May 24 - Timing in Ministry
Serving God is not just by doing the right things but also when to do them. Sometimes the timing determines the degree of success of your ministry. The people of Issachar knew about the time and what they should do. Doing often goes with timing and for timing, we have to wait on God. There are things we are not supposed to do and if we do them, God is not pleased. We need to have the discernment in order to minister to God in the when and what of ministry.
When the Philistines came up against David, David inquired of the Lord about whether to fight them or not, and the Lord gave him the permission. The result was a great victory and he said, “The Lord has burst through my enemies like a bursting flood.” This is the result when you do something after seeking God’s will and God will give you success.
The second time the Philistines came up against David in the Valley of Raphaim, David inquired of the Lord again but this time the answer was different. God gave him a strategy: “You shall not go up; go around to their rear and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.”
The same enemy in different locations, the Lord taught David a lesson: do not rely on previous experience of victory. Seek the Lord every time and He will show you something new each time. They were not supposed to march at the wrong time but at the opportune time when the Lord has gone out first. Do not get ahead of God but to follow Him when you serve Him. He will do all the work for you and victory is guaranteed. Knowing when to march and when to wait is an art in serving the Lord.
The story of Uzzah the priest is another lesson in how to serve God. When the oxen that carried the Ark of the Covenant stumbled, Uzzah stretch out his hand to the ark and angered God. The ark is a symbol of God’s presence, no one should touch it or try to give a hand to it. When we serve God, we are not helping God or giving Him a hand. He does not need our help and we do not have anything to offer. Knowing when to stretch out our hand and when to withdraw our hand is another key to ministering in His presence. Sometimes our own ministry could cause God’s anger and displeasure.
When you serve God, do you know when to go out and when to wait? Do you know when to stretch out your hand and when to withdraw your hand? Do you seek God’s will in every situation? Do you serve the Lord with discernment in what and when?
Ps 72:8-14 2 Sam 4:1-6:23 John 13:31-14:14 Prov 15:31-32