Hurry! You’ll miss it!
If there is one weapon in the devil’s armoury that he uses against us on a daily basis, it is the thought that we have to hurry. We are running out of time. Quick, before the opportunity goes and the window closes! It is embedded in the core language of commerce: “Don’t miss out! Offer ends tonight!“ The thought is always there, lurking, because it’s the language of temptation: make hay while the sun shines, because it could cloud over at any moment It’s the language of pressure, and the language of manipulation: hurry, we’ll miss the train. Hurry, I’ve got things to do. Hurry, dinner is getting cold. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry. No time to think. No time to look around. No time to just listen, no time to wait for others, no time to love, no time for the Lord.
Be anxious for nothing
I was asking the Lord if he had anything for me to bring to a meeting recently, and after a few minutes he spoke four words very clearly into my spirit: “there is no rush.” I didn’t feel led to share it at the time, as it turned out, and so it has been marinating for a while. The scripture that immediately followed was Philippians 4 vs 6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. If we put the two words together, the Rhema and the logos, we get this: “There is no rush. Be anxious for nothing, but in all things…etc.“
Various Bible passages come to mind very quickly when we consider this. At the top of the list is probably Isaiah 40 vs 31: “Those who wait upon the lord shall renew their strength…“ This is probably closely followed for many of us by the raising of Lazarus from the dead: when Jesus heard that his friend was sick he actually waited two days before he set out for Bethany (John 11:6), by which time Lazarus had already died. Or we think of Saul, who rushed to save his kingdom from the Philistines by making a sacrifice in the apparent absence of Samuel, and actually lost it as a result. (He who seeks to save his life will lose it…) There are many others, but behind them are truths that underpin all of Scripture: God is boundless, and He is love. The biggest thing that limits our capacity to love is what we cling to, because whatever we cling to creates a boundary.
An old friend and pastor who is now with the Lord used to talk about our “stinking thinking.” We all have our examples of stinking thinking. Anne and I were out for lunch the other day and the waitress came to take away the plates we had finished with. One of them still had some tasty morsels on it which I thought I would still enjoy, so I told her to leave it on the table. I didn’t enjoy it particularly, and it just put on calories which I didn’t need and which aren’t good for me. I had grabbed what the world was offering because it was about to be taken away. Stinking thinking. God’s thinking says “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” (James 1: 17) As we know from Psalm 23, He sets His table before us in the presence of our enemies, so there is no rush to grab at what the world gives. How often we can let our appetites become our boundaries.
The Great Victory
When Jesus was about to go to the cross, He said “the ruler of this world is coming, but he has nothing in me.” (John 14:30) He could lay down His life because He clung to nothing in the world, not even His own flesh: He just clung to His Father. Because He was free of every limitation, He could give the Spirit without limit. He overcame every boundary on our behalf so that we can enter into His boundlessness. He won the war against the world single-handed, so that we could receive His peace. This was the great victory of the Son of Man.
So there is no rush. We do not need to make hasty decisions that rely on our own understanding, without first seeking the peace that surpasses all understanding; and we do not need to grab the world’s opportunities before they are taken away. We have all the time in the world.