7 1-9 How To Develop Godly Timing
liberty bible church 6/29/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“how to develop godly timing”
Illus. of interview with Michael Phelps. He was asked what is different now than when he was 19 and going to the Olympics in Athens. He said, “Times are faster.” The older I get, I too notice something about time. My times aren’t faster, but I notice that time moves faster. As each year passes, I become cognizant of the fact that I have less and less time in this life and the need to maximize every moment becomes more critical. I know that God has a plan and I have a plan for each day. That is true for each of us. The question is, do I want to do my plan or God’s? Do I want to live on my timetable or God’s? Godly timing is all about doing what God wants, when He wants it done. If we do, we will maximize every moment for eternity and find the peace we all desire. So, how do we develop Godly timing?
OPEN to the passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see how do develop Godly timing from God Himself.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. We change venues from where we have been in chapter 6. At the end of that chapter, His popularity had started to wane and now we see Him several months later, just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall. He has a conversation with his younger brothers in their home and from this conversation, we learn some key principles regarding developing Godly timing. The first principle is this.
i. don’t follow pushy people vs. 1-5
Illus. of “Can’t Please Everybody!” An old fable that has been passed down for generations tells about an elderly man who was traveling with a boy and a donkey. As they walked through a village, the man was leading the donkey and the boy was walking behind. The townspeople said the old man was a fool for not riding, so to please them he climbed up on the animal’s back. When they came to the next village, the people said the old man was cruel to let the child walk while he enjoyed the ride. So, to please them, he got off and set the boy on the animal’s back and continued on his way. In the third village, people accused the child of being lazy for making the old man walk, and the suggestion was made that they both ride. So the man climbed on and they set off again. In the fourth village, the townspeople were indignant at the cruelty to the donkey because he was made to carry two people. The frustrated man was last seen carrying the donkey down the road. We can’t please everybody, and if we try we end up carrying a heavy burden. Many well-meaning people may offer us advice, and much of it is valuable. But when we try to do everything others want us to do, we can easily become frustrated and confused. Godly timing does not include doing everything everyone else wants us to do. Jesus demonstrates that here.
a. have the courage to follow God
V 1a 1. The events just recorded in chapter 6 took place shortly before Passover in April. 6:4 The next verse tells us that the Feast of Tabernacles is at hand. 7:2 This took place in October.
V 1b 2. About 6 months have passed where Jesus had been ministering in Galilee, in relative obscurity. Why?
V 1c 3. Judea is where Jerusalem was. This is where the leadership was that opposed Jesus and His message and His ministry. It was safer in Galilee. This was Jesus’ home country and by and large the people there did not seek Him out to do Him harm.
V 2 4. This is one of the three major feasts in Judaism. It is also called the Feast of Booths or Feast of Ingathering. It was a time of thanksgiving for the harvest that was just gathered. The Jews were to live outside in booths made of tree branches for seven days as a reminder of God’s provision for them in the wilderness. It also pointed to the fact that God dwelled with His people. The devout Jews celebrated this feast, but perhaps not all. We need to have the courage to follow God, however…
b. don’t be intimidated by your peers
V 3a 1. These are sons of Mary and Joseph after the birth of Jesus. Cf. Mark 6:3; 3:31-35
V 3b 2. His brothers challenged Him to take His work to Judea on a larger scale. That’s where the Jewish capital was and this is where the issue of the Messiah must be settled. His popularity had been dropping off and there would be very large crowds in Jerusalem. This is where He should go to regain some of the momentum that He would need to garner the support He needed to be king. Illus. of the politicians go to where the people are.
V 4 3. If Jesus was really who He said He was, then He should want to show Himself openly. If He did miracles only in little Galilee, it would not be enough. Go to the nation. Go to Jerusalem where the leaders are. Many believe Judas had this same mentality when He betrayed Christ. He may have thought that if He could get Jesus together with the religious leaders, He would convince them that He was the Messiah. But, we all know now that this was not God’s plan. Jesus had to go to the cross. His brothers didn’t have a clue… yet.
V 5 4. John reveals here with perfect hindsight that His own flesh and blood did not believe in Him. Cf. 1:10-11; 12:37 We need to remember that being in close proximity to Jesus does not guarantee salvation. For us that be going to church, being raised in a Christian home, walking the isle, etc. Religion does not save us.
Trans. If you want to develop Godly timing, live on God’s timetable, do what He wants you to do when He wants you to do it, DON’T FOLLOW PUSHY PEOPLE. Don’t do what other s want you to do just because their family, close friends, etc. We must stay submitted to God and His Word. We’ll talk more about this in our conclusion. Second…
ii. do follow God’s perfect plan vs. 6-9
Illus. of many discouraged us from going to Bible College. Then, we weren’t sure Ben should go to play baseball at Olivet. Yet it through that decision that he met his wife. If we know what God’s plan is, we need to follow it. That’s what Jesus does here.
a. know your time
V 6a 1. Jesus’ time was not yet. It would soon come, but not yet. Cf. 2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20 Then note 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1 Now was not the time. If Jesus went publicly to Jerusalem now with a glorious ministry, it would not fulfill God’s perfect plan. God’s plan was not that He be King now. He had to die on the cross, but not yet. Jesus must do what the Father ordained Him to do, perfectly. However…
V 6b 2. His brothers could come and go anytime they wanted. They were of the world and their comings and goings made no difference.
V 7 3. The world was not dangerous to Jesus’ brothers… they were part of it. But, it hated Jesus because He exposed their sin. As the light of the world, He revealed how evil they were, even in all their religion. They could not please God. Jesus said it is all “evil.” (ponera means wicked) So, Jesus walked carefully, not from fear, but faithfulness.
b. hold your ground
V 8a 1. Jesus encouraged His brothers to go on ahead without Him. He could not travel with them and risk being exposed. “Go up” is used since that went up in elevation to Jerusalem. They went up to where they would meet with God.
V 8b 2. Jesus would go, but not yet. Many of the older Greek manuscripts do not contain the word “yet”, because it is considered a difficult reading, but that is clearly the thought. Jesus would not lie, could not lie. Verse 10 indicates that He was planning on going all the time.
V 9 3. Jesus continued to do more ministry in Galilee, doing tasks the Father had ordained.
If you want to develop Godly timing, DON’T FOLLOW PUSHY PEOPLE, but DO FOLLOW GOD’S PERFECT PLAN. What does this mean for us today? How do we even know God’s perfect plan?
1. This doesn’t really matter to non-believers. The world loves them because they are of the world. The only problem is, they cannot please God without knowing Jesus Christ in personal way. GOSPEL
2. Once born again, then we can begin to seek God’s perfect will. Many books have been written on this subject, but the best one is the one you’re holding in your hands. This contains most of what you’ll need from day to day. Some say as much as 80-90% of God’s word in revealed here. In a general sense.
3. Seek Godly counsel. Not just family. Seek out your church leaders. They will be unbiased in their opinions and will use God’s Word…at least here they do.
4. Never trust your feelings! Cf. Prov. 28:26
Illus. of “Short Prayer” At a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bobby Richardson, former New York Yankee second baseman, offered a prayer that is a classic in brevity and poignancy: “Dear God, Your will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen.”
If this is our prayer, then we will have Godly timing. We will live on God’s timetable, doing what He wants us to do when He wants us to do it.
pRAY “Dear God, Your will, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen.”
“how to develop godly timing”
We know that God has a plan. Do we want to live on our timetable or God’s? Godly timing is all about doing what God wants, when He wants it done.
i. don’t follow vs. 1-5
a. have the courage to _____________ _________
b. don’t be intimidated by ___________ ____________
Cf. Mark 6:3; 3:31-35; John 1:10-11; 12:37
ii. do follow God’s vs. 6-9
a. know your time
Cf. John 2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20 Then note 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1
b. hold your ground
How do we even know God’s perfect plan?
Cf. Prov. 28:26