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God’s Timing
Discerning the Seasons

by Tom Brown

The person deeply in tuned to the Lord knows God’s timing. He understands that often the secret to success is in doing the right thing at the right time. Timing can be everything.

An inventor may come out with a product that grabs the market, while another equally talented inventor can produce a product that is better than the other one, yet fail. Why? All because of timing.

A business can open prematurely and result in bankruptcy, while another business can flourish all because of timing.

An author can write a book that makes the bestseller list, while another book which is better written can collect dust on the shelves because it came out too early or too late. Timing can make or break a good idea.

As wise Solomon wrote, "He has made everything beautiful in its time" (Ecc 3:11).

The thing that made David’s kingdom the greatest dynasty in Israel’s history was because David’s military leaders "understood the times and knew what Israel should do" (1 Chron 12:32).

King Xerxes understood this principle. Although he was deficient in moral character he knew to surround himself "with the wise men who understood the times" (Esther 1:13). This kept him in power for life.

Procrastination

For some people never is the right time. They never seem to do anything because they procrastinate. They never are ready to get married, or go to school, or take a job, or even go to church. They are do-nothings. Their problem is procrastination.

And why do some people procrastinate? People procrastinate because they don’t realize that they don’t have forever to accomplish what they need to accomplish.

Remember this: you don’t have forever to accomplish what you need to accomplish in this life. Moses, who was once a great procrastinator, wrote, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Ps 90:12). Once Moses knew that his time on earth was limited he finally got under way to accomplish his purpose, even if at the age of 80.

Are you a procrastinator? Learn to number your days, and realize that your life will "quickly pass" (Ps 90:10). This should get you moving.

Any Time is Not Always Right

On the other side of the spectrum are those who think that anytime is the right time. Jesus said of His unspiritual brothers, "For you any time is right" (John 7:6). Jesus was very aware of God’s right time. He said to his brothers, "The right time for me has not yet come." And to his mother, He said, "My time has not yet come."

God is aware of the importance of acting in the right time. The Bible says, "when the time had fully come, God sent his Son" (Gal 4:4). God did not send Jesus too early or too late. Just at the right time.

Maybe at this point you have realized that you missed God’s time. Perhaps your marriage ended because you married too early. Or you’re poor because you started school too late. Or perhaps you simply feel frustrated because your whole life is out of sync.

Good News! The Bible says that you can "redeem the time" (Ep 5:16 KJV). Redeem means to repurchase. God will let you buy back some time. As God said through the prophet Joel, "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten" (Joel 2:25).

So if you have blown your opportunities and missed your time of success, you can repent and buy back some time from God. God will put you back in the race and rewind the clock and let you start over again.

God’s Time is not Mysterious

Many sincere believers are afraid to act, fearing that they may act in God’s wrong time. They assume that it is impossible to know God’s timing. To them, God’s ways are mysterious—beyond finding out. This is not true.

God has made it easy for us to understand His timing. He made it simple to discover His time by giving us the seasons of life.

You must understand that everything has seasons.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: (Ecc 3:1)

You see, to know the time for everything you need to understand that every activity has a season. Seasons are God’s clue to timing.

God’s Timing in your life can be discerned by determining what season you’re in, and when you find out the season you’re in, you can act accordingly.

For example, if it’s winter and cold outside, then it is time for you to wear a coat. You don’t have to pray real hard to figure out if you should wear a coat. Simply look outdoors and you’ll know what to do.

The same is true of life. In order to know what to do, simply find out what season it is in your life, and then act appropriately.

The key to success is acting relevantly to your circumstances. Simply waiting around for your ship to come in will never bring you success. Don’t wait for success? Success is who you are and what you do every day of your life.

Seasons of Life

The problem with many people is that they don’t know what to do.

Listen, it is easy to know what to do. Just as there are four seasons of nature, there are four seasons of life. Each season corresponds to a particular action that you need to take. For example, there is a time to plant and a time to reap. How do you know if it’s time to reap? You know it’s time when the harvest is ripe. The same is true of your life.

The four seasons of life are: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Each of these seasons demands a particular action on your part.

During the Winter you need to dream and plan. In Spring you need to plant. For Summer you must water and cultivate. And during Fall you finally reap and distribute.

Many Compartments

So to find out God’s time you simply need to ask yourself, "What season am I in?" Now understand that your life has many kinds of fruit. Right now you are cultivating your spiritual life, ministry, relationships, career, education, money, and health all simultaneously. Each of these compartments may be in a different season.

For example, your spiritual life may be in the Fall season while your health may be in the Winter season. This means that you are experiencing spiritual refreshing while you’re unhealthy in body. What do you do then? Spiritually you reap the wonderful Spirit-filled life and share it with others, while physically you must dream and plan about becoming healthy.

Life in not simply reaping. I know everyone wants to reap, but there can be no reaping unless there is planting. And no one would plant if there was no Spring time.

Do you realize how important it is for us to have four seasons? Every great civilization that is known for its human advancement and achievements have enjoyed four distinct seasons because of its climate and their relationship to the equator. The great civilizations of Europe, Asia, and North America have enjoyed four seasons.

What do the seasons have to do with their success? In Europe and Asia people were forced into their homes or shelter during the cold winter season. But there they had the opportunity to dream, plan, and envision the new year.

Yet in Central Africa, Australia, and Northern South America the climate is almost always hot and summer-like. As a result, these peoples never had the opportunity to be locked up in their homes to do nothing but dream. They were always outside enjoying the sunshine but never had the opportunity to accomplish anything great, because they never were forced to dream.

Time to Dream

You may be in a time in your life when everything seems dead and lifeless—like Winter. But, you see, this is a time for you to dream. And dream big. This is not wasted time.

Oh, yes, it seems nicer to live in a warm climate where there are no seasons to life, but in a paradise like that there is no opportunity to dream and plan. In this life God meant for us to experience all four seasons. Yes, the Winter seems to be the most dreary, but, oh, how it is needed.

I feel like there are people reading this article who are very discouraged over life.

One of those persons may be you. Life seems cold and dark. You seem to be locked up in your own private closet with nothing to do. But friend, there is much to do. Dream.

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