God’s Word speaks about a time when the Lord is “near”. It is a time for seeking the Lord – “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6).
- A time for salvation
Before we can call upon the Lord, we must hear Him calling out to us. This is the time when God draws near. He is calling us to repent, to return to Him before it is too late, before our opportunity for repentance has gone. Make sure that you don’t reach the point of no return.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). For you, this may be God’s time. The Lord may never be so ‘near’ again. You are in ‘the valley of decision’: ‘Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts’ (Joel 3:14; Hebrews 4:7). There is still time – to open your heart to Christ, to trust Him as your Saviour, to become a new creation in Him. Here is a prayer you can pray: ‘Restore us, O God; let Thy face shine, that we may be saved!’ (Psalm 80:3,7,19).
- A time for prayer and the Word of God
We must make sure that our spiritual ‘clock’ is in time with God’s time and not the world’s time. It is so easy for us to fill our day with everything else but prayer and God’s Word. When we do this, we are living by the world’s ‘clock’ – not the Lord’s clock. When our ‘clock’ is in time with God’s ‘clock’, we will find time for Him – a ‘quiet time’, a time for speaking to Him, a time for reading His Word, a time for being strengthened by Him. Before we can speak for God, we must take time to listen to Him. We dare not attempt to speak for God if we are not prepared to spend time listening to Him. God doesn’t force us to listen to His Word. He invites us to listen. The choice is ours. You can allow other things to become more important than spending time with God. Don’t be ‘too busy’ for the ‘one thing’ that is more important than anything else – listening to God’s Word (Luke 10:41-42).
- A time for obedience
Sometimes we say, ‘I can’t’, when we mean, ‘I won’t’! We are ‘busy here and there’ – too busy for God, for doing His will, for obeying His Word. Is this a case of ‘I can’t’? No! It is ‘I won’t’. We choose. We decide how we will use our time. God looks at our life. He sees what is most important to us. He sees that our choices have been self-centred rather than Christ-centred. Can we change? Yes! We can! It’s not a change that comes from within ourselves. It’s a change that comes from above. It comes from God. If we are to be changed by God, we must ask Him to change us. There is a decision to be made. We must be obedient to God’s Word: ‘Be strong in the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:10). Our strength is not in ourselves. It is in the Lord. Wait on the Lord and renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31). ‘Strengthen yourself’ – in the Lord (1 Kings 20:12)..
- A time for witness
Saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, we become His witnesses. Is there a ‘right time’ for speaking the Word of the Lord? If we listen to the world, we will never find a right time for speaking the Word of the Lord. The world will always tell us, ‘We don’t want to hear this.’ God’s Word tells us something very different – ‘This is something that you really need to hear.’ God’s Word warns us: “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.” When we see this happening, we must commit ourselves to the Lord, living as His faithful servants: ‘As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry’ (2 Timothy 4:3-5). When people are looking for a ‘feel good’ type of message, a message with plenty of entertainment and no real challenge, we must remember this: God’s Word is to be used for ‘teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The world will never find a time for being trained in righteousness. God’s Word says, ‘This is what you need more than anything else.’ If we are to be Christ’s faithful witnesses, in a time of unbelief and disobedience, we must keep on speaking God’s Word – even when it seems that few people want to hear it!