Process of Time
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of July 13, 2014
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." -Romans 5:6
What Jesus did for us leading up to and at the cross was a divine process for an appointed time of great purpose. Every element was intentional; and nothing was a surprise to Father God in Heaven.
Likewise, in practical missions today, God has a timely process for our…
Purification and Preparation – Purification is part of Preparation…
"Before a young woman's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics." -Esther 2:12
This scripture is rich with metaphors and is representative of the Holy Spirit’s fragrant presence and anointing (oil) and purifying preparation (myrrh) in our lives. The word “complete” in this passage transliterates into the Hebrew word “mala,” which means to be full, to be satisfied, to be consecrated and ordained for service, to be united, set, drenched, overflowing. Isn’t this how the Holy Spirit works in us to work through us, filling us to develop and produce inner and outer fruit for God’s Kingdom purposes?
Before God sends us to our divinely appointed connection, our open door opportunity, our big moment to change the course of a nation, He must first prepare us, which will require a process of being chosen, of stepping away from what’s familiar to us, of taking courage to step into the unknown preparation process and purposes of God, of yielding to and seeking Him and His will and strategy by faith and grace, of stepping up to complete His assigned mission in us, through us and for us.
Esther was officially being prepared to go before the king for one year. She was victorious because she yielded to God’s way throughout her journey. She knew she could trust God, even in the face of danger. She knew that God would reign in the race of risk. In God’s time and sequence, His purposes were completed through Esther because she synced with God and didn’t give up. To do so is costly. To do so is an honor.
Growing and Giving – As we grow in the way of righteousness, our acceptable giving will be received. Time has a way of proving this out, revealing the truths of our hearts. Consider Cain and Abel…
"So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to The Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And The Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering." -Genesis 4:3-4
Submission and sacrifice are critical along God’s timetable. And consistency is crucial. One choice on a single day of God’s process for our lives can alter the course of our lives.
In this example, Abel’s heart was submitted to God’s process of sacrifice where Cain’s was not.
The attitude of Cain’s heart was one of discontent and rebellion. Even after God’s direction and warning to “do what is right” and rule over sin (Gen 4:7), Cain refused and killed his younger brother Abel. Before his death, Abel had humbled himself and had made an acceptable offering unto The Lord. Cain had the same opportunity but disobeyed. Cain could have chosen what was righteous in God’s eyes, but because he did not, he brought a curse upon himself (Gen 4: 11-12) and ended up a “restless wanderer.” Then since Abel was killed, God gave Adam and Eve another son, Seth, “in place of Abel,” who was fruitful and multiplied (Gen 4:25-26).
Giving and growth go hand and hand. And God has blessings for us that can be negated by our unrighteousness.
Laying a Foundation and Building –
“So this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem. From that day to the present it has been under construction but is not yet finished.” -Ezra 5:16
When King Darius of Babylon got wind of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, he ordered research to be done concerning the matter and discovered that his predecessor, King Cyrus, had indeed decreed that the project be carried out. King Darius then ensured workers had everything they needed, and he stressed diligence in their efforts, which was aligned with God’s will and with the workers’ efforts thus far (Ezra 6:5, 8, 12).
Diligence in Ezra 5:8 and 6:12 is transliterated in Hebrew as “osparna,” which means thoroughly, with great care, speedily. So it is possible to make progress rapidly on a project while taking great care (Ezra 5:8). Fear of God and the renewed enthusiasm of God’s mercy may factor into this timely completion of His projects. When God is in a project and mankind—including authority—cooperates, divine purposes can get fulfilled expeditiously.
What kind of mission does God have you on? Are you fulfilling it in a timely manner, according to His righteousness?
This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, "Enduring Grace." All rights reserved. Copyright 2014.