His Timing Is Everything

God never goes out to lunch. I say this reverently: He’s always on the job.

Scripture: Ephesians 4:6, Psalm 37, Hebrews 12:9


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Everything alright at your house? Well, I trust so. And if, perhaps, you’ve struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one,” and He will. How wonderful it is to commit yourself to the Lord. I’ve just been praying a few minutes ago before I began this broadcast, and I have my own concerns, as everybody does. You know that. Somebody said to me, with a degree of amazement, said, “I was amazed, Bob, to find out that you got problems too.” [laughter] What do you think? That I live a charmed life? Oh no. We all have our problems, don’t we? Yeah.

But I was just praying about them, and then suddenly, it dawned on me. It was as though the Lord just tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hey, you’ve been telling people all these years, ‘Don’t worry about anything. Pray about everything. What are you worrying about?'” [laughter] And I could just feel myself letting go to the Blessed Father as I prayed and said, “Lord, you do know all about it.” It’s great, isn’t it? “What a privilege,” the song says, “to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” What a privilege. Ah yes, that’s it. If you’ve struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one,” and then trust Him, and He’ll lead you to do the things that make the day a victorious one. You can be a victor, not a victim. Hallelujah for that.

We were talking about Ephesians 4:6, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” One God and Father of all. Now, he’s your father in a very special sense. He’s father by virtue of his creation of us. “Have we not all one Father?” That is the Scripture way of saying, God, you created us. Another place from the prophets, he said, “Lord, we’re the clay and you’re the potter.” That’s another figure of speech. So He is, in that sense, your father by creation, but he becomes your father in a very special way through the Lord Jesus Christ, adopted into the family of God.

“Now, therefore”, Paul says, “you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God, and you’re built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.” You belong to the family and he’s your father.

“Now, then, you owe him reverence.” We read that verse from Hebrews 12:9, didn’t we? We’ve had fathers of our flesh and we gave them reverence. You owe to your Heavenly Father to approach him with a degree of respect and reverence and awe. Don’t be casual with God. The wise man Solomon said, when you come into the presence of God, watch yourself. Don’t be careless. Do you remember that? He said, “When you come into the presence of God, be careful. Let your words,” said he, “be few.” Let your words be few. Why? Because he’s God. That’s why. Yes?

“Keep thy foot,” here it is, “keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God, for God is in heaven, and thou upon Earth. Therefore, let thy words be few. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it, for he hath no pleasure in fools. Pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow than that thou shouldst vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel that it was an error.” You can’t say to God, “I was only kidding,” is that’s what he says. “Wherefore should God be angry at thy voice and destroy the work of thy hands? Fear thou God,” he said. This is Ecclesiastes 5. I just read some of those verses.

“Oh,” you said, “that’s the Old Testament dispensation.” Yes, indeed, it is, but the truth is still there. He’s still God. He said, “I am the Lord, I change not.” He’s the same today, and your Savior, the Lord Jesus, it is said, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” So the relationship we sustained through Calvary, a child of God adopted into the family of God, still has that element of reverence and awe.

You come into God’s presence, realize you’re talking to the ruler of all the universe, and yet, one who loves you. And the writer to the Hebrews says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help,” and the figure of speech is the judge of a court sitting in his office and people outside clamoring to get in. And suddenly, there’s the patter of little feet and a little five-year-old girl comes in and runs right up to him and climbs up onto his lap and loves him. It’s his daughter. People outside couldn’t get in, but the little child could get in because he is her father. So we come boldly to the throne of grace because he’s our father. That’s how that is.

Now, it says He’s above all. He’s above all. We stop there just for a moment to realize that God is, He’s in control, and sometimes it’s pretty hard to realize, “Is He really? Is He really over all?” Well, it says he’s above all, one God and father of all, who is above all. And that word “above” is not the word “huper,” “up over,” but it’s the word “Epi,” which means “upon.” He is definitely over and in charge of everything in a contactual sense. He is there. He’s, as Francis Schaeffer used to say in his book, he’s “The God Who Is There.” He’s in contact. That’s the thing that I think that Paul is saying here. He’s in contact of all that’s going on.

Now, as I speak these words, you won’t hear them for a month, but just now, as I prepare this broadcast, the world is upset over the invasion of Kuwait, and people are mumbling about, “Is this a beginning of another war?” and, “What will happen?” and, “Are we into a recession?” and, “Will there be an oil shortage?” and, “Will we have the gas lines again?” And I don’t know. When you hear this, many of those questions may have been answered. I realize that. But I’m just mentioning it at all to emphasize the fact that world events tend to upset us because we can’t see what God is doing. We can’t see the end from the beginning. We can’t see the whole picture.

“Now we know in part, but then shall we know, even as also we are known,” says Paul. You don’t see the whole picture. The poet said, “My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me. I see the underside. He sees the whole thing.” Well, He’s above all.

Now, how do you apply that to your own life? How do you apply it to your own life? Every day has its own problems, and many of them seem to be insoluble. You’ve got a child that’s either hyper or rebellious or somehow removed from reality or all of the above, and you pray about that child, and when you get through praying, he’s still the same or she is still the same person. And you think, “Oh, did it do any good to pray?” Oh yes, God is on the throne and He knows what He’s doing. You keep on trusting Him. Keep on trusting Him. And as you pray, He’ll tell you what to do. He’ll tell you where to seek help. He’ll tell you procedures that you can follow in your own handling of the problems. He’s above all. That is to say He’s on the job. God didn’t go on a vacation. He didn’t close up for lunch.

I was standing at the customs window in Antibes. I guess it was France. I had a very important film that had come by air express and it had to pass customs before I could put it to work in meetings we were having years ago, down there on the Riviera. So I was standing at the window in line, and it was about 11:30, I guess, or 11:40, a long line, and the people moved slowly. And it got to be five minutes of 12 and I was next to the last one in line. I was next, five minutes of 12. And the person in front of me seemed to be intolerably slow about things, but finally, his business was finished and it was just coming up on 12 o’clock, and I stepped up to the window smiling, expecting that my matters would be taken care of, and the clerk looked up at me and said politely in English, he said, “Sir, it is 12 o’clock and I’m going home to have lunch as every good person should. I will see you at 2 o’clock.” [laughter] And he very gently pulled the curtain down, the shade down, and closed the window, and that was it. I was out of luck.

Oh, what a feeling. I remember that to this day although it happened in 1949. Can you believe it? “Sir,” he said, “I’m going home to lunch. I’ll see you at 2 o’clock,” and I’d been waiting there and waiting there. Well, I’ll tell you a little something, God never goes out to lunch. I say this reverently. He’s always on the job. That’s what this expression means. He’s above all. Yes, he’s God. Yes, it is authority. Yes, it means He has power. Yes, He’s absolutely Almighty God. But the use of that one particular little Greek preposition means He’s on the job. He’s there.

Would you trust him today with your matters? Yes, you pray about things and they don’t seem to change right away. Listen, God doesn’t pay all his bills on Thursday. You can afford to wait on Him. The psalmist said, “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, he shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord. Trust in the Lord and wait patiently for him,” the psalmist said in the 37th psalm. This matter of being willing to accept God’s schedule is something that’s hard for me to learn, but oh, once having learned it, what wonderful peace there is in knowing that God’s on the job. He didn’t forget.

Martha thought that Jesus forgot. He came to Bethany four days after the funeral of Lazarus, and she said, “Why didn’t you come sooner? If you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. You blew it, Lord. We tried to tell you. We tried to send for you. You didn’t get here. You didn’t follow the right schedule. You should have been here sooner, Lord.” He said, “Look, you’re thinking about a funeral. I’m thinking about a resurrection.” God’s plans were so much greater than Martha and Mary that they couldn’t even imagine what He had in mind until He did it. Learn to wait on God. He’s still on the job, beloved. Oh yes, He is.

Father God, we love you. Help us to trust your timing, to know that you’re on the job, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the king today and be a blessing!

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