Timing Is Everything
by Joyce Meyer
He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
Timing truly is everything. In 1984, I began Joyce Meyer Ministries. I labored faithfully and did what I believed God wanted me to do. I had a sense that God had bigger things for me, but for nine years, nothing happened to move me into those “bigger things.”
In 1993, the opportunity came for Dave and me to take Joyce Meyer Ministries onto television. That was exciting, but it was also frightening. If I had given in to my old way of thinking—the negative voices that once filled my mind—I would never have moved forward. I sensed that it was a now-or-never time with God.
As Dave and I prayed, God spoke to me and said He was the One who was opening the door for me. If you don’t take the opportunity now, it will never pass your way again. That same day Dave and I said yes.
Did the hindrances disappear? They did not. In fact, only after we said yes did we realize what a great responsibility we had taken on. For several days, every kind of problem hit my mind as if to taunt me and say, You’re going to fall flat on your face. I didn’t listen to those voices—as powerful as they were. I knew God’s will. I was going to do what the Lord told me to do—regardless of the results.
I share this story with you for two reasons. First, the writer of Ecclesiastes made the same point in a different way. He wrote that if we wait for perfect conditions, we’ll never do anything. We can always find reasons not to obey God.
In fact, sometimes when we say yes to God, the enemy attacks with power to make us change our minds, to arouse doubt and confusion, and to make us wonder, Did God really call me?
The second reason involves timing. When God says “Now!” that’s exactly what God means. There’s a powerful story in the Old Testament that illustrates this. Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan. Ten of the spies saw only obstacles, and the people didn’t want to go into the land. God became angry, and Moses pleaded for Him to forgive the people. He did, but He still said that none of them would go into the land. Instead, all would die in the wilderness. “Moses told [the Lord’s] words to all the Israelites, and [they] mourned greatly” (Numbers 14:39).
That’s not the end of the incident. Early the next morning, the Israelites “...went up to the top of the mountain, saying, Behold, we are here, and we intend to go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned” (v. 40).
It was too late. The Lord had given them a chance, and they had turned Him down. It was no longer the right time.
Moses asked, “...Why now do you transgress the command of the Lord...? Go not up, for the Lord is not among you...For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned away from following after the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you” (vs. 41–43).
That still wasn’t enough for them. They went anyway, intending to take over the land—the very land God had urged them to take in His time, but not in theirs. Here’s how the story ends: “Then the Amalekites came down and the Canaanites who dwelt in that hill country and smote the Israelites and beat them back, even as far as Hormah” (v. 45).
It’s all in God’s timing. God never says to you or to me, Here’s what I want. Do it when you’re ready. Part of listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit is hearing the call to act when God wants you to act. The timing is everything, because it’s God’s timing that matters—not yours.
God, it’s so easy to miss Your will by not saying yes at the right time. Through Jesus Christ, I ask You to help me so that I’ll be quick to hear Your voice and just as quick to obey. Amen.