Positioning and Timing
The other day I was surprised when God gave me two words. They were "Positioning" and "Timing". I was not sure what God meant, but over the week I have been reflecting on what they both mean, and I pray you are encouraged when you reflect on the importance of both the way God positions you, but as He positions you, we have to be patient and wait for His timing so we can be effective doing what God has called us to do. Let us look at this principle in a few lives of people we read about in the Bible.
Esther is one of my favourite characters in the Bible.
God even blessed me with a daughter who we named after this character. Esther was in a place in time where she was looked after by not her parents but her uncle. She had a very interesting time of growing up learning about God and being raised to listen to her uncle, do what was right and trusting in God. Being set aside because of her beauty and given one night with the King so He could choose a queen from many pretty young women was not something she would have thought was going to be a place where she would be able to do anything for God. The thought of being separated from the world and not having a husband and family may have given her immense sadness. But in this situation, God was positioning her to save her people. As God positioned her, she knew that she would only be successful to do it God's way and with His timing.
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” Esther4:15-16
Esther knew that she was positioned for "such a time as this", but had the wisdom to walk in God's timing as well. She did not rush into doing something but waited on God to give her the timing and way to move forward. Because of this, we read from Chapter 4 to the end of the book that Hayman is defeated and the Jews were given permission to destroy their enemies over 2 days. As Esther was positioned and walked in God's timing, not only were her people saved, their enemies were defeated and they lived in peace that they would not have dreamed of. The positioning of Esther was critical, but it could not have worked unless she sought God for His timing!
King David is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible. He is referred to as "a man after God's own heart" As God was raising him up as the second king of Israel, we see the first king, Saul, falling apart. God grew David from the inside, Saul was only interested in the outside (appearance, people's opinions etc..)
Even though David knew that God had anointed him as King of Israel, David knew that he could not lay hands on the king God had chosen and that only God could remove the man He had chosen as king and put David on the throne. In 1 Samuel 24:6, we read " And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.” We say "It will not happen overnight but it will happen!" For David, he was very successful in war, he was loved by the people and served his king without anger or resentment for how he was treated. He knew God would raise him to be king, but he knew God is the one who would appoint him in His time. As God was positioning David, he was preparing his heart to rule wisely. David was also becoming known by all Israel and God was preparing them to accept him as king. Becoming king would work but only with God's timing. With God's positioning and timing, David became the king who was a man after God's own heart who not only ruled with wisdom, but his heart for God still teaches us, especially, as we read how David related to God through what David wrote in the Psalms.
Moses was a man who one of the most humble people on earth. He not only related to God intimately and spoke to God as a friend, but he was also a man who led a rebellious and difficult people out of slavery and into a desert where God had to teach and prepare them for their future. Positioning started when Moses was put in the bullrushes in a basket and was found by the King's daughter. To save His people, Moses was in the best place? Yes and no. It took 80 years for the timing to be right. God taught Moses the way of the Egyptians for 40 years and then even though he had a heart for his people, Moses tried to do it his way and killed an Egyptian that was attacking an Israelite. God then used 40 years in the desert to humble him and prepare him for the future. God was positioning Moses in a relationship with God. When Moses had an encounter with God at the burning bush after 40 years of looking after sheep, his heart was ready to listen to God and do it God's way, in a relationship with Him and in His timing.
I am not sure of what Moses thought of for 40 years in the desert? If my calling was "missed" because I had been impulsive I would have been thinking of the opportunities I had missed every day for 40 days as I had so much time by myself to think and reflect on life. When he had an encounter with the "I Am" at the burning bush, God said, "Now is the time!" (My words). He was ready and able to be effective because God had positioned Moses in Egyptian society, given him time to grow in the desert and in this time had positioned his heart so he could lead God's people. When the timing was right, Moses was positioned and ready to do what God had for him in God's timing and in God's way. Exodus 3:12 reminds us that just as Moses had an encounter with God, Moses was called to lead the people to encounter their God as well. Through their encounter, God would bless them with the Promise Land.
The story of Joseph is one of the most powerful ones on the Bible that reminds us that positioning and timing are so important. Joseph had a dream that his family would bow down to him and he would be in some place of authority or leadership. After this, his brothers wanted to kill him, he was placed in a house as a slave and because he did the right thing and escaped from Potiphar's wife's advances he was thrown in the worst possible jail.
Then he interpreted two dreams and asked them to remember him and they forgot him. Finally, Joseph was summonsed to Pharoah after he had a dream from God that only Joseph could interpret.
Then he interpreted two dreams and asked them to remember him and they forgot him. Finally, Joseph was summoned to Pharaoh after he had a dream from God that only Joseph could interpret.
What is significant in this story, is that Joseph was prepared by God for leading the country and saving his family. God positioned Joseph in Egypt, He trained him in the skills and ways of the Egyptians and humbled him so he could be a person of integrity and a strong leader that could not only save the Egyptians in this drought but save his family. In this case, Joseph had no idea that God had positioned him where He wanted him.
It must have been quite confusing for Joseph, seeing that his life looked to be over as he had been unfairly treated. What I found interesting, is that when he was summoned to Pharaoh, he not only was able to have a close relationship with God where he could interpret the dream, Joseph was ready for the time he was called to step up to do what God had made and trained him for. Pharaoh saw the spirit of God in Him and chose him to lead the country through this potential disaster. In the process, he was able to save his family from the drought. Joseph saw God's hand in his life and God restored his family back to him. God had positioned Joseph and in His timing had raised him to lead the country!
It is so easy to look back and see how God has positioned me so many times in my life. Even when I thought I was doing well, God has moved me from jobs, relationships and places and has positioned me so I have been able to be involved in so many exciting things. At the time I have not seen the endpoint, but it has been great to see how He has led, guided and positioned me for the things I have experienced in my life. Perhaps this tough time with my family is not bad, but He is positioning me and in His time he will do something powerful through what I am going through. I have to be like Joseph and trust God and ensure that when people see me through this situation they see the Spirit of God in me. My prayer is "God, thank you for positioning me in the right place. I trust You that in Your timing You will cause good to come out of the position You have placed me. I will wait for your timing and will be ready when you tell me to do what you have positioned me for"
A Story from Now
At the moment the whole world is looking at this new virus that is causing so much anxiety and fear. In the midst of this crisis, God placed a Christian doctor who was positioned and was ready for God's timing for when he was to step up and with courage, tell the world about what he discovered. Here is his story.......
All across China, people are talking about Dr Li Wen Liang. He was the doctor who discovered the novel coronavirus and in the early morning of 7 Feb, 2.58 am, he was promoted into glory and went home to be with our Father in heaven.
Back in December last year, he was arrested for being a whistleblower 'spreading rumours' about a mysterious pneumonia-like virus. This morning we found out he was in fact a fellow brother in Christ. Our hearts are deeply moved by his sacrificial choice to spread awareness about the virus despite the risks he faced, especially to his reputation and to his own health.
He continued to care for patients up until he was infected himself. What a legacy to leave behind what it means to be like Jesus to those hurting in a time of crisis.
He chose to be an example of Immanuel, 'God with us' to the people of Wuhan.
Can you imagine the joy he must have felt as he entered into eternity and heard the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant"?
So today, please pray for his family, especially his wife who is also infected and 8 months pregnant with their second child. May God heal them supernaturally n give them grace, peace, strength and comfort during this time.
Dr Li Wen Liang penned a deeply touching Chinese poem below of how he would miss his family, his beloved Wuhan n quoted 2 Tim 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
"The Hero Who Told The Truth"
Here is a captivating, heart-touching Chinese poem I've tried to translate into English. It was written in memory of Mr Li Wenliang, a Christian doctor and whistleblower who died from the coronavirus himself after being punished for issuing the first warning about the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
"I don't want to be a hero.
I still have my parents,
And my children,
And my pregnant wife who's about to give birth,
And many of my patients in the ward.
Though my integrity cannot be exchanged for the goodness of others,
Despite my loss and confusion,
I should proceed anyway.
Who let me choose this country and this family?
How many grievances do I have?
When this battle is over,
I will look up to the sky,
With tears like rain."
"I don't want to be a hero.
But as a doctor,
I cannot just see this unknown virus
Hurting my peers
And so many innocent people.
Though they are dying,
They are always looking at me in their eyes,
With their hope of life."
“Who would have ever realised that I was going to die?
My soul is in heaven,
Looking at the white bed,
On which lies my own body,
With the same familiar face.
Where are my parents?
And my dear wife,
The lady I once had a hard time chasing?"
"There is a light in the sky!
At the end of that light is the heaven that people often talk about.
But I'd rather not go there.
I'd rather go back to my hometown in Wuhan.
I have my new house there,
For which I still have to pay off the loan every month.
How can I give up?
How can I give up?
For my parents without their son,
How sad must it be?
For my sweetheart without her husband,
How can she face the vicissitudes in her future?"
"I am already gone.
I see them taking my body,
Putting it into a bag,
With which lie many compatriots
Gone like me,
Being pushed into the fire in the hearth
"Goodbye, my dear ones.
Farewell, Wuhan, my hometown.
Hopefully, after the disaster,
You'll remember someone once
Tried to let you know the truth as soon as possible.
Hopefully, after the disaster,
You'll learn what it means to be righteous.
No more good people
Should suffer from endless fear,
And helpless sadness."
"I have fought the good fight.
I have finished the race.
I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness."
2 Timothy 4:7, Holy Bible
Allow God to position you, and then with His timing, pray you will be effective in the "Good Works" God has prepared for you to do with HIM!