June 2013

Perfect Timing

“My time is not yet come.”

John 7:6


Timing is important.


Jesus often spoke of his time or his hour. Focusing on the right moment and the right season, as well as knowing that all preparations are complete will help you determine   the right timing in life’s decisions.


Sometimes we feel pretty sure we know the right decision, however, the timing is off to make that decision.  We might know who is the best employee to hire, but the season in their (or our) life might not be the best. We can have vision, anticipation, and even plans, however, the time to move on these ideas needs further development. 


Timing and patience often work hand in hand. Proverbs tells us, “Whoever is patient has great understanding” (14:29).


You can likely look back on moments of decision when you experienced “right timing.”  Likely you have periodically felt that now is the appropriate time to decide or to move on an idea that has been in your mind (or heart).


New Testament scholar and Professor, David Thomas, pointed out to me that the word time (hora GK.) has a larger semantic footprint that points to “timing” or “a season.”


For example, Jesus often refers to timing when explaining or responding to when an event should be done or not done in his earthly life (John 2:4, 7:30, 8:20, 12:27, etc.).  On these occasions, he uses the word hora which defines the destined hour of . . . “going.”  These times are not movable nor can they be avoided.  When “hora” [time] is occurring it is accepted without argument or alteration.  This time is the hour when the plan of God has determined that something is going to happen.  God has perfect timing and when we determine to be patient and wait for his direction, we have the sense of . . . “this is right and this is the right moment.” 


“The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified” (John 12:23).  Jesus knew when the timing of the will of God was right.  He knew when the circumstances were the best . . . the optimum moment – spiritually, physically, psychologically, and relationally.  He knew the point of time when the optimum would be at its peak.  His sensitivity to time was critical in his “now” or “later” decisions.


Knowing timing is important and needs to be part of how and when we make our life decisions. We need to be sensitive to the greatest time of opportunity, when the circumstances are right. This moment is a specific “time” that will have the greatest impact and is part of our life’s decisions to “move forward” or to “change course.”  It could signal us to “stop doing something” and to “start doing something else” that is even more right.  It is an opportune time. 


Thinking, sensing, and having the courage to decide on something are all part of this principle. Proverbs tells us, “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways” (14:8).


As a leader we can know that our Creator cares about our decisions, and will give us a sense of timing in the (often complicated) process of life.  We can pray for this sensitivity which will allow us to wait, or to move on something that has been on our minds. We can have a sense of “this is right” in our critical moments of decision. 


A few principles that I have tried to apply to my life when making decisions:


•   Pray – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).

•   Think – “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways” (Proverbs 14:8).

•   Ask – “Wisdom is found in those who take advice” (Proverbs 13:10).

•   Sense – “ . . . by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6b – 7).

•   Focus – “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:25 – 26).

•   Align – Consider the conditions, the opinions of trusted friends, and your sense of the will of God; “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us . . . ” (Acts 15:28).


Being cautious about when and how to make decisions is part of being a leader.  Your calling to Kingdom leadership is a calling from God. Know that He will direct you as you depend on him.  


“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers” (Acts 20:28).


Always know that I am . . .

Your Friend and Servant in Christ,
Wayde Goodall, D.Min

Dean, College of Ministry

Northwest University


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