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Understanding The Time and Season You're In

Understanding The Time and Season You're In

Understanding The Time and Season You're In!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8(NKJV) - To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what 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; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, 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.

My wife and I frequent a Caribbean restaurant near our home in Metro-Atlanta where they sell some of the best Jamaican food. Sometimes, after an early morning workout, we would buy ackee and saltfish for breakfast. Ackee is a West African fruit that became the national fruit of Jamaica and it's delicious. However, there's an interesting fact about ackee that's relevant to today's blog. Ackee can only be eaten at the right time. Until it's fully ripe, it's poisonous and can put you in a coma or even kill you. It doesn't matter how hungry you are, how much of a rush you are in or how desperate you are, you cannot enjoy ackee until it's ripe.

Today, The Lord wants to teach us a valuable Kingdom principle. Many important things in life are time-dependent. They cannot be rushed. They cannot be manipulated. They cannot be forced. They only happen when they're supposed to happen. It doesn't matter what you do, certain things won't happen until the time is right. Even if you find a way to force them to happen early, they won't happen right.

For instance, the full-term of a human baby in the womb is targeted for nine months. If a mother wants to have a natural child-birth under normal circumstances, she has to wait until that time for the baby to be delivered. If she simply gets tired of being pregnant after two months she can't decide to give birth on her own schedule because premature child-birth comes with serious health risks. She has to understand where she is in the pregnancy and act accordingly for the sake of her child's life. In the same way, when the time comes for certain things to happen, there can be no delay, they must happen. At the end of nine months, ready or not, when a baby is ready to leave the womb, the mother typically has only one logical choice; push.

1 Chronicles 12:32(AMP) - Of the tribe of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, two hundred chiefs; and all their relatives were at their command;

Do you understand the times like the tribe of Issachar? Do you know what season you are in? What has God called you to do in this season? Are you doing it? Your answers to those questions could explain your success or failure in life. Do you know that if you do the wrong thing at the right time or the right thing at the wrong time you will fail? Yes, it's crucial to know what your purpose is but it's even more crucial to know when is the right time for your purpose. If you don't get both right, you won't succeed. Yet, understanding times and seasons in God's Kingdom is not that straightforward.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, King Solomon taught one of the most simple, yet profound life lessons in The Holy Bible. There is a season for everything and a time for every purpose "under heaven". Pay close attention to the last two words because that's where God wants to reveal some gems of wisdom today. What did he mean by "under heaven"? Don't the same rules that govern time on earth apply in heaven? Nope! Time is a natural construct created by God for natural things. The heavenly realm operates under its own set of rules which govern eternity and they supersede our concept of time.

Psalm 31:15(NKJV) - My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me.

God holds my times in His hand; not my time (singular), but my times (plural). Over the weekend, I attended the ministry school graduation of my wife, Angel, where she received her Masters in Ministry. In the opening remarks, one of the school's founders, Tim Scott, talked about four dimensions of time;

1) Chronos (Greek) - Linear, sequential, chronological time; the time that's captured by clocks and calendars.

Genesis 1:1(NKJV) - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Daniel 8:19(NKJV) - And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.

Chronos time has a precise beginning and a precise end. As long as we are on the earth governed by the systems of the earth, we must submit to the laws of chronos time. Certain things must happen before other things can happen. Time is what it is. I can't speed up time and make a minute happen any faster than 60 seconds. I can't slow time down and make a minute last longer than 60 seconds. I can't gain time nor can I lose time. I can't control time. I can only control what I do with it. One of my favorite college professors said that time is our only non-renewable resource. Once it's gone, it's gone and we can never get it back. Nothing can be done to compensate for lost time. We can only learn from our mistakes and do better with the time we have left. Yet, that's just one dimension of time. There's so much more.

2) Set Time - A time that's appointed, like the time set on your alarm clock; the moment ordained by God for something to happen; it's non-negotiable and cannot change.

Psalm 102:13(NKJV) - You will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come.

Psalm 105:17-22(NKJV) - He sent a man before them—Joseph—who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free. He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his possessions, To bind his princes at his pleasure, And teach his elders wisdom.

There was a set time for Joseph's dreams to come to pass. Until then, he went through some trying times. In fact, The Bible says that The Word itself tried and tested him. What does that mean? When God gives you a prophetic Word about your future, that Word will challenge you all the way until it happens. It will challenge you to keep going. It will challenge you to stay focused. It will test your faith. It will try your patience. It will keep you on your toes knees. So what do you do while you wait for your Word to come to pass at its set time?

Galatians 6:9(NKJV) - And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Keep doing good. Keep praying. Keep serving. Keep obeying God. Keep worshiping. Keep walking in God's Will. Don't give up. Don't lose heart. Don't get tired. Don't be weary. Stick it out until your due season comes because those who sow and care for their crops while they develop will reap when harvest time comes around. You can't force your set time to come ahead of God's schedule so all you can do is be faithful to God long enough to see it happen during your lifetime. As the psalmist said in Psalm 27:13(NKJV); "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living."

John 7:1-9(NLT) - After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime. The world can’t hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil. You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come.” After saying these things, Jesus remained in Galilee.

Jesus knew His "set" time and refused to let His brothers talk Him into getting ahead of His Father's schedule. The time had not come for Him to reveal Himself to the masses so instead of going to the festival He stayed home. That's the perfect example of how we should apply our understanding of our "set" time. If you know that your time has not come for something, don't get ahead of God. How can you be so sure? First, listen to God's Voice. If He doesn't tell you it's time to move, it's not time to move. Second, look for God's open door. He won't ask you to do something without first opening the door for you to do it. When He opens the door and tells you to walk through it, it's your "set" time. Until then, wait.

3) Fullness of Time - The time when something is complete, like the time when a baby is ready to be born; it marks the successful end of a process and varies depending on the exact duration of the process.

Galatians 4:3-5(NKJV) - Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden God set in motion a plan of redemption that spanned thousands of years. It started with the first animal sacrifice by God Himself. He killed an innocent animal and used its skin to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness. He called for sacrifices from Cain and Abel. He broke the curse on the earth because of Noah then washed it clean with a flood. He brought Isaac, the son of Promise through the seed of Abraham, the Hebrew nation through Jacob, salvation from famine through Joseph, freedom for slavery and the advent of the law through Moses. This plan unfolded until it ended in the fullness of time with Jesus Christ, the innocent lamb of God, dying on The Cross for all sin. Jesus didn't just die because the time had come, He died because the process was complete. That's why on The Cross He could say with confidence, "It is finished!"

Hebrews 10:35-36(KJV) - Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

You only receive the promise after you have done the Will of God. However, there's no guarantee that you'll receive it immediately after. That's why you have need of patience. The fullness of time depends on what you do but it doesn't only depend on what you do. There are many other corroborating factors that must be in place. We can only see things from our narrow perspectives so we may believe the time is right for something because we're ready for it to happen. The Most High God, on the other hand sees it all and has to ensure that all things are working together for our good and the good of everyone else involved. When all things are in place in the fullness of time, the promise will come to pass.

Isaiah 50:4(NKJV) - “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.

Before I get to the final dimension of time, The Lord woke me up to write this blog at our 3:00 AM set time (his favorite time to speak with me) and revealed another dimension of time that I will address now.

4) Cyclical/ Seasonal Time - The moment when certain things take place after regular intervals of time; the sun sets and rises in one day; spring, summer, fall and winter repeat in one year.

Genesis 8:22(NKJV) - “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

Spring comes after winter. If you're tired of winter, you can't force spring to come any faster, you have to wait for it. That's just the way it is and there's nothing we can do about it as long as we're "under heaven". We are also subject to cyclical time. When the sun rises, it's morning time and when the sun sets, it's evening time. The sun won't set in the morning or rise in the evening. That's how time works and we're bound to it. Certain things don't happen unless the season is right for it to happen.

Psalm 1:1-3(NKJV) - Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

You can only bring forth fruit in the season designated for that fruit. A revelation of that will change your life for the better. It will help you to curb your expectations to match the season of your life. It will save you from disappointment and frustration. It will cause you to focus your energy in the right direction. There's a season to sow and a season to reap. If you sow during your planting season you can be confident that you will reap in your harvest season. There's a season to work and a season to rest. If you work during your resting season you won't make it through your working season. There's a season to start certain things and a season to end them. There's a season to go to certain places and a season to leave them forever. Since there's a season for everything, you're always in the season for something. What season are you in right now?

5) Kairos (Greek) - Right, critical, opportune time; the time when God breaks into the natural realm with His supernatural power and authority demonstrating His Sovereignty.

Joshua 10:12-14(AMP) - Then Joshua spoke to the Lord on the day when the Lord handed over the Amorites to the sons of Israel, and Joshua said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, And moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation [of Israel] took vengeance upon their enemies. Is it not written in the Book of Jashar? So the sun stood still in the middle of the sky and was in no hurry to go down for about a whole day. There has not been a day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to (heeded) the voice of a man; for the Lord was fighting for Israel.

What really happened that day? Did Joshua's words stop the sun from moving? One of the most basic lessons we learn in classical mechanics is that, as it relates to the earth, the sun is not moving. It's the earth that's moving. What about the moon? Did it stop moving? Did the moon's lack of movement affect the force of gravity or the tides? Do you understand the collateral impact that a situation like that would have had on the earth? If the earth stopped rotating for several hours so that the sun was directly above the battlefield what happened on the other side of the earth? Were they in darkness?

Obviously, this situation defies all logic and cannot be explained using natural phenomenon. What if there's a Kingdom explanation for this? God inserted His supernatural power to save Israel and took control of natural time. His Kairos time was imposed upon earth's chronos time long enough for His people to defeat their enemies. God also overrode the reality of cyclical time, stopping the earth's daily movement because it was the set time for Israel to defeat the Amorites whose wickedness against God and His children reached its fullness of time.

Kairos time has no limitation or schedule and is not subject to any laws. It's the time that represents God's sovereignty. It's the time when God imposes the power of infinite eternity on finite time. Whenever He feels like breaking into a situation with His power, He will do so. He created time and can do whatever He pleases with it. Any time is a good time for the Kairos time of God.

Case Study: Moses and the Children of Israel

Exodus 2:11-14(AMP) - One day, after Moses had grown [into adulthood], it happened that he went to his countrymen and looked [with compassion] at their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his countrymen. He turned to look around, and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. He went out the next day and saw two Hebrew men fighting with each other; and he said to the aggressor, “Why are you striking your friend?” But the man said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said, “Certainly this incident is known.”

In Exodus 2:11-14, we read the account of Moses killing an Egyptian to save a Hebrew slave. At that point, he was 40 years old. He did it out of compassion for his people but it didn't work out the way he thought it would. To Moses, it seemed like a good chronos time because any time is good to be free from slavery. Yet, it wasn't God's Kairos time because God did not break in and help Moses free his people in response to the actions of Moses. It wasn't the set time for freedom because we read in Genesis 15:13(AMP); "God said to Abram, “Know for sure that your descendants will be strangers [living temporarily] in a land (Egypt) that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years."

The Hebrews had to be enslaved for 400 years and would not be free any earlier than that. It also was not the fullness of time because look at the response of the Hebrew man when Moses told him to stop fighting his brother. He obviously wasn't ready and neither was Moses. Their freedom would only happen after a process and it was a threefold process. Moses had to go through a process in the wilderness with God for 40 years. After that, Egypt had to go through the process of 10 plagues. Most importantly, the Hebrews had to finish their process of learning to trust God for their salvation and freedom. Unfortunately, for most of them, even though they made it out of Egypt, they didn't make it into the Promised Land because they never completed the process. Sadly, even though they made it out of Egypt, they died in the wilderness and their fullness of time never came to enter the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy 8:1-3(NKJV) - “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

The "set" time for freedom from slavery was 400 years. The Chronos time for entering the promised land was 11 days. They had chronos time and God's set time on their side but they still didn't see the promise. Why? They didn't reach the fullness of time because they didn't complete the process of mental and spiritual transformation in the wilderness in 11 days or even 40 years. Hence, they never experienced God's Kairos time and died in the wilderness. While God was dealing with the Children of Israel as a group, He was also working on Moses as an individual.

God worked with Moses in 40 year cycles. At 40 years old he felt a sudden compassion for the Hebrew slaves and killed an Egyptian. It was not the "set" time for their freedom so he ran into the wilderness where he spent another 40 years before God showed up to call him back to Egypt. He returned at 80 years old and that time, The Lord was with Him. When Moses was done in Egypt not only did every first born in Egypt die, their entire army was drowned in the Red Sea and the Children of Israel were set free. Forty years after that, at the age of 120, Moses finally saw the Promised Land. Unfortunately, he couldn't enter because he didn't do so 40 years before. He wasn't weak, sick or impaired but he died at 120 at the end of his "chronos" time.

Times Are Changing!

Daniel 2:20-22(NKJV) - Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.

Amos 9:13(AMP) - “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When the plowman shall overtake the one who gathers the harvest, And the one who treads the grapes [shall overtake] him who sows the seed [for the harvest continues until planting time]; When the mountains will drip sweet wine And all the hills shall melt [that is, everything that was once barren will overflow with streams of blessing].

The Lord said through Pastor Tim that we are entering a season when all dimensions of time will occur simultaneously in our lives. This is how The Lord showed it to me this morning. Think of your times as 5 intersecting circles with one spot at the center where all 5 overlap each other. There's a koinonia or union of times that takes place when enough "chronos" time has passed, God's set time for your favor has come, you've been through your processing and it's your fullness of time, it's your season for breakthrough and God supernaturally breaks into your life with His miraculous power. In that moment, all natural laws will be suspended. You will reap where you did not sow. What should take years will happen in a moment. God will turn back the clock and restore all that was lost. God will open doors that should never open under natural circumstances. God will heal diseases that became progressively worse over the years. God will perform miracles.

So what now? When is the right time for you to see God's promise come to pass in your life? Well, it depends on your definition of time. Understand the time and season you're in. You can't stop, speed up or slow down chronological time so accept that the clock will keep ticking. You can't control God's "set" time so submit to God's schedule of events for your life. However, you need to know where you are in your season and you need to do what God has called you to do for this season. Only when you complete what you should be doing in your current season will you be able to enter your next season in the fullness of time. Also, only when you're doing what God has called you to do for this season will you be rightly positioned for your "set" time for His promise. Last, but definitely not least, the only overriding factor on all time is God's Kairos time. It can happen whenever God chooses and when it comes, it will be right on time. It is my prayer that you're ready for God to break into your situation right now!

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