John 7:1-31

John - God's perfect timing

John 7:1-31
John 7:8b
'because my time has not yet arrived'
In our text today we simply see Jesus in conversation with people, and we've got so much to learn from him through the answers he gives to the different questions he is faced with. I'll be focusing this devotion around only one verse, verse 8b, so I will encourage you to spend some time on your own later, letting Jesus speak to you through the rest of these conversations too.

In the chapters leading up to chapter 7, we've seen Jesus doing some pretty amazing miracles and sharing some deep and profound teachings and by all of this he has naturally been drawing crowds to follow him. But then we've also seen how people started leaving him because of his teaching that they found hard to swallow. And we see now that his brothers, they are not happy with this. I can imagine them having been excited seeing their big brother becoming more and more popular as he was doing some pretty cool miracles; turning water into wine, healing the sick, walking on water and feeding the 5,000 men plus all the children and women that were there! And I'm sure they've started thinking about what this might mean for them too - brothers of the famous Jesus! But now he's starting to lose the crowd and they go; Hi Jesus, this is not good! Here's what you should do - you should go where the crowds are - go up to the festival, and when you do go, make sure you do the things you used to do, the miracles, feeding and so on, go and do that and win your disciples back again.

But Jesus is not interested. No, he tells them he is not coming with them to the festival and then he says some words that must sound strange to them, when he in verse 8 says; for my time has not yet arrived. And I'm sure the brothers goes; what?! What do you talk about, of course your time has arrived - go and use this opportunity to win back the crowd - this is a golden opportunity, this is your time!!

We want things now. When it's most beneficial for us, when it's the most convenient, when it feels the easiest, when it makes sense to us. God wants things done in his time because it is always connected to his plan. Jesus knew this, and that's why he could say 'my time has not yet arrived'.

Jesus knew there would be moments when his true identity would be revealed, but he also knew this was not the time. He knew he was working according to the plan of the Father, a plan that had been set out from the start.

In Galatians 4.4-5 we read: 'But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son.. .  

I find this really fascinating!  When the fullness of time had come, basically saying that when it perfectly fitted into God's grand plan that's when Jesus was born. You know there's a plan with your life. And God is incredible isn't He! He's got this whole big puzzle of plans for us individually that fits together with this grand plan - and when the fullness of time has come, when it perfectly fits in to God's plan that is when it's the right time. Don't run ahead of him - and also don't hold back. When you sense God say move, than move.
 
I'm sure many of you know Isaiah 55.8 by heart. We tend to quote this verse a lot, but I still think we often struggle against it. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Really what we often want is for our thoughts to be His thoughts too, our ways to be His ways, and for our timing to His timing too. But it's just not how it works - He sees the full picture, we don't. In the fullness of time, that is when it will happen.

There is so much freedom in excepting the full truth of this; Whatever God has for you, trust that it's the best. Whenever God has it for you, trust that it is the best timing!

Apply

We see a conflict here between the brothers who were thinking in human terms and saw this moment as an opportune time, and Jesus who knew he worked according to the Father's plan, where timing is just different.

  1. Do you find it difficult to trust that God knows best, to trust that His timing always is right? If so, take a moment now to confess this to God and then ask Him to help you trust Him fully.

  2. Do you remember a time in your life when you know you rushed ahead of God/waited for God's timing? What was the consequences of you either waiting or rushing?  

  3. Is there anything that you feel God has spoken over your life, but that hasn't happened yet, and this frustrates you? If so, take a moment now to re-commit that into God's hands, knowing that if it is Him that has spoken, then in His time it will happen.

Prayer

Holy Spirit,

I recognise that I am so dependent on you and I ask for your help. I pray that you will give me the eyes to see and the ears to hear, that you will give me the courage and determination to follow. I pray Holy Spirit that just as you were leading Jesus when He was here on earth, I pray that you will lead me, that I will be able to say with Jesus; now is the time or it is not the time yet. I pray that I will be moved by you Holy Spirit, and walk according to the Fathers plan. I can't do it without you Holy Spirit, but I know that you live in me and that you speak to me. Help me to listen. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen.
This Everyday Devotions was written by Elisabeth Radtke, who is a Deacon at our Croydon Plant.

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