Work According to God's Time
20 August 2017

John 7:1-9

I think that people who are good at cooking usually use their time well. Yesterday, our church had a family movie night. We roasted meats on the grill and we enjoyed the steaks. It was so much fun. We know that to roast meat well, both the temperature of the fire and the time on the grill are important. A couple of years ago, I learned how to roast meats well on a grill from my friend pastor. This is what I learned from him. I need to first roast meats on a grill for about four minutes and I need to close the grill with the cover for about one minute to steam the inside parts the meats. And then I need to turn the meats upside down and roast them for another 4 minutes. After that, I need to cover the grill for one minute again. Whenever I roast my meat, I always use my phone watch.

The great Chinese sage, Lao Tzu said "Chi-Dae-Gook-Yak-Paeng-So-Sun (治大國若烹小鮮)". It means that ruling a big country is like cooking a small fish. When we roast a fish, time is very important. If not, the fish would be burned and mashed. It is a lesson that time is important for all our works. Success and failure depend on time. Do you want to live a successful life? If so, you need to use your time well.

How can we use our time well? Today's scripture teaches us that we Christians must work according to God's time. Jesus always according to God's time. He stayed at Galilee for a while and performed many miracles. When the Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers suggested him to go to Jerusalem. Why did they suggest him to go to Jerusalem? It was because Jerusalem was a big city and many people would come during the Festival. The brothers thought that if Jesus would perform miracles in Jerusalem like the miracle that he had fed 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves, he would soon become famous and experience great success. When they suggested him to go to Jerusalem, he rejected it. He said these following words to them. Let us read verses 6 through 8. "My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come." Jesus knew that when he went to Jerusalem, it was the time for him to be killed there. He knew that God's time of his entering Jerusalem did not come yet. He chose to stay at Galilee to spread God's word to people. Here we come to know that Jesus always lived by God's time but his brothers lived by man's time for success.

When the Israelites lived in the desert for 40 years, God led them with the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud. When those pillars stayed at one location, the Israelites stayed at that place. When those pillars moved, they also moved and followed them. God didn't want them to fail their lives in the desert and that's why he trained them to live by God's time with those pillars. He doesn't want you to fail.

There are many reasons for man to fail. One of the reasons we fail is that we work according to our own time without asking God. When Jesus died, the disciples thought that it was time for them to go back to their hometowns. What did they experience at their hometown? Even though they tried to catch fish at Galilee all the night, they couldn't catch even one fish. When we live by man's time, sometimes, we will probably face failure.

However, even though a situation is very bad for you, if it is God's time, he will surely make a way and help you. Mary and I served the Indonesian people as a missionary in Indonesia for two years. When we finished our mission work, we decided to go to America to study. Several months after we prayed for that, I applied for a student visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia and my interview date was set two weeks later. When I waited for the visa interview day, one day, a terrible terror occurred at a hotel in Bali. Several hundreds of foreigners died. Dozens of Americans died. The terror caused the U.S embassy in Indonesia to close down for about one month. It also caused my visa interview date to postpone indefinitely. Some people told me that I had chosen the wrong time for my visa interview. They said that it was the worst time for the visa interview in the past several decades. They said that I would not pass the visa interview this time. They suggested me to cancel the visa interview and apply for it again a couple of months later.

However, I had been praying and preparing for the visa interview for the past few months with the documents. I thought that it was still God's time for me and he would help me. I didn't cancel the visa interview. One month later, I had an interview at the U.S embassy. When I was sitting in the waiting room for the visa interview, I saw most people before me not passing their visa interviews and leaving very disappointed. At that moment, I repeatedly said these following words to myself. "God, did I choose the wrong time?" It was my turn to have the interview with the officer. During the interview, the interviewer said that he was recently appointed to that place and his wife was Korean. He also thought of my mission work for the Indonesian people very positively. I passed the interview and received a student visa. Before the interview, many people told me that the timing was bad and I would not pass the interview. Now I look back on that time. God heard my prayer and turned the situation around for me. It was a time of God's blessing for me.

We Christians believe that we came to earth according to God's time. We believe that birth and death depend on God's timing. We are people who live by God's timing. Even though your work does not go well, you don't need to fret. Don't rush things. Wait for God's time with patience. If it is God's time, he will make a way and help you. From now on, train yourself to constantly pray, ask, and wait for his time with patience. I bless you in the name of Jesus so that your life will be filled with God's grace and blessings as you constantly trust in God's timing and work according to it in your daily Christian life.


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Last modified 14 January 2018.
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