Your Appointed Time of Visitation
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11, KJV
The oft-quoted passage from Jeremiah 29:11 shows us that the Lord's intentions are to prosper us—His plans are to bring us peace, not hurt. He does not delight in our sufferings. Our well-being is on His mind, not our undoing. The reason this Scripture is so beloved by Christians is because it is comforting to know that the dealings of God are intended to give hope for the future—a future of peace, not evil.
This verse is saying we have a happy ending, a reward from the Lord; that is the "expected end" of the KJV translation. Psalm 138 is another famous passage on a similar theme. We know that the Lord will "perfect that which concerns [us]" (Verse 8). His right hand of strength will save us.
Further to this, we see in Job 14:13-16, that there is an appointed time that we are eagerly waiting for so that a change might come. We can misunderstand this portion of Scripture, assuming that Job was waiting for death. But that's not really accurate. He was waiting for a divine visitation. Despite his miserable condition, he was looking for a change in his circumstances. He was waiting for an appointed time of visitation to revive him.
I would like to submit to you that we also have an appointed time. A change is coming. You will "hear the sound" (2 Samuel 5:24) and know that, "He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest" (Jeremiah 5:24). My point is, we can still have revival in the midst of our difficulties—we can still be prospered in the midst of the bondage of our circumstances. While we are waiting for vindication, for release, there is still a rest (Exodus 33:14) even while we labor. It doesn't mean that we kick back and just let the winds of life push us wherever they may take us. But it means that even in the midst of "hard service" (again, Job 14:14), we have the rest of faith (Hebrews 4:9). (Photo via Wikipedia)
Our circumstances may be unpleasant, but they are necessary to bring about the expected end—the season of change that is coming upon us.Note, I am not talking about physical illness being a "test" from the Lord—that is not the Biblical basis for "glorified sufferings." I don't have the space here to go into this concept fully, and I refer you to Lord in the Fires for a deeper discourse. But for the purposes of this article, I am talking about the circumstances of life that we all face, the hardships of day-to-day living.
I believe there is a wind of change that brings us into a state of faith-rest—even though we will always have labors—where there is a relative absence of the stresses, hassles, conflicts, turmoil, and tension that wear us down to a nub. I'm not saying your life is always a cakewalk; I'm saying the circumstances of your life don't change you. Rather, it is the Lord who changes you. He brings you to a state of peace and rest even while you work through the symptoms of life. This is the wind of change I want to look at here.
It seems to me that in every major revival in church history, there were three "winds"—or breathings—of God. I think this applies to us on a personal level as well. The first is the wind of holiness. It starts with a breath of cleansing. This wind is the precursor to the wind of harmony. Now, the sins that disrupt harmony are not profound revelations you've never heard of before—these self-exaltations are what we know as "the lusts of the flesh" that the Bible talks about.
The wind of holiness shakes us from lethargy, complacency, and yes, the fleshy sins and compromises that weigh us down. This is not a comfortable wind, but it is necessary in getting us ready for great things, a wake-up call from the Father to draw us back to our first Love. This wind is a gale force blowing the dead leaves off the tree, and we are changed from the weariness of the present.
But after the windstorm comes the gentle breeze. This is the wind of harmony that brings peace—a precursor to the wind of harvest. The wind of harmony is a trough in between the two mighty winds of holiness and harvest. In this wind, there is a time of reshaping—reestablishing our commitments to the Lord and other—readjustments of our attitudes and thought patterns that weigh us down. We are drawn back into His sweetness and love—this is the joy of the Lord, inner healing, the restoration of hope and renewed vision. We are changed from the weariness of the past and given a renewed strength to look forward to our bright future. (Photo via Wikimedia)
Which brings us to the wind of harvest—your appointed time of visitation—and this wind is more than a gale force; it's a hurricane! God will combine all the winds that have previously been blowing on the earth, multiply it a hundred times, and give it you all at once. This is your expected end, and yet, as odd as it may seem, this is a hurricane of peace!
Your Appointed Time of Peace
Here we deal with attitudes. Though you may have grown weary in waiting, don't surrender your peace! There is a set up here: the enemy is trying to steal your harmony, producing storms of doubt, fear—wars among the people of God. Conflict. Don't fall for it!
Jesus is giving away His peace as the Steward of peace (Isaiah 9:6-7)—not as the world gives it (John 14:27). God's purposes are still intact for your life no matter what storm of life may come, because the Lord is giving away His peace to you. The greatest expression of faith manifested is power over the storms—but also peace through the storms. Here's a principle to meditate on: peace is power by another name, and peace in the storm comes before power over the storm.
Case in point, read Mark 4:35-41: On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"
See, the disciples missed out on the miracle of peace, as Jesus had it, sleeping in the midst of the storm. Rather, they were only impressed with the miracle of calming the storm itself. Look, we need both kinds of miracles, but it's important to know that we can learn to sleep in the storm! (Photo via Pixabay)
Okay, but let's ask a theoretical question. What if God chooses not to deliver us in the manner we're expecting? Now, understand me here, God does promise to deliver us, but He does not say whether we are delivered over the storm, or through the storm. So what do we do? What happens when life's issues don't work out as we planned?
Hey, this is an encouraging message—we are experiencing winds of change as we approach our appointed times, don't miss my point here. Don't use this little article as an excuse not to have and take power over the storm! What I'm saying is there are effects of trust, learning to rest in the midst of storms: confidence and stability. These are important too. We need balanced, sound doctrine that draws the distinction between deliverance and discipline.
Most of us ask the question, Who wants to discover peace when you can have power? I've thought this way, and I'm pretty sure so have you. Except, when we have just the power teaching, we can't find the peace in the storm. You know, if we just spoke authority over every single situation, we'd never learn anything. Think of it like this, if you really want to experience God try reading the verses you don't underline. Selah.
Look at Joseph; twelve years asking himself, Where is the promise? More than a decade spent "walking through the fires" (Isaiah 43:2). He submitted to authority, rather than just taking authority. Check out Paul's words in Acts 27:22—please note, they were still shipwrecked, you know? Even Peter (see Luke 22:31-32)—the Lord didn't stop him from going through the experience; he was allowed to fail. But note that God put a limit on satan's actions.
Your Appointed Time of Promise
Hebrews 12:11 says that after the trials of faith, the peaceable fruit of righteousness is yielded. God promises to extend peace like a river (Isaiah 66:12). "The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever" (Isaiah 32:17). As the winds of change blow, you will reach your appointed time of promise. How can you ensure this? Don't cast away your confidence! (Hebrews 10:35-36). In fact, here's some passages from Hebrews; check them out: Hebrews 4:14; 6:12; 10:23. (Photo Wikimedia)
The Lord is saying, "Everything that I've promised you—that which I've spoken in dreams, visions, prophecies, promises in My Word, I am going to begin working them out. Everything I do for you in My dealings with you are for the distinct purpose to fulfill your time of promise."
"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay." Habakkuk 2:3
So wait for it. It is coming!
James Maloney, President
Voice of the Dove Company International
James Maloney has been in full-time ministry over forty years as president of Voice of the Dove Company International. A well-respected prophetic voice, James' ministry expression is marked by a powerful sign-and-wonder flow, heavily geared toward healing for the mind, soul, and body. He is the author of The Dancing Hand of God, The Panoramic Seer, Overwhelmed by the Spirit, Aletheia Eleutheroo, The Wounded Cry, Invisible Wounds, and The Lord in the Fires (coming December 2014), as well as the compiler of the best-selling Ladies of Gold series.
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