Don’t Miss the Train
The story is told of a man who rushed into a suburban railroad station one morning and, almost breathlessly, asked the ticket agent: “When does the 8:01 train leave?”
“At 8:01,” was the answer.
“Well,” the man replied, “it is 7:59 by my watch, 7:57 by the town clock, and 8:04 by the station clock. Which time am I to go by?”
“You can go by any clock you wish,” said the agent, “but you cannot go by the 8:01 train, for it has already left.”(1)
Jesus wept over Jerusalem, saying, “You did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44). They missed the train.
A group of Israelites decided to try and possess the land of Canaan the day after God told them the opportunity had passed. They were routed by the Canaanites (see Numbers 14:39-45). The train had already departed.
Ecclesiastes tells us timing is important to God: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
We must recognize the timings and seasons God ordains for our lives, ministries, cities, and nations. Too often we try to reap during planting season, plant during harvest, run when we should be resting, and rest when it is time to run. Even the right action, if done at the wrong time - well-intentioned as it may be - will cause us to miss the train every time.
One of the tribes of Israel, Issachar, had a prophetic ability to discern timing. “They were men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). Issachar’s ability to understand/discern the times gave them insight as to what to do. Recognizing God’s timing is one of the keys to taking proper action.
Daniel 2:20-21 tells us: “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. And it is He who changes the times and the epochs [seasons]; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding.” I have often referred to this changing of the times and seasons as, “The Divine Shift.”
We must understand and recognize the divine shifts—moments when God changes the times and seasons. If not, we could be sitting in the train station with our bags packed and ticket in hand, watching the train that was to carry us into God’s purpose, disappearing into the distance.
One of the great disasters of history took place in 1271. Nicolo and Matteo Polo (the father and uncle of Marco) were visiting the Kublai Khan, at that time a world ruler over China, India, and all of the East. He was attracted to the story of Christianity as Nicolo and Matteo shared it with him and said to them: “You shall go to your high priest and tell him on my behalf to send me 100 men skilled in your religion, and I shall be baptized. And when I am baptized, all my barons and great men will be baptized and their subjects will receive baptism, too. So there will be more Christians here than there are in your parts.” However, nothing was done for 30 years. Then, 2 or 3 missionaries were sent, too little too late.”(2)
It is staggering to think what a different world it may have been if China and India had been impacted by the gospel in the thirteenth century. The opportunity was missed.
Could it be that God was trying to create an incredible shift that would have changed the course of history? We may never know, but it certainly seems possible. We must never allow anything like that to happen in our generation. When God wants to change the times and seasons, or the heart of a king, we must do our part to see it occur.
The following three verses in Isaiah speak of God’s shift into new seasons:
“You have heard; look at all this. And you, will you not declare it? I proclaim to you new things from this time, even hidden things which you have not known.” (Isaiah 48:6)
“Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.” (Isaiah 42:9)
Notice the phrase “spring forth” in the last two verses. These words mark a shift in time. Something new is about to spring forth. “Will you not be aware of it?” God asks.
Even though God’s shifts sometimes come quickly, they are typically the end of lengthy processes. And He always gives prophetic alerts. This is why I pay attention to dreams, visions, and words like the one I posted Friday entitled The Showdown. We have posted many words over the last year regarding what Holy Spirit is saying to the church now. This is the Issachar anointing.
We must now be diligent to pray what He is saying. Even though Elijah knew it was time for the removal of Israel‘s drought, he still had to involve himself. He confronted the sin and compromise, and he travailed for the release of rain (see 1 Kings 18). Even though Daniel knew it was time for Israel’s restoration, he still had to fast and pray to see it come about (see Daniel 9).
God has been and continues to expose the evil and foolishness in our current government. He has also been saying over and over that He is going to restore our nation through a great revival that will impact all of society, not just government. Holy Spirit has promised to judge the Ahabs and Jezabels of our day and bring down giants that oppose Him. He is telling us this - not simply to encourage us - but so we can, through prayer, birth His will in the earth, just as Elijah and Daniel did. God works through us, His people, not independently of them.
We must not miss this timing. We must pray fervently and faithfully. Reading and joining me daily on this post is one way you can do this. But also use other reminders. Train yourself to pray simple prayers and make decrees as you go throughout the day. As you shower or put on your makeup, decree, “America shall be saved!”
As you drive to work, decree the unrighteous government in America will be removed. Before you go to sleep at night, ask God for His mercy and declare that giants will fall. It does not have to be complicated. And it doesn’t have to be a long prayer. Be creative. Think of the accumulated time and amount of prayer that would be offered on a daily basis if we all do this!
Friend, we must not miss this train!
Pray with me:
Father, You have told us by Your Spirit that the showdown is coming. You have said, “America shall be saved!” We believe these words. You have also told us we are moving into a great awakening. We believe this also. We believe YOU are coming to rescue millions and millions of people around the world from the stronghold of spiritual death.
We honor our partnership with You. We are Your Ekklesia on the earth. Your family. We take seriously our responsibility to speak for You as Your ambassadors. We boldly declare as Jesus told us, “Come forth, manifest, kingdom authority of Christ on the earth! Will of God, be done on this earth!”
We ask You for great power to be released. We ask You for Your glory to be released. We ask for Your angels to be released in greater number. We ask for principalities to be dealt with around the world. We ask for multitudes to be freed from their influence. We ask You for wickedness to be judged and dealt with, and evil to be cast down in the name of Jesus.
We decree that we will not miss the time of our visitation!
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.
Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.
Richard A. Steele, Jr., and Evelyn Stoner, Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1996), p. 180.
www.autoillustrator.com/online (accessed 10/16/2000).