July 17, 2014

Trust in God’s Timing

1 Samuel 24:1-13

The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master . . . for he is the anointed of the LORD.
—1 Samuel 24:6


When king Saul failed to obey and honor the Lord, Samuel explained that God would give the kingship to “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). That man, David, soon entered the ranks of Saul’s army and became a powerful warrior. Saul felt threatened by this, so he launched an effort to pursue David and kill him. David escaped into the wilderness, living for years as a fugitive.

Now, God also tested David in a way like Saul, giving the young warrior a chance to take a shortcut around God’s leading and timing. While hunting for David, Saul ended up enter­ing the same cave in which David was hiding. But Saul didn’t know David was there. David’s men urged him to kill Saul while he had the chance. But David refused, knowing it would be wrong to kill one who had been anointed by God to lead his people. He knew it wouldn’t be right to try to seize the kingship in that way. Eventually David became king over Israel, but by God’s timing, not his (2 Samuel 5:1-5).

Has it ever seemed that God was taking way too long to release you from trouble? It’s easy to grow frustrated when we think God should deliver us more quickly. Yet God’s timing is always for our good. The problem isn’t that God is taking too long; the problem is that we can’t see what only God can see. Our waiting shows our trust in him.

When have you had to wait for God’s timing in your story?

Lord, help us to trust more in your sense of timing than in our own. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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