As you’re reading this, there are four angels bound in the Euphrates River waiting to kill a third of the world’s population. God has bound them there to wait for his signal. Even though they’re powerful supernatural beings, these angels have no agency to release themselves or to kill on their own volition; they have to wait for God. Otherwise, their efforts will come to nothing.
The unfolding of God’s plan – and your part in it – is all about timing. There are many lenses to view scripture through, but the lens of timing is one of the most crucial. Jesus was acutely aware of the importance of timing. Despite how eager he was to do his Father’s work, he still had to wait until the time was right. When he tried to start at the wrong time (when he was still a child), he got knocked back. It would be another 18 years before Jesus finally hit the ministry road with God’s blessings.
I think we’ve all experienced getting knocked back by God. I certainly have. The first Bible study I held was a complete bust: Not one soul showed up but me. It was a very sobering and very humbling experience. In hindsight, I’m glad it happened, although I’d be lying if I said it didn’t knock the wind out of my sails for a while. My grandmother used to say “Mistakes keep you humble”, and I was definitely humbled by the sight of that empty room day after day, until I finally accepted that no-one was coming. I was the right person to be hosting a Bible study, just not then.
If you go through the Bible, book by book, and look at the circumstance of timing, you can easily see its significance. Sarah was barren until Abraham’s faith had been successfully tested. In fact, there are many cases of barren women becoming fruitful when the time was right, such as Rachel (the birth-mother of Joseph and Benjamin), Hannah (the prophet Samuel’s mother), and Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother). Moses, at the age of 40, tried to assume a leadership role over the Hebrews in Egypt in a bid to rescue them from slavery, but was knocked back by God. He then fled Egypt and steered clear of it until it the time was right – 40 years later – to lead his people to the Promised Land.
The holy angels also have to wait their turn to help and guide people and to reveal secrets. In fact, we all play our part, whether in God’s Kingdom or in the world. Jesus says that those who are only in the world can play their parts whenever they want to – they’re not restricted by God’s timing – but we and the angels have to wait for God’s signal. God tells us many things and then tells us to wait for the signal before revealing them.
You can always tell a false prophet by the way they release information they allege is from God. They will specify a year or a month or even pinpoint an exact day. That’s one of the main indicators of false prophets. Real prophets point to signs that should be looked for; false prophets give dates.
As the world falls deeper and deeper into the new dark age of tyranny, we need to be acutely aware of God’s timing in everything we do. We need to wait for God’s signal before we act. I know it’s difficult for some of you (it certainly is for me) to stay quiet and keep your head down when all you want to do is shout from the rooftops, but shouting without God’s blessings will accomplish nothing but noise, and noise will get you noticed by the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
We need to be patient.
When the time is right for each of us to act, God will let us know, and he’ll do it in such a way that we’ll have zero doubt that he’s giving us the signal. It will be as blatant as trumpets blasting and as personalized as our own thumbprint. We need to wait for God’s timing, like Jesus did. We need to wait, we need to watch, and we need to be ready.
Wait on the Lord
Be of good courage and he will strengthen your heart
Wait, I say, on the Lord.
Back when Jesus was doing his ministry work nearly 2000 years ago, there were many of his people who knew how corrupt the religious powers-that-be were. They were not stupid, these people. They were, however, unprincipled, in the sense that they would go along with the ptb’s edicts in order to get what the ptb were offering them. Or better said, they went along with the edicts in order to avoid what the ptb could do to them if they didn’t go along with them.
In other words, they went along to get along.
Scripture mentions these people as being afraid to openly acknowledge or follow Jesus because they knew if they did, they’d be kicked out of the synagogue. Being kicked out of the synagogue was essentially being kicked out of society. You became a social outcast, and you could no longer work or shop or even openly show your face.
Not much has changed in the nearly 2000 years since Jesus walked the earth. Today, many people who can see through the obvious lies being blasted at them by politicians, “experts” and the media, have chosen to suspend their disbelief in the same way that people who secretly knew Jesus was speaking God’s Truth chose instead to remain in the synagogue, to remain in good standing with the ptb, and so to be able to continue to access all facets of society.
I was appalled at how many alleged Christians have chosen this course, this unprincipled course of knowing something is suspect but going along with it anyway because going along with it is easier than questioning or defying it. I talked to God about this, and he showed me something that I hadn’t considered: that most people are cowards. I don’t say that in a mean-spirited way, but as a Truth from God. They’re cowards in the sense that they’re constantly afraid. They don’t know God (although many of them call themselves Christians), and not knowing God, they don’t have access to his strength. They’re relying on their own strength, which is poor at best, and so feel they have to lean on each other and on society in general if they’re to get through whatever hardship they’re encountering. Otherwise, they’re too afraid to go on.
Like lies, fear that makes you do something that you know is wrong comes from the devil. God can also strike fear in your heart, but the fear that God strikes in you is holy fear of not doing what’s right. It’s the exact opposite of the unholy pall of fear that now hangs over the world and that has its source in evil.
Just as the people in Jesus’ day were being sifted to see whether they wanted what God was offering or what the world was offering (that is, whether the fear in them was a fear of God or a fear of the devil, and whether that fear made them worship God or the devil), the same sifting is going on now. The obvious lies, half-truths and contradictions constantly being spun and presented as “science” are so blatantly suspect that no-one in their right mind can actually believe them. Even so, the majority has agreed to believe, if in exchange for their consent they can continue to remain in the synagogue.
Jesus was an outsider, even though he was the son of God and the Messiah. The ptb and society treated him as an outsider, and then they hounded him as an outcast and criminal, and then they killed him. Most of his early followers suffered the same treatment.
God has given us all free will, so we all have the ability to choose. We may not like the consequences that some choices bring, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we have free will. We have the option of being like the cowards who choose to remain in the synagogue of Satan (that is, to choose lies), or we have the option to follow Jesus (that is, to choose Truth).
What you choose to do with your free will is up to you, but I would heartily recommend choosing Truth. For me, there is no other option.
Back in 2014, I moved to Truro, Nova Scotia, for the summer. I couldn’t find an apartment right away, so I decided to stay at a motel for a while. The suite had a full kitchen and bath, a separate living room and bedroom, and standard TV, internet and phone. About a week after I’d moved into the motel, a summer storm was forecast to hit the next day. I didn’t really think much about storm preps, as all my emergency supplies were in a storage unit on the other side of town. I thought I’d just ride it out with the supplies I had (meaning, just the food and water I had in the fridge).
The next day was a Saturday, and the storm hit as scheduled, but it had been upgraded to a hurricane. The wind was ferocious, uprooting trees and hurling the motel’s flower pots and Adirondack chairs across the parking lot, but thankfully the power didn’t go off and my internet stayed connected. I did, however, lose the phone and TV. I don’t watch TV, anyway, so I didn’t care about losing that, but the phone I did miss.
After the third day of no phone service, I walked over to the motel office to try to find out when the phone would be back on again. The guy who owned the motel told me that the phone would only come back on when the power came back on, and that likely wouldn’t happen for another few days.
I looked at him for a second and said: “The power’s off?”
He said: “Yeah. It’s been off since Saturday.”
I said: “But I have power. My power never went off.”
He said: “That’s because you’re in a power default. It has something to do with the convergence of power lines. You just lucked out with your unit.”
“So the rest of the motel doesn’t have any power?”
“Nope. The power went off during the storm and hasn’t been on since. It probably won’t be back on until Thursday.”
For three whole days and nights since the hurricane hit, I had been blissfully unaware that I was the only guest in the entire motel who had power. Everyone else had lost everything in their fridge and had no stove, no air-con and no lights, while I was sitting well-fed and cool in my bright little self-contained unit, completely insulated from the darkness and misery around me.
I remembered this tonight when I was watching the first few minutes of a doom-and-gloom YouTube video about the coming “dark winter”. Yet another false prophet was urging viewers to prep materially for power outages and food scarcity. And then I remembered the Hebrews when they were in Egypt just before the exodus, and the plague of darkness that left all the Egyptians groping in pitch black, while only the Hebrews had light in their homes.
And that’s when I thought about what Jesus says about prepping. He tells us not to worry about food or anything else, because God knows what we need even before we do and is preparing it for us now. God is doing our prepping. Jesus tells us instead to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and everything we need will be provided.
I’m not going to say that what happened to me at the motel in Truro is an instance of God doing my prepping, but it sure looks like it. God takes care of his children today in the same way he took care of the Hebrews during the plagues of Egypt nearly 3500 years ago. The Hebrews didn’t prep materially, but they still had everything they needed and were well-protected. God will look after us, too, if we do as Jesus says (seek God’s Kingdom and his righteousness).
Keep in mind that God’s prepping is supernaturally perfect, and that we can never prep better than God, no matter how many batteries and cans of beans we stash away.
I don’t know about you, but I follow the advice of Jesus, not the advice of YouTube doom-and-gloomers, most of whom just want to sell me something. If Jesus says only to prepare for the needs of today, then I’m only going to prepare for the needs of today. If Jesus says to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, then I’m going to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, confident that if I do what Jesus says, God will provide whatever I need when I need it.
We don’t know exactly what Jesus did when he took off by himself for a few days every now and then. Scripture just says that he went up to the mountain to pray, so I guess we should take that at face value. Except I won’t, because I think whatever Jesus did on the mountain when he, according to scripture, went off by himself to pray needs to be talked about. Because we also need to be making our little escape trips every now and then, and what we do up there on our mountain should reflect what Jesus did on his.
Ministry work is oftentimes like performing – exhilarating and draining at the same time. It also puts you constantly in fast-forward mode, so that you’re never really you and never really in the moment. You’re always anticipating, always considering the impact of this or that word, this or that gesture, always aware that the spotlight is on you, exposing you, and that even as some people hang onto your every word, others are lurking in the background waiting for you to mess up. It’s like a tightrope act that requires you to be assiduously careful even while appearing to be carefree and spontaneous. Only there’s no safety net under you in ministry work, and when you fall, you may take others down with you.
It’s no surprise that Jesus needed to get away from the performance pressure every now and then, to realign himself with himself and with God. I think the Jesus who taught in the synagogues was not the same Jesus who taught his disciples privately and also not the same Jesus who spent time with Mary and Martha and Lazarus. These were all different Jesuses. I think the real Jesus is not in scripture and only appeared on the mountain when he was alone with himself and with God.
That is the Jesus that I want to get to know and that I’m getting to know – the Jesus on the mountain. There are flashes of him in scripture, but the real Jesus – the one God knows inside and out – is elusive because he can’t be captured in words. Imagine that – the Word can’t be captured in words! You need to get to know Jesus one-on-one, and only when you’re on your mountain, and only when you’re you.
It’s tempting to want to stay on your mountain, to just go there and stay there. I’m sure there were times when Jesus wanted to stay on his mountain and not go back down for the next performance or the next work shift. Remember that ministry, if done properly, is work. It’s not play. If you approach ministry work as something that should always be enjoyable, you’ll eventually give it up, and likely sooner than later. Jesus was very clear that he was doing his father’s work, not his father’s hobby or his father’s playtime. He was doing God’s work, and work is by definition mostly hard, tedious, and frustrating, even when it’s for God. It’s also done mainly for the reward, not for the work in and of itself.
Very few ministers talk about this, about how tedious and frustrating ministry work can be at times, and how the only way you can get through those times is to focus on your reward. In Jesus’ case, his was a Heavenly reward, and so is ours. Our reward will not be given to us on Earth for doing God’s work. Certainly, God will provide for us, in the same way as companies provide their employees with food, shelter, medical care, and other necessities when they work long shifts in remote locations, but our reward for our labour is in Heaven. Our paycheck is in Heaven. That’s what we’re aiming for and what we’re working for. Whatever God is providing for us now is not our reward. It’s our room and board.
There were times on the mountain when Jesus met with others from Heaven besides God. This was also one of the reasons why he went up to the mountain. He took a few of his disciples with him once to show them what he sometimes did there. The so-called transfiguration wasn’t a one-off event. I believe it happened many times, but only once was it witnessed by the disciples. Moses shone when he came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments, just like Jesus shone during the transfiguration. The remoteness of the mountain is ideal for meet-ups with Heavenly emissaries.
The different things Jesus might have done during his time on the mountain (and why he went up there in the first place) is something we need to think about because we need to be doing whatever he did if we’re to succeed at our ministry work. We need to take time every now and then (and we’ll know when it’s time to take time) to get back to ourselves as God knows us, not as the world knows us. We need to take time away from the performance exhilaration and the work tedium so that we can again, for a time, be who we are. We must never lose touch of who we are, as it is the true measure of our soul. We need to know where our soul is in relation to where it needs to be if we’re to be fit for Heaven.
So the next time you feel called to go up to the mountain to pray, make sure you go by yourself and make sure you be yourself. It’s a very great privilege and honor to be called exclusively into God’s presence over a period of days, to recoup and regroup as only can be done with God’s help and guidance. And who knows – you might even meet with a surprise guest or two while you’re up there.
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance, and give thee peace.