Proper Time and Procedure -- In life we’re always praying and waiting. When it doesn’t happen as fast as we’d like, we can become frustrated and negative. We force things to happen creating messes, and when God doesn’t bless our mess, sometimes people turn away from God.
Proper Time and Procedure – sermon video audio notes
Proper Time and Procedure – sermon video audio notes
Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 8:5-6, Hebrews 4:3, Hebrews 6:12, Hebrews 6:15, Genesis 15:4-6, Genesis 16:1-4, Genesis 18:10, Genesis 18:12-14
Life Gate Church Reaching Up and Reaching Out
Proper Time and Procedure - sermon video
Proper Time and Procedure - sermon notes
In life, we’re always waiting for something. Maybe you’re waiting and praying for a physical healing for yourself or someone else. Or waiting for a special opportunity to come along, or waiting for a goal to complete. Maybe you’re waiting for a wish to come true, or an argument to settle and a relationship to mend. Maybe you’re waiting for a dream to happen, or a solution to a problem you’re facing. When we pray, and it doesn’t happen as fast as we’d like, we can become frustrated and negative. In our impatience, we created messes, and when God doesn’t bless our mess, we turn away from God.
What we don’t realize is when we pray, God establishes a proper time for the prayer to come to pass.
Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and THE WISE HEART WILL KNOW THE PROPER TIME AND PROCEDURE. For there is a PROPER TIME AND PROCEDURE FOR EVERY MATTER, though aMAN’S MISERY WEIGHS HEAVILY UPON HIM.
There is a proper time for every matter and procedure! We are wise when we know there is a proper time. However, we can become heavy with misery if we don’t know this. We stress and try to force things to happen thinking, “What if I don’t meet someone to marry?” “What if I don’t get the job?” “What if…?” “What if…?” This is when man’s misery weighs heavily upon him and often when we make huge mistakes in life.
God has a proper time for your healing to happen and for your opportunity to come. There’s a proper time for your goal to complete. There’s a proper time to meet the correct person or get the right job. It could be tomorrow, next week, or five years from now, but knowing the proper time has already been set is wisdom and removes pressure and misery. You won’t worry “if” it’s going to happen. You can relax and enjoy your life with less stress and probably healthier. You know God has already scheduled your answer.
Some of us have been praying about a situation for a long time. You haven’t seen anything happen. You’ve become discouraged maybe miserable. What if God showed you his day planner and on August 14th your goal would fulfill? What if you’d been praying to meet the person of your dreams and now know it will happen September 10, at 3:03 p.m.? You wouldn’t be miserable. You’d be excited. You’d go to the gym and work out, go on a diet, and buy some new clothes.
I wish I could give you a prayer to pray guaranteeing if you prayed it exactly this way God would answer in a week or even a year, but we all know this is not reality. It would be great if God would tell us when we would meet the special person, or our ultimate wish would come true, or when our child would straighten up, or when we would be healed. The truth is this wouldn’t take any faith. The heart of wisdom knows God is true to his word, but he doesn’t put it on our time schedule. However, there is a proper time and procedure.
Here’s where our faith in God comes in. God promises there are proper times in our future, but doesn’t tell us when the proper time will be. The question is do you trust God enough to believe your proper time is coming and go through the procedure necessary? Can you maintain a positive attitude knowing what you desire is on its way? Many people become miserable and give up on their dreams, lose faith, and even walk away from God. They don’t have a wise heart. Don’t allow your thoughts to take away your faith and bring doubt. You only add heavier misery to life. We need to rest in God.
(NLT) Hebrews 4:3 FOR ONLY WE WHO BELIEVE can ENTER HIS PLACE OF REST. As for those who didn’t believe, God said, “In my anger I made a vow: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’ “even though his place of rest has been ready since he made the world.
The way you know you truly believe is you enter his place of rest. You have a patient peace knowing God’s properly timed correct answers into your future. It takes faith to rest in God. It takes faith to say, “God I don’t know when you will do it, but I know you will. I believe my answer is already in my future. I am going to rest in you.”
If there is a proper time and proper procedures, then there is an improper time and improper procedures. If there is a right time, then there is a wrong time. If there is a procedure to take us to the proper time of blessing,then there is an improper time and procedure taking us to heavy misery. For example, the person we think we can’t live without, God knows ten years from now we’d be praying, “Oh God. I can’t live with them.” You need to rest trusting God’s proper timing. He has something better for you. Sometimes you thank God for unanswered prayers. God knows what he’s doing. What God does sometimes is keep us from making a huge mistake and experiencing huge misery.
Years ago we were visiting friends in the town we moved from to come here. My wife, my daughter, and I were in a store when we ran into an old girlfriend. Her appearance had changed greatly and compared to my wife’s appearance, well my old girlfriend didn’t compare. My wife is a very beautiful woman. We spoke and talked a few minutes and caught up. She’d remarried a few times, and things hadn’t gone well for her. We walked away. My wife knew her. My daughter asked who she was, and my wife told her. Looking at me, my daughter began singing Garth Brook’s song, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers. Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs that just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers” She knew this was what I was thinking, or what I should be thinking. I do know God knows what he’s doing.
I could have had heavy misery. I think back about when my old girlfriend and I were dating. She was somewhat a “hottie.” She flirted with guys. I know now she wasn’t good for me. Maybe you’re dealing with something like this. You know the person isn’t good for you. They don’t treat you the way they should. He’s mean, selfish and doesn’t treat you with respect. She flirts, spends too much money, etc. Maybe they are not a believer. Don’t make something happen you’ll regret and bring you heavy misery. Don’t be afraid you won’t get someone better. The one God has for you is already properly timed and in the procedure. Have faith -- trust and rest patiently.
Hebrews 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE inherit what has been promised.
Hebrews 6:15 And so AFTER WAITING PATIENTLY, Abraham received what was promised.
Waiting with patience is not being lazy. We continue believing and continue doing what we know we’re supposed to do being faithful to God. Initially Abraham and Sarah were not patient. Sometimes it seems easier to have faith than it is to have patience. Abraham’s promise took twenty-five years but didn’t happen until AFTER WAITING PATIENTLY. They had faith. They believed God could do it, but he wasn’t doing it on their schedule, and they became impatient creating misery. We, like them, usually get the faith part down. We believe God can and will do it. It’s the patience part where we struggle and create misery.
Maybe you’re familiar with Abraham and Sarah’s story. God called Abram out of a heathen land when Abram was seventy-five years old (Gen 12:4).God promised Abram he would give his decedents the land of Canaan (Gen 12:7) and make Abram into a great nation (Gen 12:2). The problem was Abram and Sarai did not have any children. About ten years went by, and Abram and Sarai continued childless. Abram figured since God had not given them a child God must have meant one of Abram’s servants named Eliezer was the heir.
Genesis 15:4-6 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but A SON COMING FROM YOUR OWN BODY WILL BE YOUR HEIR.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars -- if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” ABRAM BELIEVED THE LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Abraham believed the Lord. He had faith, but his patience was challenged. In the next chapter we read,
Genesis 16:1-4 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. BUT she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and GAVE HER TO HER HUSBAND TO BE HIS WIFE. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, SHE BEGAN TO DESPISE HER MISTRESS.
We blast Abram for his relationship with Hagar, but Hagar was his wife -- polygamy not adultery. Instead of waiting patiently for God’s timing Abraham impatiently went along with Sarai’s plan and before the baby birthed misery began. Hagar began to despise Sarai. They had a baby boy and named him Ishmael. Ishmael was a struggle to raise. He caused hostility and was a wild donkey of a man (Gen 16:12). Hagar and Ishmael caused constant conflict and misery. The situation caused so much stress, distress and heavy misery Abraham had to send Hagar and Ishmael away (Gen 21:11). It broke Abrams’ heart, and he pleaded and pleaded with God, but God wasn’t obligated. It’s what happens when we birth things out of God’s proper timing and procedures. God’s not obligated for our Ishmaels even when we pray and pray and our heart is breaking. But, what God births in his proper timing and procedures, he blesses and maintains.
One day the Lord visited Abraham and set the proper time. It was here Abraham waited patiently.
Genesis 18:10 Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you ABOUT THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
There is a proper time set by the Lord. Remember Abraham and Sarah were very old.
Genesis 18:12-14 So SARAH LAUGHED TO HERSELF as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure? Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD? I will return to you at THE APPOINTED TIME NEXT YEAR and Sarah will have a son.”
Did it happen? Did Sarah have a baby by Abraham? Of course, it did (Gen 21:1-3). Isaac (laughter) was born, but if not cautious we all become like Sarah. We become tired of waiting on God, worn out, old and attempt to help him. For example, as we’ve mentioned maybe you know a person is not good for you, but you want to help God. You might not meet anyone else. No. If you bypass Ishmael, Isaac will show up. The promise is in your future. Wait for the appointed time. It’s the proper time. Be patient and trust God. He knows what he’s doing. Don’t be birthing Ishmael when God wants to give you Isaac.
There is a proper time and procedure already set into your future. If you have a wise heart you know this and will avoid heavy misery. You will need to enter into God’s place of rest showing you truly believe and trust God. Don’t become lazy. Pray, worship, praise, serve, minister, give, be faithful, but rest in faith and patience. Patience is more difficult than faith and believing. Don’t create Ishmael when God wants to give you Isaac.
Proper Time and Procedure – sermon video audio notes
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