HE SPEAKS when we give him TIME
From the book, 101+ Ways God Speaks (And How to Hear Him)
When building communication with the Lord, it is important to give God time and resist impulsiveness and assumption after hearing Him.
I have a solitaire game on my computer that is possible to win every time if played correctly. All the cards are visible, and laid in vertical piles. Winning the game is based on choices of moving cards around from one stack to another. A card may have an opening to move on top of another pile, but timing is everything. You have to look ahead to see the ramifications of moving at that time. It might be better to move another card pile first.
One day as I was playing the game above, the concept was quickened to me that this is how the Lord works His will on earth: TIMING IS EVERYTHING. People making choices, in a series of waiting and moving, just like the cards. Each time people move when and where they are supposed to (either by actions or reactions), their lives get more organized and line up for future “breakthroughs.” This could not happen without first being willing to wait on the Lord for His timing.
In practical terms, just because there is an opportunity, doesn’t mean we are supposed to take it — and just because we see a place to move, does not mean we are supposed to move there at that time. Movement can be achieved by people’s actual physical decisions, thus producing physical, spiritual and emotional ramifications. Or movement can be internal decisions no one else knows about, yet having great significance. All movement requires a decision. And all decisions have ramifications. In other words, cause and effect. Therefore, it is vital to wait for Him to line things up through HIS time.
There needs to be a balance between waiting and moving. He doesn’t want to raise children who are afraid of their own shadow, afraid to move. He also doesn’t want robots or wooden puppets for children. We don’t need God’s guidance to brush our teeth. Likewise, some spiritual movement is practical. We can live our Christian life expecting God to use us, to touch others as we live among them. When the Lord was trying to convince me of this during a particular season, He gave me the following inspired Word (excerpt from my devotional book, Words to Ponder):
When the Lord intends to speak an entire paragraph, but only speaks a bit at a time, it is because He wants a series of reactions and actions from us as a result of hearing His Word. It’s as though He has a long range plan in saying something, and He knows if He said it all at once we would not be prepared to receive it. Therefore, He gives one bit at a time, until He reaches His goal of the entire paragraph! When we pounce on a Word from Him, and do not give Him time to clarify it or tie it down with reference points, then we miss His intent.
Similar to impulsiveness is assumption - the temptation of jumping to conclusions, either before He is finished speaking, or before understanding takes place. It is so easy to jump ahead of God. Sometimes this can get us in a pickle.
One day my son and I were walking in the mall together. I was walking too slow for him and he would get ahead, then stop and wait for me to catch up. This happened several times. “Mom, you gotta remind me every now and then that you’re my Mom, because since you walk so slow, I tend to get ahead and then walk next to someone I think is my Mom!” This was a private joke in reference to another experience that happened earlier in the summer. We were at Fred Meyer and while I was waiting in line at the cashier, I saw my son walk up to a lady in the next line over. He cut in and stood right behind her. He was standing so close to her, I realized he must think I was that lady! I started laughing and laughing. Finally he looked up through the candy shelves between us, straight into my laughing face. He looked horrified! Then he quickly ran over to me. I looked at the lady and she also thought the whole thing was quite amusing. (My son didn’t think it was funny at all!)
The same thing can happen with hearing the Lord. We get in a hurry and assume something is Him and it isn’t. Also mistakes can be avoided, if we do not assume we understand. He may speak on several occasions, for several weeks, and perhaps years before giving His “punchline.” If conclusions are drawn too early, it may cut Him off from all He is wanting to say. Bring what is heard back to Him and let Him clarify it, confirm it, making His Word a nail in a sure strong place. “I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place.” (Isaiah 22:23 KJ) This takes time. Wait for Him.
His Words, no matter what form they come in, are exactly like the parable of the sower and the seed. (Mark 4) When He speaks His Words they are received as a seed, then they must be kept with patience. The “kept” part is a long growing process. The wind, the rain, the storms, the sun, the heat, the dry time: keeping His Word will enable us to go through them all. His Word must be confirmed and planted like an anchor, where nothing coming against it will cause it to drift from its anchored mooring. Being confirmed and planted takes time. Give God time.