The Passage of Time
& Other Such Nonsense
Okay, not nonsense, I’m just a bit crabby this morning. But yeah, the passage of time can suck eggs. Let me explain. There are times when I don’t mind the passage of time. Time is a commodity over which I have no direct control. I can control what I do with my time. But time itself is continuing on no matter what I do. My kids grew up as time slipped through my fingers. My Grandpa died and time continued to tick away. Mom died and time uncaringly marched forward. There are times when you just want time to stop even if it is just for a minute. Can everything stop for just a few minutes so I can catch my breath!!! That was my cry in 2005. But it didn’t stop. Time, the dirty little bugger, kept going despite my cries. I felt like time was getting away from me.
There is one time in scripture when time stood still. (Joshua 10:13) The incident is when five kings devised a plan to defeat Israel when they were taking possession of the Promised Land. God stopped time so Israel could defeat her enemies. Or at least it appeared that time stood still. I have a theory, but I won’t go into that just now. During the 400 years of laborious bondage in Egypt, it probably never crossed their minds that God would one day stop the sun and the moon for nearly an entire day just so that they could defeat their enemies. Time didn’t prevent the promise from coming to pass. In fact, time has everything to do with promises coming to pass. Sometimes promises are all about timing.
In 2005, when my fiancé died, I thought everything I was believing for went into the grave. It wasn’t true but it sure felt like it at the time. I wanted everything to stop because my heart had been broken, and I couldn’t function. My life had been gutted. Life was supposed to get better now. It didn’t. It got worse, lots worse. Somewhere in the midst of grief the Lord spoke to me concerning a particular promise He had given me. He said, “Betty, there’s a date on the calendar. You can’t do anything to change it. You can’t make My promise to you come any sooner or delay it any longer than I have ordained. I have a plan for you that will come when it’s time.” I loved that word and hated it at the same time. If this was true it meant I had no means of control over my promise coming to pass. That was when God reminded me it was HIS promise to me. I didn’t own the promise. He owned it. It was HIS word not mine. He had given His word and at the right time it would come to fruition.
Time dependent words can be quite frustrating. Here’s one that I like. Apostle Tim Sheets this year (2019) wrote: The dreams of our churches and individual lives can now be realized because the efforts of our God over time are now converging. They are converging into this season to begin to fulfill dreams that His people have had for years. It may appear that nothing has been happening, but we keep believing. God may have had to move all kinds of things in order to get the dreams accomplished. He may have had to move mountains and turn some bad things around for good.
When Joseph was in his upper thirties and he finally met his brothers again who had sold him into slavery, he said to them, “You meant it for harm but God has meant this for good.” There had been a turn around. This is true in many of our lives. He may have had to turn some bad things for good. Don’t let the passage of time rob you of God’s promise. In other words, don’t abort. Don’t let the passage of time quench your faith because dream miracles happen over time. — from: The New Era of Glory (p. 87). Destiny Image, Inc. 2019. Kindle Edition.
We like to hear God say that the long awaited things are coming together. Convergence isn’t a simple thing. Merging isn’t always simple. All we have to do is be on a crowded two-lane road going into one and we can see how easy merging isn’t. So yeah, it takes patience. It’s great when the prophets are declaring that we stand at an appointed juncture of time.
But what happens when the prophets declare it and ten years goes by and nothing happens? What happens when God speaks a word to you and thirty-five years later you are still waiting for that word to come to pass? What do we do when the people we thought who were going to be a part of things aren’t there anymore? What happens when you just can’t see the future being any different from yesterday? Do we stop believing? Do we give up? Do we get mad at God? Do we think maybe we got it wrong?
No. God is the One who watches over His word
Jeremiah 1:12 BSB “You have observed correctly,” said the LORD, “for I am watching over My word to accomplish it.”
Habakkuk 2:3 NASB “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
Isaiah 55: 10-11 NASB “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Numbers 23:19 NLT God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
When it comes to the fulfillment of promises many of us can be like two year old’s in the grocery store. God walks us down the candy aisle. He shows us all the wonderful treats He has planned for us. We see it. We want it. Promises are like candy. It’s something sweet. We want to taste it. We want to have it. We can’t imagine not having it. Why wait? And when God pushes the cart down the aisle and doesn’t stop to give us the candy we cry. We might even throw a fit. We attempt to manipulate. “I’ll be good. I promise.” We beg. “Pleeeeeease!” Once seen the promise is all we want. I don’t want the mundane. Mundane is like meatloaf. I don’t want meatloaf. I want the promise. I don’t want mashed potatoes and peas. I want the promise. I don’t want to do all this mundane, every day, yucky stuff. I WANT THE PROMISE!!!!! I’ll be
okay if I can just have the promise. We want to hold that bag of candy. I want to open the bag and touch what’s inside. I just want to smell it. And we leave the store without the candy we are often confused.
We forget that God has a plan. But immaturity doesn’t wait well. We have to learn how to wait. We have to learn that God is the one that brought the promise to us in the first place. He didn’t reveal the promise to torment us. He isn’t dangling a carrot in front of a mule, or candy in front of a child. He gave us a promise to give us hope.
Jer. 29:11 NASB ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
The above promise was given through the prophet Jeremiah after the people of God were dragged off to Babylon. The promise was to give so they would not give up hope. The promise was to say; this isn’t forever. Yes, their immediate circumstances included calamity. It didn’t look like God had their welfare in mind when the king of Babylon invaded, burned the city and took everyone captive. Jeremiah 29:11 was given in the context of current calamity. But it wasn’t give so that they would give up. It was given so that they wouldn’t give up. God was making the promise that the situation wouldn’t be calamitous forever.
Jeremiah 29: 10-14 “For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
Waiting is Our Warfare
This promise, like many, was given a time constraint; in Judah’s case, seventy years. In 2005 I was hurled into calamity. What I thought would never happen, happened. It was after the calamitous circumstances occurred that the Lord walked me down the candy aisle and gave me a word of promise. The promise had to do with my future. I couldn’t think about the future. My future just died. I have questioned just how that promise would come to pass. There have been times I even wondered if I heard God correctly.
One thing I cannot change is time. Time has gone by. What is interesting is that in 2004 a young girl who was new to prophetic ministry gave me a word. It was short and simple. She said, “God says, ‘waiting is your warfare.'” At the time I thought the word about waiting had to do with my fiancé and the life we had planned together. It didn’t. I hadn’t entered my calamity yet. That young woman was like Jeremiah to me. She was young but she knew the word she had for me was from the Lord.
Waiting isn’t easy. The enemy wants us to abort. He wants us to give up. It is important to know that waiting is God’s strategy for us to see the promise come to fulfillment. If I know that waiting is how I will win the war against the evil one, then I will wait. If the strategy the Lord gave me was to dance and sing I’d be dancing and singing. But that wasn’t what God told me to do. He said, WAIT. So I wait. Waiting, rather than being a mindless activity becomes my means of obtaining the promise.
Today, fifteen years later, I can attest that if I’ve done one thing it has been to wait. The word that child gave me has been an anchor for me. When I grow weary of waiting that word comes to mind. When I just can’t wait any longer that word reassures me that God knows how long I have to wait. I’ve learned a lot during this season of waiting. I’m no longer begging for the promise. I’m not seeking the candy on the shelf. God will bring about the promise because He made the promise. He owns the promise. The promise is His to keep. I believe what He said to me.
Rather than getting impatient, jumping up and down, yelling and screaming at God for not giving me His promise, I wait. Waiting has become my power strategy. Now when the enemy tries to convince me the promise will never come, I grab a cup of coffee and stream a movie. I deliberately do something relaxing and mundane. When I feel pushed to seize the time out of God’s hands and grab the candy off the shelf, I grab a book instead. I put my feet up and do the mundane. I do it with a smile knowing that in this mundane, meatloaf of a moment I am winning the battle.
Shifting through the Mundane and into Fulfillment
The circumstances are coming together. Time is passing. I like what Dutch Sheets teaches about time. He wrote:
When God shifts us from a general chronos time to an opportune kairos time, it doesn’t mean that the process and the fight of faith are finished. It means we have shifted into a very strategic season where the opportunity is great, but we’re not yet to full fruitfulness. There is still a persevering that needs to happen. The Bible speaks not only of chronos and kairos, but also of a pleroo, or fullness of time. Galatians 4:4 reads, “But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” This word “fullness” indicates fully completing or finishing something. Whereas kairos indicates opportunity to perform a task or produce fruit, pleroo means it has been accomplished. — from: God’s Timing for Your Life. Baker Publishing Group. 2001 Kindle Edition.
Over the years I’ve noticed that it’s the final stages of waiting that can be the most challenging. It’s after you’ve given your two weeks notice that remaining on the job is the most difficult. You want to be in the new place already. It is just as important to end a season well as it is to begin a new one. It’s like shopping for school clothes in July. You have them. You want to wear them but mom says, no. The new is within reach. It’s hanging right there. We can smell it. We can almost touch it.
The Decade of Peh is a Kairos Season
Many in the body of Christ have been in the mundane meatloaf process of chronos. We have been in the unremarkable mashed potatoes routine passage of time. However, we have recently crossed the threshold into the Hebraic decade of peh. I have noticed something. I believe we have crossed from chronos into kairos. Kairos refers to the strategic time, the opportune or appointed time. I believe this peh decade is a kairos season. Throughout the kairos season we will also see things come to fulfillment; to pleroo. We have been in the chronological passage of time. We always will be. Yet spiritually we have reached an appointed time. The decade of peh is a strategic (kairos) time. We have reached a season in which many will see long awaited promises actually being accomplished.
The Sweetness of the Promise is Coming
Ps 27:14 NASB Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.
Psalm 31.24 NASB Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.