Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
If you tell me it is raining, and it is, you have told the truth. If you tell me it is raining, and it is not, you have not told the truth. Timing is everything. I once told my daughter when she was small that a wise man was a man who knew what time it was. She looked at the clock on the wall and tried to comprehend what I had said. She could tell time. Was she wise? What I should have said to her was that a wise man is a man who knows what it is time for. He does not laugh when he should be somber, and he does not walk when he should run. Timing is everything.
In the Old Testament, it was sin not to keep the ceremonial law of Moses if you belonged to God. But Paul rebuked some of God’s people for keeping that law because the time for keeping the law had passed. God commanded the Israelites to go immediately into Canaan’s land and take it, but they refused. Then, days later, when they had a change of heart and went into Canaan’s land to take it, He gave their enemies the victory. The right time to take the land had passed. By then, God had given them a new commandment, a commandment to turn away from the land of Canaan and return into the wilderness. Timing is everything.
John the Baptist was sent to the Jews with a baptism in water which was a figure of the spiritual baptism which Jesus would give. When Jesus ascended into heaven and began his ministry, the need for John’s baptism faded away, and Paul was sent by God to tell all men that there was but one baptism that meant anything — the baptism Jesus gives. The time for John’s baptism had passed.
Prayer at the wrong time is sin. Charity at the wrong time is a waste of money. To love when it is time to hate is madness, and to take when it is time to give is thievery. Righteousness is a matter of doing the right thing in God’s sight, when it is the right time to do it. We all know good things to do, but from everything I have read in the Bible and experienced in life, it is clear to me that no one knows, without God’s help, the right time to do those right things. And everything in the Bible confirms the statement that every right thing done at the wrong time becomes the wrong thing to do.
To be “led by the Spirit” means to know when to do what.