The devil waits for an “opportune time,” but God’s people act in God’s time

Posted by on February 19, 2011

The devil and those working against God wait for an “opportune time”: 

“When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left [Jesus] until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13 NIV)  

“From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand [Jesus] over.” 

(Also see Mark 6:21, Romans 7:8,11, Mark 14:11/Luke 22:6, Jeremiah 46:17 and many others.)

But God’s people don’t wait for an opportune time.  We don’t need an opportune time.  When God decides it’s time, it will be possible to act, whether or not it initially appears so.  We act in God’s time. 

7 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.  8 Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’ ” … 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.  (Joshua 3:7-8,15-17 NIV)

God told Joshua that it was time to act.  It was time to enter the Promised Land.  And God asked Joshua and the priests to carry the ark of the Covenant – the symbol of God’s presence – out into the river, even though the flood waters were raging.This was surely the least opportune time possible for crossing the Jordan.  But it was God’s time.  If God is for us, who can be against us?

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32 NIV)

What might it be God’s time for right now?  How might God be calling us to step into the rushing river waters today?  Can we count on God to part the waters and bring us saqfely through?  What would it be like if we decided to stop waiting for an opportune time and decided to rely on God’s timing exclusively?  Can you feel God’s leading right now?

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