The Witness of Timing
1. The right attitude or willingness to do God’s will (John 7:17): this comes by daily self-judgement and repentance from anything that displeases God. —Which is like orienting your antenna or satellite dish to receive accurately.
2. A renewed mind that has the knowledge of God’s Word (Rom. 12: 2): this comes by daily Bible reading and meditation. — Which is like having a functioning TV set.
3. The power of the Holy Spirit released by the life of God through prayer in the Spirit for at least one hour daily (Matt. 26:41, Eph. 6:18). — Which is like a generator that supplies electricity with the right voltage.
We stressed that we cultivate and commune with God’s presence by faith. In other words it is not that we will have a literal vision of God’s presence all day every day, but rather in our minds we visualize by faith the presence of God. It is also in our minds that God speaks to us (we will not hear an audible voice).
2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Hebrews 11:27 (KJV) By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
We also explained how God communes with us in our minds.
God communicates with us at three levels: the witness of the spirit, the written Word, and physical works and circumstances in this order. It is vital to understand that God leads us from the inside out and not from the outside in.
Do not look at your circumstances first to determine what God is saying. Rather get a witness and a confirmation through the written Word first and then only circumstances that align with the witness of the Spirit and the Word will be acceptable as being from God. This is because Satan too can arrange circumstances that will seem to correspond to the desires of the carnal mind to deceive you.
In summary the principles of our communing with God are:
An impression or witness in the heart: the witness of revelation.
Confirmation through the written Word: interpretation of which must never contradict any other principle in the Word or the character of God: loving-kindness, righteousness and justice.
Confirmation by corresponding supernatural works or circumstances. A prophetic and apostolic Word usually accompanies this: this could be through utterance, preaching and teaching or vision and dreams.
Once our attitudes are right: a heart of integrity, we have confirmation through scripture and corresponding supernatural works or circumstances, we can be quite certain that we are hearing accurately from God.
As we practice this by daily prayer and study of the Word, we will cultivate the presence of God and get to the place where God communes with us through our minds practically all the time and we will know His mind and will in every situation: the more you pray and read and study the Word the easier it is for you to commune with God.
This does not mean we will know everything but it does mean we will know enough in every circumstance and situation to be ultimately victorious in the particular circumstance and situation.
However this week we want to emphasize the importance of the witness of timing.
The Witness of Timing
It is vital to understand that in addition to the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the truth of what He reveals He also bears witness to the timing of what He is revealing. Some thing may be true but the time for us to act on it or have it manifested may not be now. When the timing is not right the Holy Spirit will withdraw some of His peace and joy in our hearts as a check to alert us that the timing is not yet.
Daniel 10:1 (KJV) In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
I John 5:6 (KJV) This is He who came by water and blood‚ Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth (NKJV)
Many times we miss out on the timing of what God is saying even though what we have received is true. We must learn to develop sensitivity to the witness of the Spirit in this area of timing.
One practical way of doing this is to ponder upon the confirming circumstances so as to act in a manner consistent with the character of God: loving-kindness, righteousness and justice. If the circumstances though confirming the leading of the spirit do not allow you to act in line with the character of God so that you have peace concerning the matter, then it is wise to wait until such a time that you have the peace of the witness of timing.
Proverbs 4:26 (KJV) Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Jeremiah 9:24 (KJV) But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 32:17 (KJV) And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Isaiah 28:16-17 (KJV) Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. so I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet;
Confirmation of timing through Prophets
Many times the witness of timing in our hearts by the Holy Spirit will be further confirmed by an external prophetic Word through the prophetic ministry.
This is why prophets are typified as the sons of Issachar who knew the times: what God is presently saying, and what Israel or the church ought to do:
1 Chronicles 12:32 (KJV) And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Many times the confirming prophetic word of wisdom and word of knowledge that comes to us through prophetic and apostolic teaching will also confirm the witness of the timing we have in our hearts.