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Contrary to some misguided beliefs, time is not an arbitrary measurement desired by man, but rather it is something that God created on the fourth day when He said, “Let there by lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth.”[1]

As such, the study of the stars to know what season it is is not something that man started, but it was started by God.  It is just that astrologers have turned to worshipping the creation without seeing the Creator.  When astrologers use the star systems to give them signs of what is to come without acknowledging God, it is a misuse of the system.  The star systems are to show us signs of the seasons, days and years firstly as Earthly events to show us winter, spring, summer and autumn.  However, those same stars are also designed to show us the times of the Lord, His seasons, His days and His years as well.

If there were no star systems that changed in the skies with the seasons, years and days, and if light on this Earth did not come via the movement of sun, moon and stars, but say by a background of inherent ambient light, then there would be no measurable passage of time as we have now.  Movement, or rather passage of time, would then be measured in events rather than in the changing of the lights in the sky, but if there is no background against which you can measure movement, then even the very idea or concept of movement would be no reference point of start and finish.  That is why even those who do not believe in the existence of God the Creator are searching for a small particle called the ‘God Particle’ that can explain how all matter came to exist in this universe we see and hear.  Even those who do not believe in Creation are still searching for the beginning of time.

When God said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega… the Beginning and the End,”[2] He is telling us that He is the Lord of Time.  All time begins with Him and will end with Him, and since He is the One who made it possible to measure the passage of time on the fourth day of Creation, then application of time and timing has relevance and validity only when it is considered from His perspective.

God has His clock and men have their clock, and the one thing that you and I must learn about time and timing from God’s perspective is that, for God time can be varied and is variable, but for men time is a constant.  Whereas men cannot slow down the rate of the passage of time or hasten the rate of the passage of time, God can.  Whereas men cannot alter the rate of the progress of time, whether to stop it or to reverse it as well as to speed it up, God can.  Thus, to learn to apply time and timing in the context of the Kingdom of God, the first thing you must learn is that in the kingdom, time can be stopped, reversed and also fast-forwarded.

In Joshua 10 it is written that Joshua said, “O sun, stand still over Gibeon.  O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”  So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped…  The sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and delayed going down about a full day.[3]  What does it mean for the sun to stand still?  It means the Earth stopped rotating and stopped in its orbit, it was not moving at all, and what that means is that the Earth that had been moving forward in rotation and orbit at 1000 kilometres per hour came to a sudden halt, which would have flung everyone forward from west to east at 1000 kilometres per hour.  That obviously did not happen because Joshua and his army were not thrown forward, but continued to fight the battle.  Now such an event is physically impossible in natural science, that is, Godless science, but possible with God with whom nothing is impossible.

Then more incredibly in 2 Kings 20:11, the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz, that is, this time not only did the Earth’s rotation and orbit stop, but it reversed!  Whereas with Joshua, there were no astronomers to observe the event, now hundreds of years later, the Babylonians had developed their astrological sciences and observances and they sent envoys to enquire what had happened as it is written:  …envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land…[4]

To unbelievers, these stories are pure fantasy and are dismissed.  To believers who do not know their God, these stories may be read and even thought of as miraculous, but because they have not practised the word enough to come to know the Lord, much less understand Him, they will not understand or know the implications of these two events when it comes to the application of time and timing in these days before the Lord Jesus’ arrival on clouds of glory as the Son of Man.[5]  Neither will they understand the true implication of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ and what that one thousand years holds for those who will live through it in the flesh on Earth.

Eternity has no beginning or ending because there is no passage of seasons, days or years in eternity, but when God created this Creation’s Heaven and Earth, the lights of the sky began to mark the passage of the seasons, days and years.

To those who having listened and practised enough to know and understand that with God nothing is impossible, then the application of time and timing is not about spending just enough time to get things done or learning to do the right thing at the right time, which is what all natural men are bound by.  We are bound by the amount of time we have to do what we need to do and the truth that being able to do things at the perfect time is as important as doing the perfect thing.

The first thing that needs to be learned if the application of time and timing is to be mastered is to realise that God who can do all things instantaneously, created time to do things slowly.  He who could have created all things in an instant, simultaneously, chose to do it in six days.  He, who could have produced fruit and bread out of nothing, chose to produce fruit and bread by the planting of seeds, growing of trees and the ripening of fruit by seasons.  Thus, the passage of time, the requirement of time to accomplish and do things in God’s eyes, is enjoyable and delightful.  Love is after all patient first, and God is Love, so God is patient, meaning God enjoys accomplishing what He seeks to accomplish with time.  Even the very command He gave Adam about not eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was the way He was going to grow and mature Adam until he was ready to come to the knowledge of good and evil and not die.  For God gives life and has life – He is Life – and to God death is an abhorrence and an evil that happens because of disobedience and deviation from the perfect and flawless.  Thus sin, which is the disobedience of God, is a deviation from the perfect and the flawless, which guarantees the eventual total destruction of any system if enough time has passed.  The more sin (or deviation) there is, the faster the rate of destruction.  Hence Adam and the pre-flood generation could live to almost 1000 years, but not quite, and after Noah no one lived passed 200 years.  The multiplication of sin through time has shortened the time it takes to destroy the system.

Now compare God who can do all things instantaneously and who enjoys the time it takes to do things slowly, with men who can do nothing instantaneously, having to do things slowly and looking to doing things faster and faster all the time.  God who lives in the instantaneous enjoys time, and sinful man who lives in time yearns for the instantaneous.  Eve’s desire for the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil basically short-circuited God’s plan for the time it would take for Adam to eat of all the fruits of all the other trees so that when he had eaten of all the other trees including the Tree of Life, he would be ready to appreciate the knowledge of good and evil.  Little do we realise that we appreciate and value things that require the passage of time to exist because we are the image of God, and we also yearn for the instantaneous because we are the likeness of God.

God made man, as He said, “in Our Image, in Our Likeness…”[6]   The Image that God has of Himself is a Person who appreciates what takes time to create, so He created in days and saw that it was good.  But the Likeness that God is is that He is One who can do all things instantly.  Thus, the value we place on antiquities is a remnant of the Image of God in us, and our desire for instant gratification is the hunger in us to be like God.  As such, anyone who hopes to master time and timing must first learn to appreciate time as God appreciates time, and only then from that perspective can you begin to be trusted to be a master of time and a lord of time as He is the Lord of Time.

One thing Jesus did not do was to stop time or to reverse time.  No, these things happened when God listened to a man, as it is written in Joshua 10:14:  There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man, and to a king’s request, Hezekiah’s.  But what Jesus did do was to shorten time for Himself and His disciples so that the instantaneous happened.  It is written:  Then they were willing to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.[7]  That immediately meant that they had traversed 3 ½ miles in an instant.  The multiplication of the bread to feed 5000 saved 8 ½ months of work, for Philip answered Him, “eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”[8] 

You see, those twelve who were in the boat that night in the middle of the lake knew they were there because of sin.  They had not listened; they had not obeyed, but had gone to Capernaum rather than to Bethsaida.  And when they saw Jesus, not only did they not repent, but they did not appreciate the patience of Jesus who had watched them for hours continuing in their rebellion before walking out to them on the water.  Now see that the Lord walked out to them, which means it would have taken another hour or so to walk 3 ½ miles.  The Lord walked so that they might have the time to prepare for His arrival.  If they had been terrified at His approach walking on the water, they would have dropped dead had He appeared suddenly in their midst!  Again, Jesus took time to let things happen and unravel so that men might only be terrified, but not die at His approach.  But see and understand that although God may be prepared to put up with sin and rebellion for a period of time, when God acts to correct the rebellion, the effect is instantaneous.

Jesus may have spent hours watching them struggle against the wind,[9] and another hour walking out to them, but the moment He got into the boat the boat was immediately ashore.  The reason they did not end up in Bethsaida was because no one repented.  So without repentance, the act of their rebellion was instantly destroyed, but they ended up at Gennesaret, a place neither they nor God intended for them.

So it was with Adam and Eve; without repentance they ended up dying outside the garden, a place neither they nor God intended for them.  Now see and learn that you are serving God who created time to enjoy doing things that takes time even though He could do all things in an instant.  Time then is a tool and a means of God’s enjoyment and He is able to reverse it, stop it and shorten it as He wills, but more importantly, He stopped time because of a man, and reversed time because of a king as well.  So then, imagine what He would do for one who abides in Jesus and in whom His words abide when the promise is that whatever is wished or willed is done for him.[10]  And in the context of John 14:12, then the hastening of time is what anyone who has faith in Jesus can do.  And what greater thing can we do with time?

The first application of time then is enjoyment.  To learn to enjoy that which takes time to do and to do it well in that time.  No one who does not enjoy taking time to do something can begin to learn from God the mastery of the application of time and timing.  The second is to choose who you would enjoy time with first (fellowship with God).  The life of Enoch is the standard for all who want to enjoy spending time with God, for all that is written of Enoch’s accomplishment is this:  Enoch walked with God 300 years,[11] and unlike his forefathers and his son Methuselah, Enoch lived the shortest life of his generation, only 365 years, yet it is only of him that it is written:  Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.[12]  It does not say he died, but rather he was taken by God just like Elijah.

When you learn to enjoy time and spend it with the One who enjoys time as well, you will find that the life of Enoch will manifest, you will live enough to do what you need to do on this Earth, but unlike the others, your days of separation from God are shortened and you will not see death.  Enoch did not have to endure as many seasons of toil to produce food from the ground as Adam or the others did.  In fact, he lived less than half their years of toil, for those 930 years of life of Adam were 930 years lived through painful toil and eating food by the sweat of his brow.  It was no fun with the land yielding thorns and thistles for him.[13]

This form of application of time is what you have already gone through— spending the hours and days, which became months and years, in the reading, highlighting and the practising of His word, without any perceivable result until suddenly after years of work, a blind man sees, a lame man walks and a book of books is written.  Nothing came fast and easy until suddenly it was easy.  The secret of application of time is to enjoy the journey more than the destination.  Therein lies the ease of the journey, and the destination will be what God has planned for you and not what you expected.

If the boys obeyed and had immediately gone to Bethsaida as the Lord commanded, they would have had a much easier journey.  And even though Bethsaida in their eyes was only a village offering less than the bright lights of Capernaum, they would have found out for themselves what God had planned for them, and whatever it was, it would have been far better than struggling in the dark against the wind for hours.  When you find yourself struggling as in the middle of the lake going nowhere, repent, for you have surely not listened, and enjoy the time given to you to repent.  For then the Lord will not terrify you when you see Him walking towards you, and in an instant, you will find yourself where God had told you to be in the first place, and you are wiser and more appreciative of the experience, so that the next time you will enjoy the journey with the wind in your sails to usher you quickly to where He told you to go.

The enjoyment of time spent with God to see that you are spending your time the way He intended time to be spent, enjoyably, not as man would ‘kill time’ or ‘waste time’, but to enjoy time, that is when like Enoch the seventh from Adam, you will see the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.[14]  And you would realise this time is coming to an end and quickly.

So then, make the most of each and every moment, walking in the presence of God in the way that is available for you now— walking in faith of His word, for soon faith will be no more, for you will see Him face to face and know Him as He knows you.  Enjoy the time given to you whatever the circumstances are.  If repentance is needed, repent.  If thanksgiving is needed, give thanks.  If more practice is needed, practise.  If more study is needed, study.  For only to those who enjoy time, as God intended time to be enjoyed, will be trusted with the mastery and lordship of time when each day will be like 1000 years and 1000 years like a day, so that you will accomplish in one day what it took others 1000 years, and 1000 years for you will pass as quickly as a day.  Amen

 

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