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“Lord, When?” The Timing of Obedience

“Lord, When?” The Timing of Obedience

Reminder:  You may like to return to the previous blogs to refresh your heart on this discussion about Listening Prayer. For a printable overview, click here: https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://clearwaterfc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/1.-Hearing-the-Spirit-Five-Questions-2018.pdf&hl=en

We come now to the logical next question to put before the Lord in Listening Prayer. Let’s assume that the Lord has revealed His heart and will to you, and you have listened further for God’s confirmation from His Word and/or other Spirit-filled friends. And let’s further assume that when you asked the Lord why He spoke to your spirit the way He did, the answer involved an action to be taken. Now, it’s time to ask the fourth question: “Lord, when? When am I to act on Your prompting?”

Take a moment to assess the nature of what God spoke to you. It may be in one of these categories:

  1. Personal Growth: In your personal encounters with your Friend, Jesus, respond to Him immediately. Don’t wait.
  • Did God pour out His love on you? Love Him back now.
  • Did He reveal His glory to your heart? Worship Him now.
  • Was it a truth from His Word? Accept and apply it now.
  • Did He convict you of falling short of His glory? Repent of it now.
  • Was it a promise whispered to your desperate, seeking heart? Claim it now.
  1. 2. Prayer Prompting:Did He speak to your heart the need of another person or troubled circumstance? Start interceding And keep on praying as God keeps on prompting. It is His assignment.
  2. Gift of Service: God loves to love others through us. As He prompts you to act on His behalf, just do it. Write that encouraging email. Drop off that meal. Shovel that snow. Give that $10 spot. Do it anonymously if possible, so only God gets the glory. The timing issue here is: Serve as soon as practical, being considerate of the one you are serving. It’s about them, not so much about you.
  3. A “Word from the Lord.” God may have directed you to speak a truth to another person or group. This may have come from one of the prophetic gifts of the Spirit, such as a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, a teaching, or a specific encouragement. Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians 14:3-4.“But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.”

The sharing of such a “word” is a profound way we serve God flowing out of listening prayer. It is also the trickiest. Boy, we need to listen and confirm the prompting carefully before we attempt to deliver it. Both great good or great damage may result. Maturity in sharing a word is essential. Pride has no place here.

But now, assuming we have confirmation of the word God has directed us to share, the issue of timing is crucial. “Lord, when? If You are directing me to offer this prompting to others, please tell me when.”

POINT: Effective sharing of a “word from the Lord” is as much related to timing as it is to truth.

  • Lord Jesus, is now the time, and is this the place?
  • If not now, when? I will be prepared and watch for Your open door. I stand patiently ready to obey.
  • How much? All or part? Which part of this “word from the Lord” do You want me to share now?

Next posting, I’ll give some compelling examples of how timing was essential to effective ministry. Be encouraged to know that out of the intimacy of listening prayer can come vital ministry to others.

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