Sunday, October 25, 2009
Running Ahead of God?
A friend went to visit the great preacher Phillips Brooks and found him
pacing the floor like a caged lion. His friend asked, "What's the trouble,
Dr. Brooks?" He replied, "The trouble is that I'm in a hurry but God
Abraham could have identified with those feelings. God had promised him a
son, but, from a human perspective, time was running out. In fact, with
Abraham nearly 86 and Sarah 76 years old, most people would have said that
time had already run out. Obviously God needed help. In the Ancient Near
East, it was acceptable for a barren woman to give her maid as a
substitute to bear children for her, so Sarah suggested Abraham take Hagar
and let her bear his child. In his hurry, Abraham ran ahead of God and the
consequences are still felt in the Middle East today. The Arab nations
(descended from Ishmael, the son of the maid servant) and Israel
(descended from Abraham's legitimate heir, Isaac) continue to be bitter
God not only has a divine will, He also has an eternal timetable. Just as
the apostle Paul reminded Christians that in "the fullness of time" God
sent His Son (Gal. 4:4) and "in due time Christ died for the ungodly"
(Rom. 5:6), so God has a schedule for everything in our lives as well. We
certainly don't want to lag behind God's agenda, but it's equally
disastrous to run ahead of it.
As you seek God's will for your life, seek His timetable as well. Don't
let your impatience carry you ahead of God. To do the right thing at the
wrong time makes the right thing the wrong thing.
We need to keep in step with God's time as well as His will.