The Most Important Times in Our Life…in the Meantime!

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Whatever happened to Mercurochrome?

Although dating myself somewhat, okay, a lot–moms had been daubing Mercurochrome antiseptic on their kids’ owies since the Harding administration.  Then in 1998, the U.S FDA, put out a report that the generically known merbromin (Mercurochrome) was “not generally recognized as a safe and effective” over-the-counter antiseptic.

No Scars Here!

No Scars Here!

Now when my kids we growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, my wife Dianne used a O.T.C. ointment Neosporin – (from Neo, (Greek) new; Sporos (Greek) seed).  According to my wife, and much public proclamations, Neopsorin not only helped in the healing process but prevented scarring as well.  How accurate that claim might be medically, we used it (and still do) on every wound and “owie” that came along.

My God is like Neosporin–

Applied on a wound, a week later, there will be no evidence of a wound or a scar.  When the Lord heals, you are healed without scars and no evidence of ever being wounded, ever been down and out, ever being sick.

Ecclesiastes tells us,

“TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven;  A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,  A time to kill and a time to heal…”  (Ecc. 3:1-3 a. AMP).

In studying the well-known verses, I found that the most important time is…in the meantime; while you’re waiting on your own blessing; waiting on a miracle.

You have said for GOD I live and for GOD I die…but, in the MEANTIME, are you going to sell your body to make ends meet?  Are you going to rob someone to pay your bills?  In the MEANTIME, are you going back to work at a part-time drug dealer, going back to your wicked ways?

Always looking in the rear-view-mirror in the meantime…

When you are spending so much of the present, focusing on the past, you totally ignore your future.

The Lord goes beyond time…

He sees our past…

He knows our future because…

He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end,

The Author and Finisher of our Faith (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; Hebrews 12:2).

NOTHING BUT LEFTOVERS:

There used to be a time when people gave their EVERYTHING to GOD.  But now, we don’t seem to want to give Him nothing but leftovers.

GOD has a right to give you a “leftover blessing”–

We want to show up late, leave early.  We want to be ‘average Christians’–doing ‘average things’–GOD has a right then to give you an “average blessing.”

I don’t now about you folks, but I need the LORD “to do exceeding and abundantly above all that I can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

Thank GOD I don’t look like what I’ve been through–“You see the glory but don’t know the story!”

There were many of nights in my past where I laid awake in tears with the problems I was to face the next day.

A DESPAIRING CRY!

Have you ever had a “despairing cry”?  You cried until there wasn’t any tears left.  You got so upset until you couldn’t eat and then your body starts to get sick.

But look at you now.  You are healed without scars; you don’t look like you’ve been through what you have gone through.  You have been healed without scars; I have not been through what you have gone through but, we all have a story to tell about.  How I never would have made it if…it had not been for the LORD who was on my side.

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A “In the Meantime” Story–Joseph was a tattle tale!

Genesis 37:2 says, “and Joseph brought to his father a bad report of them”  (the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s [secondary] wives; AMP).

His brothers hated him for several reasons.  If being a “tattle tale” wasn’t enough in the family, being the FAVORITE child, because he was born in Jacob’s old age, didn’t help the situation either.

I had a brother who was 7 years my junior.  I certainly wanted a little brother, a companion to do things with–but with such differences in age, we had little in common and I’m sure many harbored jealousies in growing up.  Later in adulthood, we became closer and still so today [another story on another day].  There was a lot “…in the Meantime between childhood and adulthood.

Then Joseph had a dream…

Now having a dream and sharing with the family is not a bad thing, but when Joseph’s sharing involves the future; where he is going to be the “ruler over them”…they hated him even more.  Joseph’s father loved him more than the other children and when he shared even a second dream… they were jealous and fully of envy.

When ungodly people see GOD’S favor, they will hate you.  Keeping it real, when some church folks see GOD’S FAVOR on you, they become “favor haters”.

Joseph’s Special Coat wasn’t by Armani, but by Jacob!

Joseph was given a special coat from his father.  A normal coat in those days was cloth about ten feet long with a hole in the middle and no sleeves.

Joseph’s Coat had sleeves and dyed in many colors (Gen. 37:3).  I think Joseph more than likely wore this distinctive coat where ever he went and this fit in nicely with the brothers plans to get rid of their problem (Gen. 37:23).

Father Always Liked You Best!

“Then they took him and cast him into the [well-like]pit which was empty; there was no water in it”  (Genesis 37:24 AMP).

And …in the Meantime…

Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver to a caravan of merchants that were passing by and at the age of seventeen…he was sold in Egypt to Potiphar, and officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the [royal] guard (Gen. 37:36).

Joseph didn’t know the details at the time, but because of GOD’S FAVOR on his future… he was but 13 years away from a promotion.  At the age of 30, when Joseph appeared before Pharaoh, Joseph would be placed in charge of all of Egypt’s grain conservation programs.

But in the Meantime..

Consequently, Joseph spent a total of 13 years in Potiphar’s house–then in Potiphar’s prison.  A long time for a proud, intelligent young man to have to “waste” time in servitude and in prison.

But in the MEANTIME…in GOD’S PLANNING, Joseph was but two years away from a promotion,  Then one year away, one day, one hour, five minutes away from a promotion.

In GOD’S PLANNING...in the Meantime, nothing was wasted in Joseph’s life.  Just the necessary preparation for a great position of leadership and deliverance.  GOD’S CALLING is always specifically arranged and in Joseph’s case…there wasn’t an exception.

Young People, take note of , “in the Meantime!”

Often, young people feel they should be promoted to positions of leadership and recognition in the Lord’s work–especially those who feel they have spiritual gifting–evangelists, teachers–almost as soon as they become witnessing Christians; acquiring rudimentary knowledge in the Bible.  They tend to become impatient with what they regard as irrelevant attitudes of programs in their churches.  They would rather develop new methods of their own and get immediately out into active ministry.

Looking back now at what I thought was the most important time in my life (I was 30 years old when I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior), I was certainly becoming impatient with the church establishment.

I knew I was gifted in Evangelism in 1972, but when attempting to develop my own methods of moving forward, I fell flat on my face– without what I thought should be successful.  But in the Meantime…I pressed on with even more confidence, knowing of GOD’S FAVOR on my life.

Even today, some 40+ years later, I am finding myself often… in the Meantime.  Maybe days, hours, minutes away from a promotion!  But now that I’ve matured spiritually, I know GOD is working for me in the MEANTIME!

Impatient Christians…

What I am saying to all such impatient Christians today, the story of Joseph is proved useful:

— He thought himself ready for leadership at seventeen…in the Meantime–the Lord had to punish him; put him through a rigorous training program before…he was ready at the age of 30 years of age.

But in the Meantime!

When the Lord brings you out of a situation, you don’t have to look like what you’ve been through.  Joseph was 17 and just 13 years away from the most important time in his life:

Thrown into a dry well by his own family…

Sold into slavery…

Then put in charge of Potiphar’s household–falsely accused of promiscuity with the bosses wife…

Thrown into prison for two years…

And in the meantime, you don’t have to look like all the hell you’ve been through.

…in the Meantime for king Jehoash – (2 Kings 13:14-19):

A great hero of the Old Testament was the Prophet ELISHA–

He was a faithful man of God and about ready to die.  He had fought the good fight, finished the course and kept the faith.

As he lies dying, he thinks of the future of God’s people and in the meantime...Elisha receives a surprise visit from Jehoash, king of the Northern Kingdom.

Now Jehoash was not a godly king, and yet, he has a great respect and admiration for ELISHA.  He even weeps at the thought of losing this godly man, seeking one last word of advice to help him as king of Israel.

Three Words that Help Describe the Meeting–

1.  VISITATION –  How important it is to visit the sick, aged, and dying–SAVED AND UNSAVED. 

…in the Meantime! – we need to take advantage of these opportunities.  JAMES 1:27 says,

“External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world”  (Amplified Bible).

2.  INSTRUCTION – Jehoash… in the meantime, wanted to know what lay ahead of Israel.

II Kings 13:15-17:

[15]  And Elisha said to him,  Take bow and arrows.  And he took bow and arrows.  [16] And he said to the king of Israel,  Put your hand upon the bow.  And he put his hand upon it, and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands.  [17] And he said,  Open the window to the east.  And he opened it.  Then Elisha said, SHOOT.  And he shot.  And he said,  The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria.  For you shall smite the Syrians in Aphek till you have destroyed them.

The king shoots an arrow to the east, indicating victory over the enemy before the event even takes place.

Then Elisha tells the king to take his arrows and strike the ground.  Jehoash, perhaps somewhat confused by now, strikes the ground 3 X’s–then stops (verse 18). 

3.  REBUKE – The Prophet scolds the king for stopping too soon.

The king could have had many great victories over his enemies.  But he limited himself on the number three.

I can just see this event happening today; a man dressed in black and a face-mask saying with a loud voice to the batter in front of him”…Three strikes and you’re out!

What happens when we as Christians make this same mistake?  We too lose out on the blessings and victories in the most important time in life.

God wants us to enjoy life:  I came that they may have and enjoy life…” (John 10:10).  When we stop too soon…things take place while we are in the Meantime!

SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS SUFFOCATED!

God’s will is for us to GROW–in Grace and Knowledge of Christ Jesus:

But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”  (2 Peter 3:18 AMP).

Yet many of us stop too soon, and just like Jehoash…strike feeble, half-hearted blows that accomplish so little when so much MORE could happened in the Meantime!

What is lacking in the meantime?

GREAT FAITH in a great God who will never fails us.  What is needed is a ZEAL, ENTHUSIASM, DEDICATION, COMMITMENT...not to stand still but to go forward, not backward; upward to higher ground.

Too many of us are like the Hebrew Christians in Hebrews 5:12-14.  Settling for less than God intended for us to be.

Some ought to be TEACHERS…but are not!  And in the meantime…become LAZY, INDIFFERENT, COMPLACENT, LUKEWARM…Causing us to stop too soon and aim too low.  Like Joseph, we might be but a few minutes away from…PROMOTION!  We don’t see it, but it is there!

WHEN WE STOP TOO SOON, SOUL WILL BE LOST!

After Jehoash did, his nation quickly went down hill.  Glorious opportunity was knocking at his door; to defeat his enemies and turn his people back to God.  Because he didn’t, the Assyrians came in and took the nation away into captivity.

May we never forget…while in the Meantime,

Others are watching our example…following in our footsteps.

Our children will follow what they see from Mom and Dad.

Our friends will see our Christianity is not for real, and be lost eternally because of that.

Our families will never come to know Christ and be an active part of the church assembly, because we stopped too soon and said nothing to them.

DON’T STOP TOO SOON!

One more in the Meantime can make the difference in someone’s life.

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IN THE MEANTIME…DON’T STOP TOO SOON!

In prayer…be constant.

In Bible Study…be diligent.

In soul winning…be persistent.

In godly living…be committed.

In attendance…be faithful.

In giving…be generous.

As GOD was looking at Joseph’s life, GOD is watching Christians with favor–

Keep on going on for His sake…

Not giving up…

Going the extra mile…

Having FAITH that will move mountains…

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough…], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]”  (1 Corinthians 15:58 AMP).

That ENCOURAGEMENT given to us in life is …in the Meantime!  Remember…you could be just a step away from PROMOTION!!

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The Most Important Times in Our Life…in the Meantime!

  1. GOD has a right to give you a “leftover blessing”–

    We want to show up late, leave early. We want to be ‘average Christians’–doing ‘average things’–GOD has a right then to give you an “average blessing.”

    *** This made me laugh, never thought about it this way but so true God has right to give us what we sow ***

    In GOD’S PLANNING…in the Meantime, nothing was wasted in Joseph’s life.

    ***Don’t stop too soon!!!

    Mel, I think your writing just keeps getting better and better. This could have been written for me, impatient person that I am! What a good note to end the working week on:

    rest in God’s planning
    In the meantime work your faith every day
    Don’t give up and the meantime will arrive

    Thank you for sharing brother 🙂 ***

    • You welcome Sis. All of us lean to the “impatient”. I love praying, “Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of Jesus’ coming! When I am impatient, help me to trust You more and read Your Word. I want to grow in confidence and faith in Your promises. May my hope of a splendid tomorrow characterize the way I live today! In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

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