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Response Time

There are times in life when response time really matters. For example, in the emergency services every moment counts. The sooner the services arrive at the scene, the more lives will be saved. An even more extreme example is Formula 1 racing. As one of my countrymen is leading this year’s championship, I watched a few races. These race car drivers need to make split second decisions which have massive repercussions for the race. Their responses have to be absolutely razor-sharp to avoid disastrous results.

There are times in our Christian lives too when we need to respond to the Lord’s prompting as soon as we can. This is of course not always the case. For example, we may need to prayerfully ponder big decisions, even when we are sensing the Lord’s leading. Some things just shouldn’t be rushed into. In the Lord’s own words “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). In this case, when a decision involves making a sacrificial commitment to Jesus, we do well to carefully consider things before deciding on something which will impact our entire lives.

And then there was Gideon, who, even after having the Angel of the Lord appear to him in a dramatic and supernatural way, still asked for another sign before responding to the Lord’s call. God did not seem to mind, and it seemed to have helped Gideon’s resolve. Sometimes it is good to carefully think about things before committing to the right course of action.

But there are other times when we need to learn to respond immediately to the Lord. As soon as we sense His displeasure because we are doing something sinful, we ought to respond right away, without any delay. Recently I was listening to a music mix and a song came on which I enjoyed, but the Lord immediately said to me “I don’t want you listening to this”. Thankfully, I switched it off and felt that deep joy that comes from pleasing the Lord. I felt so glad! But in all honesty, there have been plenty of times when I have been slow to respond and have paid a price. There are always negative consequences when we ignore the Lord. A prime biblical example is of that of King David, who had a near-spotless record, apart from his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah (1 Kings 15:5). His response time in that case was not good and he got caught in his own web of deceit and sin. Uriah and David, as well as his loved ones, paid a heavy price.

In recent years I have also noticed an increase in my own life of instances of the Lord prompting me to do something right there and then. Each time I have obeyed, I knew He gave me an opportunity to partner with Him which otherwise would have been missed. Gradually, I am learning to cut down my response time. When something is clearly from the Lord it is not always necessary to hold a prayer meeting (or worse, call a committee meeting!). It is time for action. It is my belief that we’re entering days where the Lord is accelerating things, as He is fulfilling His plans and purposes in our world. There will be times of waiting and getting ready. Then when God moves, He moves suddenly, and He wants us to move with Him. I believe He wants to teach us how to be alert to His promptings, how to respond to Him quickly, improving our response time to Him when it really matters.

Prayer: Father in heaven, would You please teach me how to respond to You more quickly when timing matters. Please forgive me when I have ignored Your promptings and not responded well before. Thank You for giving me so many chances to learn. In Yeshua’s name, Amen.


 

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Scripture

“The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass”.
Isaiah 48:3, ESV

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Today's Writer

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

Peter Brokaar


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