Perseverance Equals Reward
I wrote about God changing the times and seasons a few days ago, something I often refer to as the divine shift. In this context, I often reference chronos, the Greek word for general or chronological time, and kairos, strategic and opportune time. Though important to understand their spiritual application, the terms are not necessarily spiritual in nature; they simply refer to different phases of time. Chronos, typically much longer, is planting and tending to the seed; kairos is harvest season. Chronos is mundane, kairos is exciting. Chronos is the investment, kairos is the reward.
As we persevere through difficult times (chronos), if we aren’t careful a mindset can evolve that says life will always be this way. We might begin to believe that the kairos time is never coming. If we’re not careful, we lose our expectation, and our faith begins to waver. We’ve prayed so long, plowed so long, believed so long, and held on for so long that we begin to live with a “so long” mentality. Disillusionment then sets in and our faith is gone.
God wants to shift our mentality from becoming discouraged during these times to realizing the necessity of chronos seasons. We’re not losing or wasting time, we’re investing it. And if we do so faithfully, the shift will come. Knowing that we are cooperating with God and giving Him what He needs in order to bring the new, we can rejoice over, rather than despise, small beginnings. We won’t despair about praying for years with little apparent fruit. Our faith will be based only on the truth of God’s Word, unmoved by adversity or delays.
When we are properly prepared and the time is right, God can shift seasons very quickly. Overnight, it seems, He transforms dry places into rivers, barrenness into fruitfulness, and makes a way where there was no way. At the right time, God causes the shift, and change occurs - chronos into kairos. Allow this truth to bring faith and encouragement into your situation.
Let’s look at some biblical examples to help us see this concept more clearly.
Abraham received a glorious promise from God that he would have a son through Sarah, and his descendants would be in number as the stars in the sky. He then moved into a 24-year chronos season of having to persevere and walk by faith. After this season, as recorded in Genesis 18:10, God appeared to him and said, in essence, that a divine shift was about to happen: “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (The word for “time” in this verse is eth, the Hebrew counterpart for the Greek word kairos - strategic or opportune time.)
After so many years in the chronos season, Abraham and Sarah laughed cynically at this prospect. Abraham even tried to talk God into fulfilling His plans through Ishmael. But true to His word, God created the shift; He changed the times and the seasons. Abraham and Sarah moved from chronos to kairos. The new sprang forth from the old, and Isaac, the son of promise, was born.
Another example can be seen in Abraham’s descendents. Israel was in a difficult chronos season of having to persevere and wait in Egypt. Suddenly, the shift sprang forth. When the time was right, God, in His great wisdom and power, changed the season!
As a part of the process, Yahweh came to Moses, who had ended up in exile for his own 40-year chronos season, and said He was about to use him to shift things. Moses said essentially, “Shift them with somebody else, not me.” But God made it clear to Moses that he was the one to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, and brought about the divine shift, both for Moses and the nation of Israel.
In a sad turn of events, these Israelites weren’t able to believe in this kairos season, and lost it. The next generation, who would eventually go in and possess the land, had to wait through their own chronos period. Suddenly, God came to Joshua and said that in three days they were to go into the Promised Land. He was creating the divine shift. The wandering was over, and He moved the nation into a new phase.
Saul, who became the apostle Paul, received a visitation from God on the road to Damascus. He then went into a routine chronos season where, for 12 to 13 years, God was transforming him, and bringing great revelation. When the time was right, Holy Spirit declared that Paul was to be separated to the work he was called to do (Acts 13). His chronos time became a kairos time as God released him into the fullness of his ministry. The routine time wasn’t wasted. It was all a part of the process of training and preparation for what God was planning to launch him into. Chronos shifted into kairos, and the world has never been the same since.
Captain Ralph and his only crew member Shaun, had dropped off their passengers at the Northwest town of Poulsbo and were on their regular route back to Seattle. A fierce storm had developed and, as they reentered Puget Sound on the luxury yacht The Matchmaker, they heard an urgent radio transmission.
Strong winds had tipped over a sailboat, sending a man and woman into the frigid waters of Puget Sound. The man had made it to shore, but the woman was missing. A helicopter and rescue boats were crisscrossing the area where the woman had fallen into the water, but after almost two hours they were beginning to lose hope of finding her. It was doubtful she could still be alive after that much time in the icy cold waters.
The Matchmaker was quite a ways from the rescue operation, but Captain Ralph realized their location was strategic. Having traversed the Sound many times, he was very familiar with its currents. He told Shaun that the woman would no longer be in the area of the capsized boat, but by now would have been carried by the strong current directly into their path. Because of the storm, it was impossible for any other boat to get to that area in time to try and save her.
Recognizing they were this woman’s only opportunity for rescue, Captain Ralph and Shaun strained to see or hear anything that might help them find her in the midst of the storm. Suddenly they heard a faint noise that sounded like a bird. As Captain Ralph turned the boat so the lights of Seattle could illuminate the water, they saw the woman crying out to them for help. While Captain Ralph maneuvered the boat into position, Shawn pulled the desperate woman aboard. Collapsing at Shaun’s feet, she grasped his legs while thanking him again and again. Imagine her relief upon seeing The Matchmaker’s approach! She had been watching the rescue operation disappear farther and farther into the distance as the current swept her away.
A routine journey became a strategic event, and a woman’s life was saved. We must be ready. Like Captain Ralph, God has prepared us for a specific kairos.
I remember when God caused the Iron Curtain in Europe to be destroyed in the early 1990s. People had prayed for decades to break down the oppression of Communist regimes that held millions of people in bondage. It didn’t look like this would ever happen. But suddenly God changed the times and the seasons. He created the divine shift, and the face of Eastern Europe was changed in just a very short amount of time - different governments, different leaders, even different names of nations. God had the necessary wisdom and power to bring the divine shift very quickly.
He can do the same for us. Persevere in the chronos - the routine. Kairos is coming!
Pray with me:
Father, we thank You for the times of planting, sowing, and working Your process of life. You do all things well. You know what is needed in the mundane, routine seasons when it looks like nothing is happening. You are working behind the scenes, under the ground. And just as there is seed time, there will be harvest!!
Thank You for teaching us Your ways. We will not waver until we see harvest. You are shifting the time and season even now. Your heart is excited. You are expectant! And so are we! The God of all the earth is about to act! Nothing will stop this. Nothing.
We pray for America. We pray for the nations of the earth. We call forth change - change in governments, societies, individual lives, and yes, in the spiritual realm over entire nations. We call forth change in the church. And we reach deep within to the fruit of endurance, long-suffering, patience. We will NOT waver in this important time. When we have done all, we will stand.
The God who changes the times and seasons is preparing us for a great shift.
Today’s post was taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.