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  A Thousand Years Is - -
#7 in a series
   


But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.                                                      II Peter 3:8

 

 
 

"Time" is so different for us and for God! For us, everything begins and ends. Each minute, day and year. Even life itself. But it’s not so for Him!

Every moment we live means that we have fewer left – to do whatever must be done and for our years on earth. It invokes a sort of urgency. Time becomes the Definer of our day; the Great Determiner in the decisions of life. There is our time at work (which is often controlled by a time card), time to play, and time to eat. Or to gulp, because we don't have time to eat properly.

We say, "I don't have time to do that right now." Or, "Do we have time to stop at the store on our way home?" How about, "You're taking too much time on that project!" Time – time – time!

But you see, it's all so different for God! Since He always was and always will be He has all the time in the world! It doesn't matter how long something takes. A day, a thousand years – it’s no big deal. The difference doesn't mean anything compared to His million billion trillion years! There is only one determining factor for God. It is His eternal purpose and plan which determine what He does, and when!

He moved patiently through history for nearly 4000 years from the entrance of sin into the human experience, to the birth of the Savior. Is that a long time? Kings and kingdoms, and decades and centuries came and went. God arranged nations in just the right relationship to each other to create the setting for the birth of the Savior. He was not in a hurry. Time was not a factor. Only one thing mattered. When earth was ready for the eternal purposes of heaven to be fulfilled, He would act. And He did!

So what? Well first of all, while it's been 2000 years since the prophetic writings in the New Testament were given and even more thousands for those in the Old Testament – thousands of years don't matter. They are only days to God. In II Peter 3 we are warned not to lose sight of that. Its gonna happen and we'd better take it seriously!

Secondly, because "we don't have time," we often cheat ourselves of the quiet place with God in which He would give us wisdom about how to best use our time. Instead, we bow to Master Time and become frustrated because the use of our time seems so futile! Are we dense or what!?

Thirdly, I have seen over the years that if I use my time for the things that God sets before me, He will enable me to do everything that I need to get done. I don't always practice that but I know it's true. I could tell many stories!

Fourthly, if we say that our life is shaped by our walk with God, then we ought to increasingly learn to view time as He does. Time is a wonderful servant but a cruel master.

Time serves God by making place for His plan to be worked out. It can do that for us too. However, because we are so driven, we often try to make things happen in our way and in our time. We don't wait for God. We try to drag people into the Kingdom rather than giving Him time to work in their hearts, and we turn them off. We rush into "ministry" before our own walk with God has enough intimacy to give it authenticity.

In church issues we often don't give people time to come around to our viewpoint, and we don't have time to consider theirs. The last few years God has challenged me deeply that many things will work out okay if I give them time. If I am as right as I think I am about something, I don't have to force the issue. I only need to express myself appropriately and let it play out.

Further, wisdom and truth have a voice of their own, but we often short circuit their influence by forcing an issue and making it a power struggle between us and another person. If in the end, heaven forbid, we’re not as right as we thought we were, it was better to have not tried to force it! Many of the things we argue about probably won't matter one iota before long anyway, and most have absolutely no eternal significance!

Time is earthly. The plans and purposes of God are heavenly. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so the fulfillment which accompanies the life focused on Him soars as we are set free from the tyranny of time.

"Eternal life" doesn't start when we die – it begins when we are born again. It is defined more by quality than by time. Our years here becomes “bigger than life” when we are connected to "forever." We soar above the constraints of broken humanity and the world we live in. The only urgency now, is to allow the eternal purposes of God to be fulfilled in and thru us, moment by moment, in the short time we have on this earth as we prepare for "forever" with Him.

   


Born in 1940, Ken Stoltzfus has worked as a pilot, ordained Christian minister, businessman, missionary to Africa and writer. This is #7 in his series "Snippets from the Good Book", and is one of many short articles that can be found at www.John2031.com  

Bible quotations are from the New Living Translation, © 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers.

© Ken Stoltzfus, www.John2031.com, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636 USA. May be printed for personal use and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes without further permission if proper acknowledgment is given.

 
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