Have you met the right person but is it just the wrong time? Or maybe God is going to lead you to switch careers, but is now the right time? Or perhaps you want to share the gospel with someone you know is rebelling, but is God telling you to wait for a more effective opportunity?
Here are 3 common signs that often mean God is saying, “It’s not the right time.”
1. If You Are Acting Out of Regret Because You Didn’t Walk Through an Open Door that Is Now Closed, Oftentimes God Is Saying, “The Timing Is Wrong”
For example, in Numbers 13, God told Moses to send spies into the promised land that he was going to give to the Israelites. But ten out of the twelve spies came back with a bad report (Numbers 13:25-33), the people became discouraged (Numbers 14:1-12), and then they missed their chance to receive what God wanted to give them (Numbers 14:20-38).
To make matters worse, once they realized they made a huge mistake, they then acted out of regret and tried to go into the promised land. But God had already closed that door that was formally opened. Because God was no longer in it, they suffered a terrible defeat (Numbers 14:39-45).
Much can be learned and applied to our own lives from this report in Numbers 13-14. First, may we be careful we do not let our perception of the problems become bigger than our trust in God’s power to accomplish what he has promised. There truly was a fierce enemy occupying the land that God has promised to Israel, but God could have easily removed them and fulfilled what he said he would have done.
Likewise, we have to be careful we do not miss God’s blessings by becoming so worried about the barriers that we lose faith in God’s ability to produce his will – for his word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11).
Next, when we do make mistakes and miss opportunities, which we all will do since none of us our perfect, we have to be careful we don’t make things even worse by still acting on our own. Whether you run from something or run towards something, you will always fail if you are not following the Lord.
When you sin, the fastest way back into God’s will is to repent and start following him again wherever you are currently at. If you try to make things right in your own strength, you will just make the problem worse.
2. If There Are Issues in Your Life that Would Ruin the Blessing If God Did Give It to You Right Now, God Is Saying, “It’s Not the Right Time”
When Israel rebelled against God, Moses interceded for them (Numbers 14:13-10), and God showed them grace. He did not take his promised blessings away from them, but he did wait to give them those blessings until those people who were not able to handle the blessings properly were removed from them (Numbers 14:20-38).
Likewise, our sin does not cancel God’s plan to bless us if we turn to Jesus and receive his intercession on our behalf (Romans 5:20). But God’s grace does not bless us with things we are not prepared to manage well. Rather, God’s grace changes us and matures us (Romans 6:1-4) so we can rightly handle the full amount of blessings God desires to give us.
Sometimes God will put you with that person but he’s waiting because there is something in your life that needs to be addressed first. Sometimes God will give you that career you desire but there is something in your character that needs to change first. Sometimes God will use you to lead someone into the gospel, but there’s a relationship repairing that needs to take place before this person will be able to hear what you have to say.
In Jesus’ parable of the talents, he taught us the principle that God blesses those who have the ability to multiply his blessings for his glory (Matthew 25:15). If you are asking for a bigger blessing, you have to make sure you also possess the ability to properly manage the blessing (Matthew 25:29).
3. If You’re in the Middle of the Journey, God Is Saying, “It’s Not the Right Time Yet”
After Israel rebelled, God sent them on a journey. He didn’t remove the promised land from them, but he also did not give it to them until their journey was over.
Likewise, sometimes God does have that desire of yours in his will for you, but he also has you on a journey. You have to keep going. Through the journey, God is leading you closer towards him and towards his will for you. Hebrews 10:36-39 explains:
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised . . . But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”