Read: Psalm 90:4 |
Before the 1800s, each city in the United States set their clock to 12 noon when the sun was directly overhead. Thus, we can imagine the confusion train travelers experienced when they traveled from coast to coast. They could cross over 300 local noon times before they reached their destination.
By 1883, the operators of the railroads came together and agreed to set four standard time zones for the Continental United States. Britain, which had already adopted its own standard time system, helped gather an international consensus to create twenty-four global time zones. As a result, every city located within a time zone agreed to set their clocks accordingly. The time zones they devised have stood the test of time.
Spiritually, God has a time zone as well. God’s time zone transcends our twenty-four world-wide time zones because God is timeless. He spans all time. The Greek word “chronos” puts time in terms we can relate – the realm of a season or a measurable instance of time (Matthew 2:7, John 7:33). On the other hand, the Greek word “kairous” means the fullness of time, fitting season or opportunity (Galatians 4:4, Ephesians 1:10) and “aión” means an age or cycle of time (Ephesians 3:9-11, Colossians 1:26). The latter two are God’s unbounded time zones. They are fluid and dynamic and not limited by our reasoning or rationale.
In God’s time zone, He sets things for us do or accomplish as part of His plan for us. In that zone of time, we are to accomplish His will by following His plan. We can see his time zone t work in the Bible. We know that he touched young Joseph (Genesis 37) and gave him a vision of how he would use him to save Israel from the famine that would soon overtake the land. For Joseph to realize the dream he had as a youth, he had to go through trials and tribulations. David (I Samuel 17) operated in a time zone to develop from shepherd to Goliath slayer to King-in-waiting to King. In each time zone, David learned lessons that served his next assignment. In the New Testament, John the Baptist (Matthew 3) worked in his time zone to prepare the way for Christ. Our immortal and timeless God, partners with mortals within the time He appoints to carry out His will.
For us as believers, He may prick our heart: to witness to a co-worker, to spend time with someone or simply to donate money to a cause. Whatever He leads us to do, He wants us to do it in that zone of time. Since we have free will, we can choose to operate outside of His time zone and form our own. Nevertheless, among other stories, the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale for disobedience has taught us the best choice is to stay in God’s time zone.
A fable comes to mind that speaks to how Satan tries to tempt us to ignore God’s time zone. The story tells of three apprentice devils that were coming to earth to finish their apprenticeship. They were talking to Satan, the chief of the devils, about their plans to tempt and to ruin men. The first said, “I will tell them that there is no God.”
Satan said, “That will not delude many, for they know that there is a God.”
The second said, “I will tell men that there is no hell.”
Satan answered, “You will deceive no one that way; men know even now that there is a hell for sin.”
The third said, “I will tell men that there is no hurry.”
“Go,” said Satan, “and you will ruin men by the thousands.”
The most dangerous of all delusions is that there is plenty of time. We compromise God’s plan by delaying or not following His direction.
Out of all the things that God allows us to be stewards over, our time is one of the most precious. Since “we” are not timeless, the time we have lost is gone and our future time on this earth is unknown. In fact, we only have the here and now. Thus, yielding our personal time to God’s time zone is the best approach. Zone in to God’s plan for you, do not zone out God!
Personal reflection questions:
1. How do you spend your time and where do you spend it most?
2. How much of your average day/week do you spend in:
a. Bible Study ___ Minutes
b. Prayer _______ Minutes
c. Fellowship with Believers __ Minutes
d. Quiet Time __ Minutes
3. Are you content with the time you spend with God? Why or Why not?
4. Have you ever-told God “No” when He pricks your heart to serve or go in a certain direction?
a. When and why and what happened?
b. What have you learned about yourself and your relationship to God from that occurrence?
(Please post and additional questions that God puts on your heart.)
 – Nave’s Topical Bible, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, website BibleHub< http://biblez.com/searchgreek.php?q=time>
 – William Barclay: The Gospel of Matthew, vol. 2 [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 317. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, The parable of the Faithful & Wise Servant, 7/17/2010