Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Step With God's Timing

Someone once asked me if God had a wrist watch and I replied "no" because He created time for man's benefit. While that is true it is also true that God does things with timing in mind. We see this in statements like "the time is fulfilled, the fullness of time, the times of the Gentiles and the day of salvation" to mention a few.

The phrase "being in the right place at the right time" is a familiar one. This is usually employed when something good happens to a person. If you are a Christian life is not about the roll of the dice or good luck. It's about always being ready to respond when God exercises His timing in your life. One of the most exciting things about being a Christian is seeing God open a new door of opportunity that you could not possible have imagined the day before. To walk through that door requires faith and obedience.

In the case of Israel, God had met all their needs and taken care of them as they fled Egypt. God proved that He was faithful and worthy of their trust. When He led them to Kadesh Barnea, it was with the intent that Israel should cross over the Jordan and claim the Land that had been promised to them. Instead of acting they procrastinated and allowed the disingenuous report of 10 men to cloud their vision. On that faithful day Israel had two choices, believe the report of the ten or the report of the Joshua and Caleb. The scene is described by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy in chapter 1:29-32: "Then I said to you, do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place. Yet for all that, you did not believe the Lord your God."

What a strange thing for men to see the reality of God's good hand on them, their families and their country and have the same reaction that Israel did all those centuries ago. Man's nature hasn't changed through the years. Now when America finds herself in a crisis unrivaled since yer founding there is a great movement toward patriotism but little movement toward God. Those who over 200 years ago risked all to birth this nation understood that if God were ever to be cut out of the picture America's greatness would come to a standstill. Some have said America's greatness is her people and without question there is a sense in which that is true. To coin a warn out political catch phrase, the "fact of the matter" is that America's greatness is due to the good and faithful hand of God. Patriotism without God really becomes pointless.

Even though much of the final words of Moses was to remind the people about the precise timing of God's leading in their lives, they still eventually tried to live as if they could get along without Him. May the "sleeping giant" called America return to God so that we don't have to follow the same path of those who refused to cross the river into the promised land.

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