Friday, 27 June 2014


Success in any field of life whether it be sport, business, politics, art, relationships, religion, or academics, is rarely just a matter of hard work. In fact, the most successful people in their particular field may not necessarily be the hardest working in their field. When someone has natural ability and divine gifting, it often means that this person has to work less! While nothing substitutes for hard work, there is something that leverages a person's hard work like nothing else can. If you can figure this out it can turn your frustration into adulation.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
Galatians 4:4
Success in life, relationships, work, business, church, sport, school, more often than not belongs to those who understand when. Like millions of other people around the world, I'm watching Wimbledon at the moment (as I have done every year for the past 36 years). This Grand Slam tournament has not always been won by the best player in the field. And not every final at Wimbledon is the best match of the tournament. The players who win it have an ability to 'peak' at the right times. To win Wimbledon a player has to win 7 main draw matches in a row - but the most important of these matches is the 7th! If a player exerts themself too much in a match, they may not have much left for their next match.

The God we are in awe of, is a God who does things when the time is right. One of the key reasons His Son was a sucessful Saviour, was because He came to earth at the right time (Gal. 4:4). And when Christ came to earth, He understood the appropriate time for what to be done. He could have appeared in His public ministry from the age of 13, but He understood that the right time was when He was 30. He could have chosen to minister for 10 years to give His disciples the best possible training and grounding in Kingdom principles, but He chose to publicly minister for a year or two and spend only three years with His disciples. Knowing when seems to be one of the most important elements of success.
Rom. 5:6 ¶ For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Mark 6:31
We recently remembered the gallant sacrifices made on D-Day (June 6th 1944). This is the day the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. The planning for this day commenced in 1943. The timing of D-Day was imperative to its success. If they had landed in exactly the way either a day earlier or later, they would not have been successful and the loss of lives would have been inestimately higher.
Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
John 11:32
God understands perfect timing. Remember that the next time you're looking to Him in prayer. And as you ponder His awe-inspiring timing and worship appropriately, consider that worship transforms the worshiper into the likeness of the One worshiped. Thus, your worship of the impeccable God will transform your concept of waiting from 'doing nothing' to one of the most important aspects of right timing. As Dr. F.W. Boreham has written, there is a great deal of difference between being still (waiting) and doing nothing. He tells of a man who had an uncanny ability for coaxing wildlife out where others had said there was no wildlife to be coaxed out. Asked how he did it, he responded that he always started early and found a suitable bush to hide in or behind, then he would wait. "For how long?" he was asked. "Usually after four or five hours some animals appear." Understanding timing involves grasping the importance of "When?" and the immense value of waiting.  

When I was young, I contracted Scarlet Fever. It meant I was off school for several months one particular year. Whether it had a lingering impact on my physical stamina or not, I'm not sure, but coincidentally from that time, I had chronic stamina issues that led doctors to wonder whether I was now hypoglycaemic. Up until this year I have been able to avoid bouts of exhaustion. But this week, I was again overcome with exhaustion (my second bout this year). When I suffer this kind of exhaustion I feel useless. I understand those who experience their bodies and minds doing involuntary things. I have great sympathy for those who battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My normal strategy is soldier on and press through. But this week I didn't have that option. I had to be still. In my stillness I was very aware that God uses these seasons to produce something that only these seasons can. Being still is not the same as doing nothing.
"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"

Psalm 46:10
The most successful churches understand together the power of when. They know that there are times to tackle certain issues, and there are times to elave them alone. There are times when Sundays should be given to special outreaches geared toward the non-churched and under-churched. But there are also times when a church must help its people go deeper into appreciating God's Word. There are times when a church has to concentrate on training the next generation and make allowances for people as they have a go and make mistakes.
¶ I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;

Psalm 130:5
In your life, I could confidently say that there has been unfairness. You've had times when you've worked hard and worked long for very little to show for it. This is frstrating. By learning that being still and waiting on God - is notwasting time, but is critical to success in life, love, family, work, business, sport, and with God, you begin to see thatright timing is not always easy to achieve but wrong timing is far too easy to find. Thinking about right timing reminds me of the story of the father who took his young son to the symphony. The son sat amazed at the vast array of instruments on the stage but none caught his imagination as much as the man with the cymbals. As the orchestra commenced, the starry-eyed boy gazed at the man in the suit with a cymbal strapped to each hand in the corner of the orchestra. Yet throughout the whole show the man with the cymbals did nothing. As the concert was coming to an end, the orchestra got louder and more passionate as they built toward their final crescendo and then suddenly the man in the tuxedo with the cymbals stood to his feet and separated his arms. The climax of their performance reached its most exciting point when suddenly the man with the cymbals smashed his cymbals together! The father took his son back stage to meet the orchestra. The boy met the man with the cymbals and asked him why he only got to use his instrument once. The man assured him that the secret to being a great cymbalist was knowing how towait and when to act. And I suspect that this advice is not limited to the realm of cymbals.

Ps. Andrew

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