Monday, January 16, 2023

Times and Seasons belong to the Lord


“So the sisters sent word to Jesus, ‘Lord the one you love is ill.’ When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This illness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it (John 11: 3-5).

NOTICE: This week's article was prepared for us by our beloved Sister Precious. As a Ministry, we fully stand behind her as she has proven over the last 5 or more years to be a committed follower of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the work she provided this week serves as a strong encouragement. Knowing her and having listened to her personal testimony, this Sister is humble and moves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Please pray that the Lord grows her more and more in Jesus' name!

Generally, at this time of the year or at the beginning of the new year, it is customary that most of us would make plans, and set goals and resolutions for the new year. While it is not wrong to have aspirations and to set goals to attain some accomplishments. We need to realize that times and seasons belong to the Lord (Acts 1:7). As Christians, we will have to know that our plans have to be pleasing to the Lord and in accordance with His will for our lives (Proverbs 3:5-6; Luke 22:42). In other words, nothing should separate us from the love of God (Romans 8: 35).

We can be assured of this, that if our plans are separated from the love of God, doubt and fear will dominate resulting in our plans failing and we know this may discourage and disturb our walk with God. Scripturally, God never fails and only He has the power to cause His counsel to succeed (Proverbs 19: 21).

Wait upon the Lord

According to the lead scripture above, Mary and Martha whose brother Lazarus was ill sent a word to our Lord Jesus at the time that they needed the Lord’s help for their brother. They believed in the Lord Jesus for their brother’s healing, and as believers and their service in Christ, they would have anticipated that the Lord Jesus was going to come right away to pray for their brother Lazarus as they did not want to lose their loved one to sickness. In any matter of urgency, it's natural that we would expect a prompt response to avoid any situation that might compromise another person's life. As it is, under all circumstances, when we call upon the Lord in times of trouble and suffering He provides relief immediately and without delay. The Lord's solution might not be according to our expectations the specific need would be met at the time when we required assistance. 

The Lord’s time, not the earthly calendar

What we learn here is that our Lord Jesus had responded already by the time he received the news about Lazarus although he did not go to see him immediately when he stated that “Lazarus ‘s sickness will not end in death” (John 11:3-5). The Lord responds to our prayers though it may seem he has not come through yet (Daniel 9:23). The Lord’s timing and His will are not subject to our earthly calendar. Please allow me to share a short testimony, there is a sister in Christ, Adel (not her real name) who was involved in a violent and abusive relationship, while she enjoys the Lord's peace her husband struggles with a hot temper and anger, and this badly affected their marriage. At times, the quarreling becomes so bad that any argument or misunderstanding would always end up in physical altercations and this went on for almost 10 years. Given her strong faith in the Lord, our sister Adel believed the Word of the Lord and did not seek a divorce and wanted to see the Glory of God in her home and her husband's deliverance from physical violence and bad temper. Through persistent prayers, intercessions, and supplications with the help of other believers, the Lord came through for her and healed her marriage. As a result, it has been almost two years since the physical violence occurred in their marriage (Matthew 7:24-25).

In another testimony, a believing sister in the Lord needed healing and deliverance from the Lord and wanted to have a child. She couldn’t get pregnant and struggled to have a child for years and was attended to by various physicians to receive all the help she could get including visiting various pastors for prayers. After persistent prayers for her, the Lord responded to her situation with the word that she will bore a child and the Lord has heard her prayers. It was almost the same word God spoke to Abraham and Sarah when he promised them a child Isaac (Gen 21:1-6). The sister instead of receiving the word with faith and waiting upon the Lord’s timing rejected the word by disbelief and decided to stray and tried other means that are not Lord’s way to get pregnant and it did not materialize. In a situation like this when one loves the Lord like our dear sister, one would perceive that the Lord did not come through and He has answered and we sometimes do not receive because we stray and step outside the Lord’s ways and plans a (Luke 10: 20, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isiah 55:8-9). 

According to Genesis 3: v7 & v21, We find Adam and Eve after they realized their nakedness trying to come up with their own way to cover themselves and by using leaves. Then when God saw them covers with leaves he offered them to skin as a cover for their nakedness. The difference between their way is that the leaves will fade and not endure longer than the animal skin offered by God would have. It shows that the Lord’s is better for His way endures forever when we surrender to 

His will.  Similarly, we may learn from the above that different experiences and circumstances give us insight and understanding that times and seasons belong to the Lord. We ought to keep believing in His plans and will for our lives that He come through according to his Glory and not our self–elevation and fulfillment.

In conclusion, have you given up waiting upon the Lord? Have you set your own plans for your own glory either the job you do for prestige and self-elevation instead of God’s glory to serve, provide and do good? Are you married for status and statistics or you are married for the Glory of God as marriage is the perfect picture that represents the holiness of the Bride (Church) and the Groom (Christ)? Are you planning to buy/change a car to fit in society? All the plans and aspirations we make should be intended to Glorify God?  

Blessed Love

Sister Thandazo

Reviewed by Brother Glenn