The theme of God’s Timing vs. Our Provision has raised its head repeatedly, even very recently. Looking back over my life, I can see that the theme of Timing vs. Provision has occurred again and again in my family. As Christians we are charged to fulfill the great commission illustrated in Matthew 28:16-20:
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)
In a broader sense, we are also called and charged to complete the work that God has assigned to our lives. Why? Oftentimes we don’t know the answer to the question “why?” because we do not know the full plan and the overall timing of events (Isaiah 55:8-9). However, it is easy to come up with excuses as to why we cannot do what He is asking. How many of these (and others like these) have you already said to yourself today:
- I don’t have enough time
- I need to find balance in my work and home life
- It’s not original enough
- I have to plan everything first
- I have young children
- I don’t have enough money
- I don’t know if I can make it
In short – our default response to the command or calling of God is to compare His will and His timing to our provision. Guess what? In a comparison between God and us, we will always come up short. There will never be enough time, resources, energy, etc. at our ready disposal to complete the task at hand. Therefore, our “lack” in and of itself should not be determinative of the response we supply. The more appropriate response is to seek after opportunities with a spirit of discernment. Ask the question, “is this really God’s will?”. If I waited until I had the time and money, I would still be waiting to start my MBA (completed in Dec 2010), and my wife would still be waiting to start seminary (started Aug 2011). My daughter would never have taken and completed 10 years of dance (8 competitively) and my son would be sitting on the couch playing video games 24-7. What opportunities will God place before us in the future which further the Great Commission because we obeyed and built a foundation of skills and abilities upon which He can later call?
If you are led by the Spirit and determine that whatever opportunity set before you really is God’s will for your life, He will require you to step out on faith (Prov 3:5 – understanding that you can’t complete the task at hand with what you have), work like the dickens (1 Cor 15:10 – understanding that you have to commit your all to the endeavor at hand), and He will fill in the gaps with His provision where your resources fall short (Phil 4:19 – because God’s provision is limitless).