Saturday, March 6, 2010

R.E.A.L. Women's Devotional - By Appointment Only

Over the past week we've been getting an understanding of what the requirements that God had for His children by giving them instructions on "cleaning up their act" so to speak. My understanding is that the book of Leviticus is an instruction manual for the Levites who were called to be the priests of the tabernacle. The book of Numbers was a counting of how many "kids" God had and then the subtraction of those who lacked faith. Deuteronomy is a recap of the law and the consequences to follow on obedience or disobedience.
As I have been reading this time around, something caught my eye in particular. The first time it was mentioned was back in Genesis 18:14. It says, "Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son." Something about the phrase "appointed time" caught my attention.
Several times throughout Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, God uses the phrase "appointed time." You might even notice how often He appoints people throughout scripture. This says to me that God keeps an appointment book. He has a plan and He does not miss appointments. He tells us where He is going to be. If we want to be apart of what He's doing, we better show up ready for whatever He says to do. Psalm 37:23 says, "The steps of a good (good meaning righteous, in right standing with God) man are ordered (by appointment only) by the Lord. And He delights in his way." (NKJV)
What else I have discovered is that God does not go by our appointment books. He has the bigger picture in view as He did with the Israelites. If you have been reading these three books, you will see all of the requirements that needed to be instilled in these people in order to make and keep them holy. Obviously God knew ahead of time, this would be too difficult for man to uphold so He had to prep them for the final road to holiness which was through His Son, Jesus Christ.
A few years ago, it occurred to me as I was sharing with a friend who had been disappointed by a relationship, that maybe that relationship was not an appointment set by God. This is where the Romans 8:28 factor comes in to reschedule our appointments. As I was consoling her, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to divide the word "disappointment" apart. In today's culture to "diss" someone is a form of rejection. Webster's definition says, to show disrespect. We all know what an appointment is, but the definition means, a fixed mutual agreement for a meeting. In the spiritual sense, our dissappointments are the times we've set the appointment and expected God to show up and He doesn't.
I am learning in my walk not to be so discouraged with my disappointments. I can't say that I have mastered the art of not being disappointed, but it is definitely something that has been brought to my attention. I try not to allow them to upset my whole life anymore. God knows not only your future and my future, but the future of all of mankind. I believe that God is setting up "appointed times" for us as well, just like He did for the Israelites. He set them up for the Israelites for the purpose of sending His Son the first time. Galatians 4:4 says, "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, under the law,". Now He's setting us up for the purpose of sending His Son the second time. We have to make sure we live by God's appointment book rather than ours because Matthew 24:36 and Matthew 13:32 says, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Jesus says quite often through scripture to be ready (see Luke 21:34-36). The return of Jesus is by appointment only and I don't think we'll want to miss it.

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