– Joseph Rozario (Bangalore, India)
As I am writing these lines, I am being informed very often that many of my friends, relatives and acquaintances are leaving this earthy life. Some were older than me, some my age and some younger than me. Some of them have known the Lord personally, but many did not. And among those who were born again Christians, the majority mere mediocre, average run of the mill type. They did not arrive at the destiny that God had intended and planned for them. That has brought me to face a serious question and fear within me…am I also going to go that way?
Psalm 139:17 clearly says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (NIV). King David was amazed and astonished when he exclaims with these expressions! If I may elaborate, David was considering the SUM total of God’s bird’s eye view, the totality of God’s all-inclusive plan, past, present and future from the moment it started as an embryo. His past started from being a shepherd boy. Now, despite being hunted and hounded by King Saul, he was to be a mighty king, (including his adulterous and murderous ventures, God had not given up on him). As for his future, God was working out an intricate plan and converting even disadvantages to exalt him. David prophetically was able see God’s plan as envisaged in Psalm 139:17.
For me, whether I have been successful in my life or not will be measured by how much of that plan, so beautifully revealed in Ps.139:17 has been accomplished or not. David and Joseph were able to see, beyond all test and trials, a glorious throne that they were destined to and predestinated for them. God was working out that plan every day in their lives, supplying them with every provision. May God enlighten ‘our eyes of understanding to see the hope of our calling’ (Ephesians 1:18). We may, as a result, apprehend THAT for which Christ Jesus has apprehended our lives (Philippians 3:12).
To accomplish such a plan, God has set a time limit.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,a time to plant and a time to uproot…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 to 3 (NIV).
I cannot extend my life beyond that appointed date. Death is a certainty. When this particular thought hit me, and hit me hard, it sobered me… to sow my time, my health and my resources, only into what will supplement, support and strengthen, that intended original plan. I wish to jettison any other interest that has the potential to distract and derail me: any other interest that has the potential to captivate and enslave me, consuming my time. I wish to have a fresh look at the inventory of my friends, my expenses, the TV/YouTube programs that I watch, my hobbies and interest. As a man of God said, our lives seem to be a constant rushing from one urgent thing to the other and not what is important. We need to radically distinguish between what is urgent and what is important. I do not want my life to be such a trapeze act.
I have also realized that it is the good things, which is the enemy of the excellent things in God. Paul challenges us to “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God”. – Romans 12:2. One of the tacit silent strategies of the Enemy is to deceive us by keeping us busy doing good things rather than the more excellent things that will help to accomplish that original plan of God. If he cannot trick with ‘sin,’ then his next secret weapon is ‘good things.’
Our Lord Jesus is a perfect example, how he accomplished that glorious plan, within the SHORT stipulated time, and cried out, “It is finished (accomplished)” – John 19:30.
In conjunction and in contrast with this pattern of the Son’s life, a severe warning has been placed in parenthesis in Deuteronomy 1: 2 & 3 – “(There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadesh-barnea). And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them…” (KJV). The moral of this incident seems to indicate, that while God’s original intended plan for His people was that they cross the wilderness in a matter of 11 days only, they took a detour for 40 years. While a promised land flowing with milk and honey and king size pomegranates and figs, awaited them, they thought the monotonous repetitive miraculous provision of a daily faithful supply of “manna” was God’s intended best for them. They were a “stiff-neck” people. What a tragedy! And wasted years! This simple account is a testimony of God’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery, His supernatural day to day provision, and the ultimate goal set before these people.
God answers passionate pleas and prayers and not casual petitions. I want to be serious with my God and with my time.