I was driving past our old neighbourhood recently and I remembered 2 businesses that used to be there; one a bakery and one a neighbourhood supermarket. Both of them closed, not too long after they opened…lack of business.

As I passed, I reflected on how much the area had grown in the 10 years since we used to live there. Those businesses would have been thriving today! The bakery would be perfect for freshly baked bread on the commute to and from work (they had fresh stuff morning and evening) and the supermarket had everything you could need, handy for all the new estates mushrooming by the second.

The phrase in my mind was – they were ahead of their time

A couple of days later I was reading a verse in the Bible, and in that way God has of connecting the dots, there was a fizz and a flash of light. The verse was Romans 8:18 – 21 in the Message translation

18-21 That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

Guys, now I have always read this verse, but I saw this part for what seemed like the first time:

Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead.

You know, sometimes it feels like you are being held back. You don’t understand it. You know what you want to do, you know how to do it, but it isn’t coming together. Sometimes, you aren’t ready. Sometimes, the world isn’t ready for the thing that you have to give or do. Sometimes the people that should walk with you aren’t ready. So God holds it back, reins everything in until both creation and creatures are ready and can be released together

I know that this isn’t a popular view, but I sincerely don’t believe that there is any such thing as delay. There is a set time which must come, and until that set time, we are patiently waiting and growing. However, as your set time approaches, one of a number happen:

  1. God raises an awareness in your soul that it is time to push (Daniel when Israel’s 70 years of slavery were up)
  2. God uses people to make things happen (Pharaoh and Joseph)
  3. God creates circumstances to birth a new season (the Israelites when the time of captivity had ended)
  4. God uses circumstances to push you forward (Esther)
  5. God uses supernatural circumstances and visitations (the angel’s visit to Zechariah prior to the birth of John)

I no longer pray against the spirit of delay, I pray for a revelation of God’s timing. Because His timing is always perfect. I do not seek to hasten the time, only to be found in His time.

Twice now God has given me this visual when I have felt like nothing is moving in my life. The first time, at 29 and in total despair because I was going nowhere fast, He showed me a picture of a house, abandoned, overrun with weeds, empty. Then He took me inside and I saw that there was furious repair going on. From the outside, nothing was happening, but within, there was massive renovation ongoing.

There is a house in my area, I have passed it for months looking like it had been abandoned mid task; imagine my shock when I walked in recently and saw that the inside was practically complete.

If you know how it is with houses you will recognise this, people will often leave the outside and spend months inside – plastering, wiring, putting in fixtures, tiling and all that. Then, in a week or so, weeds are removed, paint is applied, gates are fixed.

The main work happens indoors

Recently again He showed me a house, fairly nice looking. There was nothing wrong with the inside, but it was being upgraded. It was suitable for its former purposes, but now needed to be elevated to its new purpose.  And again, while men passed by unaware, within the workmen laboured, removing, installing…preparing.

Where in the renovation process are you? Can you see the changes going on within? The adjustments in your spirit? The refinement of your faith? The maturity in your understanding?

From our view we are stalled and stalling, idling while life passes us by. From God’s perspective, creation and creatures are reined in while all factors are made perfect so that you can be launched at the perfect time!

So that while a Hebrew slave grew and served in the prison, while he learned how to manage scarce resources and calm hardened criminals and impose order in a place of chaos, God prepared a famine, and touched a Pharaoh’s sleep.

And when Pharaoh woke up, heart pounding at the dreadful sight he had seen, a Hebrew slave was ready. Ready not only to lead, but ready to walk into the fulfilment of a dream that he had as a teenage boy tattling on his siblings to his doting father.

Creation needed to be ready – an Egypt heading to a famine

Creature needed to be ready – A Joseph tempered to administer in both the plenty of Potiphar’s house and the lack of the prison

Creatures needed to be ready – A Pharaoh troubled enough to hear the revelation of a pardoned servant…and to act on it.

Dear ones, you are not languishing. You are not waiting in vain. You haven’t been forgotten.

Align yourself with the time of the One who creates time and authorises seasons. See through His eyes the process as earth and heaven move for your manifestation. Have peace that He will not leave you behind. You will not be, like the bakery shop and supermarket, a great product launched way before its time.

Revel in the joyful anticipation that in due time, in your season, all that needs to happen will come into perfect position… and when the curtains are raised, there you will be, prepared, poised and ready, in your perfect time, in your perfect place.