NOT TIME TO DIE

I have come upon many accounts of clinical ‘near-death’ experiences where a believer had found themselves in heaven but were told that they had to return to the earth because it was not yet their time to be there.  Their sudden arrival had to be cancelled even though apparently forced by circumstances.    That would seem to mean that God has a plan for every life (Jeremiah 29:11); that, so long as we live in His will and walk as He leads, no one can send us to heaven before our time.  According to Acts 1:7, there are “times” and “seasons” about our lives and about earth’s events that have been pre-planned by God; times and seasons that He has “put in his own power” – not in the power of our enemies, no matter how bitter they might be or how badly they might try.

Jesus may have been hinting at the same mystery of Heaven’s arrival schedule for every life when He once remarked that His bitter adversaries had been unable to harm Him all the while He had been vulnerably “with” them, because HIS TIME had not come.  He had been “daily” with them at such public places as the temple and in such open spaces as the fields where He had multiplied bread, yet they couldn’t harm Him, although they tried. However, when their ‘scheduled time’ came, He announced, “THIS is YOUR HOUR, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53).  Then He seemed vulnerable.  Until that ‘hour’; until ‘their time,’ they had no access to hurt Him, and Himself gave them none.   “This” moment was different from all the ‘times’ before now.

We all have our times – our calendars in God.  Jesus seemed to know ‘His times,’ so He could say at one point, “MY TIME is NOT YET come,” and a little later, “my time is NOT YET FULL come.” He could distinguish between “my time” and “your time”; between ‘time’ and ‘full time’ (John 7:6, 8).  David also declared, “MY TIMES are in Your hand” – not in the hands of his murderous and jealous demons-possessed boss, the king (Psalm 31:15, NKJV). 

In spite of how theologians might interpret Job 3:25 to say that it was Job’s careless fears that invited the havocs of Satan into his affairs, the truth is that the very Satan himself, desperate as he had sought to harm Job, confessed to being powerless against that man.  He confessed that he had no access to harm Job in any way that God did not permit, and unless God gave the visa (Job 1:10, 12; 2:2-5).

God keeps a census even of the apparently worthless dead cells on my head, and not one of them is lost without His knowledge.  I am priced so much more than the tender flowers in the field and the little sparrows in the sky that nothing may happen to me without His permit (Matthew 6:25-30).  I wonder that He has to update His records every morning as I comb my hair, or so often as I see the barber.  Satan does not have the power to amend God’s calendar for my life so long as I do not carelessly open the door to him (Luke 22:3). 

Satan, this not YOUR time.  It is not YOUR ‘hour’ nor your power, O darkness.  Get out, in Jesus name.  Amen.

 

From The Preacher’s diary

May 23, 2022.

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