On rare occasions 😉, my wife and I have had this argument while traveling: “Turn here!” she says. “It’s the wrong exit,” I say. “No! Turn!” she says. They miss the turn, and then I dejectedly say, “I’ll turn around.” “No, you won’t!” she says. “I’ll turn.”, I say. “It’s too late!” she says. This isn’t fun. We read about the Israelites making the same kind of mistake:
But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God… Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up… But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.'” – Deuteronomy 1:26, 41-42
Obedience has a lot to do with timing. We have “windows of opportunity” to act on God’s direction. Acting too soon or late has the same effect; you will not be blessed.
Missing Your Window of Opportunity
We usually miss these windows because of fear or lack of faith. Like the Israelites, we want to send spies ahead of us to “find out” what we’re getting into. Then, when we learn what we’re facing, we lose heart. It’s too big for us to handle. Well, yes, silly rabbit, that’s the point. It’s a God-sized task. It’s God’s work, not yours.
Now, many times, God will have us wait an extraordinarily long time before He provides us with a window of opportunity. The birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah (Abram and Sarai) is a good example. These times often are for the development of our character. God didn’t call Moses until he was eighty years old. Moses didn’t spend eighty years practicing to lead a nation. He spent those years learning how to lead and care for sheep1. Then, when the opportunity opened, Moses was ready for his call! Even then, Moses wasn’t quite prepared, but he was obedient.
You may be in a holding pattern, waiting for God to open a window of opportunity. Don’t just “wait.” Practice obedience. That’s the key to hearing and acting in God’s “window of opportunity.”