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Provision in God’s Timetable

For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.

– Exodus 23:23,29 (NASB)

If you’re anything like me, there are circumstances in your life that readily cause you to question God’s timing. You have prayed about a particular situation, searched the scripture, sought counsel, listened for His direction and eventually sensed a specific answer or promise to your request. What’s next? This is when you enter God’s waiting room. The wait can be short, or, more often, the wait is longer than we prefer. Circumstances remain unchanged, and there is no evidence that the answer you received will be realized anytime soon or at least not within the timeframe you anticipated. 

When the Israelites left Egypt, God promised to take them to a new land. He declared, “I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you” (Exodus 23:31). He made a very specific promise about the land reserved for His people. And He also provided some insight on how and when they would take possession of the land. He explained, “I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you” (Exodus 23:28,29). He provided supernatural forces to drive the enemy out ahead of the Israelites, and He had a specific plan on the timing.  He specifically told the Israelites that He would take His time to drive out the enemy, and His timetable was deliberate and intentional. God’s timing was specifically to maintain the quality of the land that He had provided for them.

God’s perceived slowness or delay in routing the enemy and handing over the enemy territory was His provision for the people of promise. Did you catch that?  God’s delay is actually His provision.  The very thing we perceive as a negative, in reality, is the complete opposite: it’s a tangible expression of His sovereign care for us.

As I celebrate this season of thanksgiving, I have a new perspective on waiting for God and a newfound gratitude for His timing in unfolding His will in my life. How about you?

originally published Nov. 2013

Donna Downs

About the Author

Donna started working with the Lifetime board and staff in the fall of 2010 as they were redefining the mission and vision for the ministry. In May 2011, Donna assumed a permanent role and joined the Lifetime team as Executive Director. In this role, Donna provides leadership and direction for the team as they execute the vision that God has given for Lifetime.