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Have you ever heard the expression God’s time is not our time? Moreover, have you heard the Lord telling you something but things did not happen when you thought?
Thinking about that, Deuteronomy 9:1 (TLV) came into my mind
Hear, O Israel! You are about to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself—cities great and fortified up to the heavens.
In the book of Deuteronomy, one can read the last words Moses spoke to the people of Israel before he died. Moses knew that he would not enter God’s promised land because of his lack of faith and disobedience (Numbers 20). Therefore, he prepares Joshua to take his place, and he prepares the Israelites for entering Canaan.
And in this verse (and the following ones) Moses is telling the people what they need to do to take over the land God gave them and what challenges they will face. The Israelites knew that giants live in the land (Numbers 13:28, 32). Nevertheless, they were supposed to dispossess nations greater and mightier than themselves and defeat all the giants. Definitely, God was leading Israel into something too big for them. It was a challenge they could only meet if they trusted in the Lord.
And not only they were supposed to battle against mightier nations. But these nations had great fortified cities! Therefore, it seems like God called them to enter into an impossible battle. There was no way Israel could do this in the flesh, or on their strength. However, God commanded them to do something beyond their ability and power. Their only option was to rely on the Lord! God wanted them to know from the beginning the reality of the war ahead of them.
Jesus never promised us that life would be comfortable and we will always be happy. Jesus is our supreme example, and we can see that life was not easy for Him neither. Therefore, we cannot expect things to be different than were for Him. Moreover, it is never easy to deny yourself, pick up our cross every day and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
However, what impressed my heart while I was meditating on this verse was the word today. Let us see two things we can learn about God’s time from Deuteronomy 9 verse 1:
1. God’s time is different than our time
The people of Israel was ready to enter the land of Canaan. All they still needed was the right time. And Moses is telling them
You are about to cross over the Jordan today
Interesting. Because even though Moses is telling the Jews that they are about to cross the Jordan river today, they did not pass it that day. They crossed the Jordan at least two months later, as one can observe reading the rest of the book and the beginning of Joshua. However, Moses is using the word today!
It seems to me that Moses prophetically used the word today. It was like he foresaw Israel crossing the river Jordan in the future, but he speaks like it will happen that day. And this is not an isolated case in the Bible, as one can see this happening in other texts from the Scriptures. Like in Isaiah 61 where Isaiah speaks of Jesus in the present tense, but the event he is describing will take place hundreds of years later as it was fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus!
Often God’s today is not the today we think it is, as we can see in this verse. And usually when we hear the Lord telling us something we have the impression that it will happen today. This happens because our flesh does not like to wait for the Lord.
We know that God is always on time and that He is never late. However, as someone said, He is not early either very often. Nevertheless, to wait for His today and timing is crucial in our walk with Him especially when we are facing trials in life.
2. God’s time can be discerned in our fellowship with Him
The beginning of the verse says
Hear, O Israel!
The word hear in Hebrew implies hearing, listening, and obedience. It is the same word used in chapter 6:4
Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone
Therefore, someone who hears from the Lord will obey what he hears. If not, it is not Biblical hearing. Moreover, we all hear from the Lord in the measure we follow Him!
However, learning to hear from the Lord will happen as we spend time in fellowship and communion with Him. It is in our inner room where we learn to listen and obey God’s voice. And it is in the same place where we will discern His timing for us.
Jesus said in John 10:27
My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me.
And the word sheep implies a level of maturity. It is not a lamb who hears His voice but a sheep. Moreover, when a sheep hears God’s voice, Jesus says that they follow Him. That means they will move or walk after Him.
God has a plan for our lives. However, the Lord works in seasons. And we need to discern the season in which we are right now and enjoy it. Surely His plans for us are great and just like the Israelites, we will not be able to take possession of our promised land in the flesh. We need His Spirit to guide us and empower us to enter His will. And for that, we need to hear His voice and then follow Him!
Sometimes, as we fellowship with Him, He will tell us to wait patiently. And He will tell us that His today and timing is different. However, we should always wait actively— in prayer, faith, expectation and sometimes even in fasting. The Lord will tell us how to wait if we ask.
In an article I wrote, I did share what I do when it is hard. I still practice the same principles, and they always work. And I know from my experience that it is not easy to wait on the Lord but it is always the best thing. Moreover, it can protect us from things we have no idea, and this will honor the Lord.
Do you agree?
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