When God shifts us from a chronos time to an opportune kairos time, it doesn’t mean the process of reaping and fight of faith are finished. It means we have shifted into a season where there is an opportunity to reap. There is still a persevering that needs to take place. Kairos is an opportune time, not a guaranteed time.
The Bible speaks of a pleroo, a fullness of time. Galatians 4:4 reads, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.”
This word pleroo indicates fully completing or finishing something. Whereas kairos indicates the opportunity to perform a task or produce fruit, pleroo means it has now been accomplished.
This could be likened to the process of bringing forth children. After conception, a woman goes through all three stages of timing. For nine months, she faithfully endures the challenging but important developmental stage of chronos. Much is happening in the hidden place of the womb, but she cannot yet hold and fully enjoy the fruit she knows is coming.
She then moves into the kairos stage of labor and delivery. She hasn’t yet come to fullness, but it is near. This kairos time is very difficult and dangerous, however. Opportunity doesn’t guarantee success. There will be work, pain, and pushing if the fullness stage of birth is to be reached.
The Nature of Birthing Something New
Spiritual births can also be difficult and dangerous. Unlike a woman in labor, however, we can give up during these strategic times and stop the delivery process. F. B. Meyer uses the illustration of a beehive to compare the struggle of bees to that of the Christian:
A beekeeper told me the story of a hive - how, when the little bee is in the first stage, it is put into a hexagonal cell, and honey enough is stored there for its use until it reaches maturity. The honey is sealed with a capsule of wax, and when the tiny bee has fed itself on the honey and exhausted the supply, the time has come for it to emerge into the open. But, oh, the wrestle, the tussle, the straining to get through that wax! It is the strait gate for the bee, so strait that in the agony of exit the bee rubs off the membrane that hid its wings, and on the other side it is able to fly!
Once a moth got into the hive, fed on the wax capsules, and the bees got out without any strain or trouble. But they could not fly and the other bees stung them to death.(1)
When you are struggling to give birth, don’t give up. Your struggles won’t be wasted; they may even be necessary. The key is not to quit.
Consider the disciples of Christ. They went through three intense years with Jesus. Then came kairos - the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension. They were very close to their fullness of time. But they came extremely close to losing the “baby” in this transition between kairos and pleroo.
At one crucial point, they were very confused about what was happening. God was moving behind the scenes, but things were not unfolding the way the disciples had envisioned. In their confusion, they came to a point of frustration and had a meeting. One of them probably asked, “What are we going to do?”
For three years, Jesus had been with them continuously; then they watched Him die. He was raised from the dead and they were excited, but He left again and something about it seemed permanent this time. He was gone. He had talked about Holy Spirit coming to them, but that didn’t make much sense. It would have been more logical had Jesus just stayed.
Peter spoke up first (can you believe that?) and said, “I’m going fishing” (John 21:3). He was saying, essentially, “I’m going back to what I was doing three years ago, returning to the only thing I know and understand. The dream is over. I don’t know where God is going with all of this, but I know where I’m going. I’m going back to my business...I’m going fishing.”
He and the others had come through the chronos season, then had shifted into the kairos strategic time. Just before fullness, they came extremely close to losing the “baby.” Only a few days later, Pentecost occurred, and we can see what they nearly lost. Through Peter’s first sermon as a born-again believer, filled with the Spirit of God, 3000 people came to Christ. As a group, the disciples then proceeded to turn their world upside down (see Acts 17:6, KJV). Fullness had come.
When the shift into kairos comes, there are simply going to be some things that we don’t understand. In our humanness, we tend to plan everything out in our minds and envision the scenario of how we believe things will occur. When it doesn’t happen that way, another part of our human nature kicks in and begins to question everything. At this time, we are extremely vulnerable. The inclination to say, “I’m going fishing...I’ve had it...I’m finished” can be very strong.
Consider the process of praying for revival. Who is the most vulnerable to disillusionment? Those who have been the most passionate for revival are the ones most susceptible to frustration and losing heart. Proverbs 13:12 states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. The portion of the Body of Christ that is okay with things as they are and hasn’t been interceding for revival, isn’t going to become disillusioned. As long as the economy is good, most Americans - including Christians - are happy (of course this is changing!) But it is the remnant that has been crying out to God for years, those who are passionately desirous of revival who struggle the most with hope deferred and disillusionment when revival doesn’t come when we believe it should.
If you are believing for a miracle in your life, you’re a lot more likely to experience hope deferred than the person who doesn’t believe in miracles. The irony is: a person who is more passionate for God is sometimes more at risk of spiritual disillusionment than a person who has little or no passion.
The secret is to not give up. Like the disciples, we don’t always know how close we are to fullness.
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He cried out to God to save him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed to come.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a rough hut and put his few possessions in it. He succeeded in building a fire. But then one day, after hunting for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; he was stung with grief.
Early the next day, though, a ship drew near the island and rescued him.
“How did you know I was here?” he asked the crew.
“We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.(2)
We are moving into a fullness of time in America. Do not give up now. Satan and his forces would have us believe that everything is gone, that it has been burned up. But help is on the way. Our cries have been heard and the God of breakthrough is moving. Persevere!
Pray with me:
Father, we know what You want to do in the earth because You said it isn’t Your will for any to perish. You love to save. You want to deliver. Jesus announced Your heart when He began His ministry:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
He told us very clearly that to see Him was to see You (John 14:9). We do not have to wonder what Your heart desires and what You want. So, we choose to align ourselves with Your will - rescuing people from the fall, the curse of sin, and bringing them into Your family. And You have been orchestrating events on the planet to prepare for the greatest influx of souls ever. We know this.
We also know Your will for America. Therefore, we declare over the corrupt and dishonest government in America, “You will not succeed in destroying this nation! Your weapons will not prosper. Your corruption will be exposed. We bind your efforts to transform this nation and call forth your utter failure. The memory of your government will produce disdain.”
We decree that the fullness of time for harvest and breakthrough is here.
Portions of today’s post came from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.
Click on the link below to watch the full episode.
Richard A. Stele, Jr, and Evelyn Stoner, Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1996), p 329.
Edward K. Rowell, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Christianity Today, 1997), p 169.