birth and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ were all according to God’s time-table.
Failure to move when God is moving is very disastrous. Failure to pray hard when prayer points are called and others are praying hard could be disastrous. On their way to the Promised Land, the children of Israel decided to move outside of God’s timing, they ended with defeat. If God moves and leaves you behind, you need to cry for mercy. It is high time to come to the camp of holiness, purity, power, prosperity and healing. If God asks you to witness to a person and you refuse to and the person dies, you will be in trouble because you have missed His time. It is very dangerous to take a short cut when you are dealing with God. Please, pray this prayer point: “I reject every sin of taking a short cut, in the name of Jesus.”
What is the meaning of taking a short cut?
Before they had Isaac, Abraham and Sarah decided to take a short cut. The short cut brought about somebody called Ishmael. It was the wife of Abraham that pushed Abraham into it. We know what Ishmael has done to the whole world now. Two generations later, the family of Abraham had another person who was like Ishmael. His name was Dan. When Rachael pushed Jacob to Leah, Leah gave birth to Dan. In the book of Revelation when God began to list the 12 children of Israel, He removed this Dan and replaced him with Joseph’s son called Manasseh. That is what happens when a short cut is taken. God has His own programme for every life; that is why you must not use other people’s lives as a yardstick to measure yours. God’s programme for us may look alike but they are different. Your personal programme for your life may lead you to failure and destruction if it is not in line with God’s programme for you.
God’s programme and time may look unattractive but they are the best. Many of us need to correct our ideas about God. The God who rained manna from heaven for the children of Israel was the same God who rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah. The God who called Moses was the same God who prevented him from entering the Promised Land. The Lord God that made Saul a king was the same God that dethroned him. The Lord God that healed Namaan was the same God that transferred his leprosy to Gehazi. The God that blessed David and made him to become king in Israel was the same God who put curses on him. The God that gave Samson power was the same God who allowed his eyes to be removed and to be punished. The God that made Zechariah to serve in the temple was the same God who allowed him to be rendered dumb. With God there is no middle camp. God is a God of joy, love, peace, miracles and power but you must also remember that He is a God of righteousness and judgment.
Many years ago, I taught Biology in an Adult Education school. I had about 120 students in my class. The first thing I taught them was living and non-living things. I told them about the amoeba. After I made some explanations, I asked them if they understood the lesson and they said, “No.” I repeated the lesson two more times and asked if they now understood it. One man stood up and said, “Where is the wife of amoeba?” I felt frustrated but explained to him that it was not necessary for amoeba to marry. What was the problem with them? Timing. They were doing the right thing at the wrong time. You could do the right thing at the wrong time or the wrong thing at the right time. They are both the same thing – wrong timing. When you change your position, God too changes your situation. It is that change that is so difficult for most of us.
After service sometime ago, a man came to me for counseling and said, “What a wonderful fellowship. I know that the church I attend now is bad but when I get there, everybody stands at attention and greets me. So, I may find it difficult to continue to come here because in this place, nobody can hail me. Nobody recognizes anybody. I cannot bear it. I prefer a place where I am known and recognised.” When I discussed further with him, I discovered that he did not know anything about the Holy Spirit and did not believe in the teachings of Apostle Paul. I could see that he was bent on his opinions. He was refusing to change his position so God could not change his situation. What will kill most people is their various church posts. The devil has used these to stagnate many lives. I have a friend who before he became a pastor was a priest somewhere. As a priest, during communion, he used to lust after the girls who came for the communion service and each time he sat at the altar, something would be saying to him: “Can’t you see that you are not saved? You would perish if care is not taken.” He struggled with this for sometime until one day, he decided to give his life to the Lord and became a floor member of a Pentecostal church. Not longer after he gave his life to Christ, God began to promote him. If he was bent on remaining a priest in his former church, wearing cassocks and carrying a big bag about, God would not have changed his situation. If you cry for a change, God too will cry for repentance. Once He cries for repentance and you repent, the change comes. From time immemorial prophets of God had always cried that people should repent and make a turn around. The Bible says, “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I too will perform” (2 Chronicles 7: 14). God says He would perform once we do our own part. You are the pointer towards what God wants to do in your life. You may be wondering why the heavens seem so closed to you now and nothing is coming through. All that God is saying is, “Change.” He is an orderly God. He will not put the cart before the horse. If you need to obtain certain things or meet a certain standard before He gives something to you, He will not give it to you until you change. For some people, God is only waiting for them to remove anger from their lives, then the power they are calling for so much will come upon them. God will not give you power when He knows that you will misuse it.
A lot of people are praying that God should bless them with money when they are still very covetous. The blessing will not come until that covetousness goes. Some people are busy revealing their secrets to their enemies and God wants to teach them how to shut their mouths before He gives them their miracles so that they will not spoil their miracles with their own mouths. God is ready when we are ready. Unfortunately, today, there are people who want to run faster than God. Some even try to know better than God. Many people lack patience and are in a hurry. Isaiah 28: 16: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste.” That is, you will not be in a hurry. The Bible says, “Of all my appointed time, I will wait till my changes come.”
Patience is one of the greatest virtues that God gave to man. Impatience has destroyed so many things, lives, homes, families and nations. Some people keep crying day and night that they must get married and God is saying to them: “Be patient. Your partner is on the way.” Some will say, “If God does not move fast enough, I will go back to my former boyfriend because no Christian has proposed marriage to me.” Others are saying, “I must get rich now.” And God is saying, “Prosperity is on the way, be patient.” A certain woman kept crying that she wanted to get rich. She gathered some money and planned to travel to England. Her poor husband escorted her to the airport and after they said farewell, he waited at the airport to have a drink before he went home. Suddenly, he heard his name over the microphone that his attention was needed at the information desk if he was still around. Immediately he got there, policemen held his hand and led him inside and behold, he saw that his wife had been arrested. What happened? She tried to smuggle out cocaine. When her husband found out what happened, he fainted. Impatience had caused a lot of problems for many people. Many people have gone back to square one because of impatience. These things are so important that the Bible says so much about them. Three important principles must be clear to us before we start praying.
1. There is time for everything. Doing things at the wrong time would lead to disaster.
2. God Himself has appointed a time for your miracle. Has God assured you through prophecies, dreams and visions about a thing? Then wait for the appointed time. Don’t go and try the enemy’s camp.
3. Patience is a great virtue.
If you study the history of Science, you would find out that the inventors of most of the things we are enjoying now were first of all ridiculed. People laughed at them but they remained patient and continued with their works. When the first men that made motor cars were working on their cars, people abused them in the streets and told them to go and buy horses instead of wasting their time on the dirty thing they call motor cars. It was the same with those who invented the telephone and the Aeroplane. Those were men of the world who did not know the Bible. You need to see what the Bible says about patience. Lack of patience robbed Saul of his kingdom. If he had waited a little bit for Samuel to arrive there would have been no problem. A few minutes of impatience caused Moses the Promised Land. We need to pray that divine patience should come upon us so that we can wait for God’s timing and not wanting Him to work with our own time. We need patience for the word of God to bear fruit in our lives. We need patience too to possess our possessions. The school of patience brings you hope. By faith and patience, promises are inherited.
In His word, our Lord promised us healing. But this healing would not come instantly on everybody. Some will recover instantly while others will recover gradually. But when you are not patient, you may miss it. You need patience to run the Christian race. The Bible says that we should run with patience the race ahead of us. Patience too, is a sign of Christian maturity. An impatient believer is a baby Christian. Patience receives answers to prayers. This is one of the secrets behind the success of the Psalmist. We must cultivate it.
MANY PEOPLE ARE IMPATIENT FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
1. Lack of brotherly love.
2. Spirit of competition.
The Bible does not want us to be impatient because when God decides that it is your time, every thing will cooperate with you. People who are against you will start working for you. Even those who do not like you will become your friends.
Please, be aggressive in your prayers. God bless you as you do so, in Jesus’ name.
1. Oh Lord, don’t ever leave me behind. Let me be going with You all the time, in the name of Jesus.
2. Oh Lord, let me be in the right place at the right time, in the name of Jesus.
3. Oh Lord, restore to me everything I have lost through impatience, in the name of Jesus.
4. It is time for You, O Lord, to turn my life to miracles, in the name of Jesus.
5. I refuse to waste my life. I refuse to waste my time, in the name of Jesus.
6. Oh Lord, Your purpose for bringing this message to me will not be defeated in my life, in Jesus’ name.
7. I refuse to labour in vain, in the name of Jesus.
8. Let household wickedness be put to flight, in the name of Jesus.
9. Let all anti-glory forces loose their hold upon my life, in the name of Jesus.
10. I release myself from the bondage of leaking pockets, in the name of Jesus.
11. Father Lord, give me supernatural breakthroughs in all my endeavours, in the name of Jesus.
12. I bind and put to flight all the spirits of fear,anxiety and discouragement, in Jesus’ name.
13. Lord, show me dreams and visions that would advance my cause, in the name of Jesus.
14. O Lord, let your divine patience come upon my life, in Jesus’ name.