WHEN GOD WHEN?

Teaching Notes by Joyce Meyer
Joyce Meyer Ministries
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Hyderabad - 500 008
Andhra Pradesh
INDIA
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www.jmmindia.org
TN98

Copyright © 2004 Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
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September 12, 2003
Detroit, Michigan

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?
(Teaching On God’s Timing)

Accepting God’s Timing
I.

When, God, When?
A.

God gives us dreams and visions (hope) for our lives, but He hides
the exact timing.
1.

B.

This He reserves for His wisdom.

Why does God withhold information about timing from us?
1.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

If we knew how long we had to wait, sometimes we
would give up!
a.

Moses waited forty years to deliver his people.
God placed a desire in his heart and then sent
him to the desert for forty years for training.

b.

Joseph waited fourteen years. God gave him
a dream, and then he spent fourteen years
imprisoned and being falsely accused before
his time arrived.

c.

Abraham waited twenty years after God gave
him a promise before he saw the manifestation.

d.

I received a call from God in February of 1976.
It has been twenty-two years, and I am finally
seeing the fulfillment of what God put in my
heart.
1

e.
C.

When will it be?
1.

D.

Matthew 24:3 – The disciples want to know about the end of
the age.
a.

Instead of giving them the answer they wanted, Jesus
gave them instructions about signs to look for and
then told them to ENDURE TO THE END.

b.

In other words, keep on doing what you know is
right and don’t stop until the end.

2.

Matthew 24:35-36 – . . . of that [exact] day and hour no one
knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the
Father.

3.

Acts 1:6-7 – Jesus told the disciples it was not for them to
know the exact timing of things.

Luke 19:13 (KJV) – . . . Occupy till I come.
1.

E.

Exodus 13:17 – God led me the long route
because He knew I was not ready for war.

Many are concerned about the end times. There has been and
are many theories about when the end will come. We should
not be concerned with that. We should be concerned with
occupying until He comes.
a.

Living the Christian life – being a living epistle
read of all men

b.

Obeying God

c.

Continuing to grow and mature as a believer

d.

Staying in faith

Luke 18:8 – Will the Son of Man find faith on the earth when He
returns?

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

2

II.

What Kind Of Problems Would It Create If We Knew When Things Were
Going To Take Place?
A.

If the time was a long time, we would probably give up before we
ever got started.

B.

We would not have to trust God to bring our desires to pass if we
already knew when they would manifest.
1.

C.

III.

Not knowing keeps us from getting spiritually lazy.
We keep pressing in.

If we knew “when,” we might be tempted to live in sin until the time
was getting close and then try to do right.

God Withholds Knowledge From Man.
A.

John 13:7 – Jesus told them that even though they did not understand
what He was doing now, they would later on.
1.

I did not understand why we spent years believing God
for every little thing (wash cloths, dish rags, skillets, etc.)
– but I understand now.
God was giving us experience in His faithfulness. It
keeps us from worrying about finances now.

B.

C.

John 16:12 – God has to withhold knowledge of certain things until
He knows we are able to bear them.
1.

If you knew exactly how greatly God intended to
use you, you might get puffed up with pride and be
disqualified before you ever got started.

2.

If we knew everything that had to change in us for
God to use us, we would faint from exhaustion just
thinking about it!

Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) – It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but
the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

3

1.

D.

Do not get frustrated when God only shows you part of something.
1.

IV.

Act on what you know and don’t worry about what
you do not know.

My Times Are In Your Hands.
A.

Psalm 31:14-15 – Trust alone can lead us into peace concerning
God’s timing.

B.

I Peter 5:6 – Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God,
that in due time He may exalt you.

C.

What is due time?

D.

1.

When God knows we are ready

2.

There are many things God knows about us that
we do not know about ourselves.

What is the appointed time?
1.

E.

V.

It is good for us to wait, to search, to seek, to pray,
and to step out in faith – this is what helps us
develop into leaders and mature believers.

Habakkuk 2:3 – The vision is yet for an appointed
time. It will not be late.

Accepting God’s timing leads us to peace.
1.

Being frustrated about the wait only steals our NOW.

2.

Decide to enjoy the journey; it may be a long one.

My Time Has Not Yet Come.
A.

John 7:6 – Jesus refused to be moved emotionally.

B.

Waiting for the right time to speak is very important.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

4

C.

D.

1.

I used to say whatever I felt like saying whenever
I wanted to say it – it caused a lot of trouble.

2.

Now I can sense in the spirit when the time is not
right for me to talk to Dave about certain issues.

3.

If I force it just because I want an answer now,
even though I don’t feel right about it, I always
get an answer that I do not like.

4.

If I wait until God releases me, Dave’s heart is
prepared and my answer is usually favorable. If
it is not the answer I wanted, then I know God
needed the time to prepare my heart to receive
an unfavorable answer.

Premature births
1.

Pre – mature – Existing prior to the assigned time.

2.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – Everything is beautiful in its time.

Galatians 4:22-27 – Two covenants: One brings joy, the other
brings struggle.
1.

VI.

Those who wait for God’s timing will bear much
more fruit than those who try to force a harvest.

Patience Please!
A.

Hebrews 6:12 – Inherit the promises through faith and patience.

B.

James 5:7 – Be patient therefore brethren, and wait for the harvest.

C.

Nothing proves our faith in God like “waiting for His timing
with a good attitude.”

D.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (KJV) – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning
thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

5

E.

1.

It takes more spiritual strength to wait than
to move in the flesh.

2.

Being patient is better than being proud.

James 1:4 (KJV) – . . . let patience have her perfect work, that ye may
be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1.

Once we accept God’s timing, we are content.

2.

Contentment is a great blessing.

3.

Getting what we want our way does not leave us
feeling blessed.
Example: I argued with Dave to get the picture
I wanted; and after I got my way I heard the
Holy Spirit say, “You did not win – you lost.”

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

6

PERSONAL NOTES
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WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

8

Man’s Mind Plans His Way
I.

Lean Not To Your Own Understanding.
A.

Proverbs 3:5-8 – Trusting God releases His help. Reasoning is the fruit
of pride, and God only helps the humble.
1.

B.

I Peter 5:5 – He opposes, frustrates, and defeats the proud;
but He gives grace (favor and blessing) to the humble.

Proverbs 16:9 – A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his
steps . . .
1.

This is one of the reasons why we experience so much
struggle in our lives.
We are trying to go one way, and God is going another.

C.

D.

God’s plan is often beyond our limited thinking.
1.

Isaiah 55:8-9 – God’s thoughts and ways are above ours.

2.

Ephesians 3:20 – God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly,
above and beyond all that we dare to ask or think.

Proverbs 20:24 – Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can
a man understand his way?
1.

How can we possibly understand all the things that take
place in our lives or the lives of others?
GOD IS SMARTER THAN WE ARE!

E.

Psalm 37:5 (KJV) – Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to pass.
1.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

When you are tempted to do something to shorten
your wait – commit your way unto Him and be
amazed by watching HIM bring it to pass.
9

2.
II.

Psalm 46:10 (KJV) – Be still, and know that I am God . . .

The Fruit of Reasoning
A.

Struggle
1.

Reasoning is a mental struggle.

2.

God has not called us to struggle, but to rest.
Are you struggling or snuggling?

3.

Matthew 11:28 – Come to Me, all you who LABOR
and are HEAVY-LADEN, and I will give you REST.
Heaviness often comes from mental laboring.

4.

B.

C.

When we allow our minds to rotate around and around
a problem, it makes us tired – not only mentally tired,
but physically as well.

Confusion
1.

Psalm 71:1 – Trusting God prevents confusion.

2.

I Corinthians 14:33 – God is not the author of confusion.

3.

Colossians 3:15 – Let peace be the umpire in your life.
a.

We can think about things and search for an
answer; but when peace leaves, it is a signal
that wrong thinking also needs to leave.

b.

Anything done in excess becomes the devil’s
playground.

c.

We are supposed to think; but if we overuse
our minds, we get confused.

Doublemindedness

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

10

1.

James 1:8 (KJV) – A doubleminded man is unstable in all
his ways.

2.

We often make a decision that we feel good about – and
then an opinion from someone else will get us thinking
again, and we change our minds.
This may be fine in balance, but out of balance it causes
much agony.

3.

D.

E.

We can start out really wanting to do something – we are
excited and looking forward to it. We think about it so
much and change our minds about so many of the details
that we get ourselves confused, and suddenly find we
don’t even want to do it any longer.

Complication
1.

Excessive thinking brings complication and prevents the
joys of simplicity.

2.

I can get confused if I stand in my closet and think too
much about what to wear.

3.

I can get confused about where to go eat if I think about
too many different restaurants.

4.

My simple barbecue turned into a complicated mess – all
because of excessive thinking.

Blocks discernment
1.

We must learn to live out of the spirit if we want discernment.

2.

Those led by their heads (their own thinking) will never
know the ease of following spiritual discernment.

3.

When we are making a decision (especially a really
important one), we can listen to what others say –
but ultimately, we must get quiet and see what is
in our own spirit.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

11

III.

There Were Two Trees In The Garden.
A.

Genesis 2:9, 16-17 – Man forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil.

B.

Genesis 3:1-6 – Satan tempted Eve with the desire for knowledge.

C.

Many times in our life we will have to choose between the fruit of these
two trees.

D.

1.

Eating from the tree of life could represent trusting God.

2.

Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
could represent man trying to reason out what direction
he should take.

God restricted Adam and Eve from this tree because He knew it was
poison.
1.

He said: “If you eat of it, you shall surely die.”

2.

Trying to know things they were not supposed to
know ministered spiritual death to them.
There were many things that God never intended man
to deal with. He knew what they were equipped to
handle and what they were not equipped to handle.

3.

The knowledge of good and evil kills us by distracting us
from the One Who is the true Source of life.

4.

It causes us to focus our attention upon ourselves.

5.

It is significant that it is found in the center of the garden,
for self-centeredness is the main problem it causes.

6.

As soon as they ate of the tree, which God had forbidden,
their first response was self-inspection. Prior to this, their
attention had been on God and His will for them.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

12

7.

E.

After eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
they now were forced to measure themselves by what they knew.
a.

They previously did not know that they were naked;
therefore, they were free from the struggle of trying
to deal with it.

b.

Once we know something, we become responsible
for what we know.

Proverbs 25:9 – . . . discover not and disclose not another’s secret . . .
1.

Don’t try to find out things about other people. If we do,
it often causes struggle and unrest.
We may end up with something to deal with that
we were previously free from.

2.

IV.

I Thessalonians 4:11 – . . . make it your ambition and
definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind
your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we
charged you.

The “Little While’s” Of Life
A.

John 16:16-21 – The “little while’s” of life are all part of the birthing
process.
1.

You may not be joyful about waiting, but you will be
joyful when you see the result of what it is doing.

B.

Psalm 37:1-10 – In a little while, evildoers will be cut off.

C.

The good news is: no matter what you are going through now, it
won’t last forever.

D.

Thinking in terms of “A LITTLE WHILE” encourages us. Let’s
begin to say:
1.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

“Oh, that will change in a little while.”
13

2.

“This will be over in a little while.”

3.

“It will only be a little while, and I will have more money.”

4.

“I started a diet today, and it will only be a little while
and I will be at my right weight.”

5.

“In a little while, we will have the money to get a house
of our own.”

6.

“In a little while, the person I am supposed to marry will
come into my life.”

7.

Etc., etc.
a.

We make the mistake of thinking in terms of:
“This is taking so long. I feel like my breakthrough is never going to come.”

b.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT – YOUR TIMES ARE IN HIS HANDS.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

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PERSONAL NOTES
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The Seasons Of Our Lives
I.

To Everything There Is A Season.
A.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
1.

B.

There is a right time and a wrong time for every matter under the sun.
1.

C.

There is a season when it is appropriate to suck your thumb,
suck a pacifier, and drink from a baby bottle; but when that
season is over, it is very inappropriate to continue in that manner.

When we mature enough to be able to discern the seasons,
it is a good thing – a very good thing!

Rushing through one season to get into the next one causes problems.
1.

Example: Last year in Missouri, we had a very warm winter.
We all thought it was great until we discovered it never got
cold enough to kill a lot of the insects; therefore, we had
bugs, bugs, and more bugs.
We had swarms of ladybugs; they got into people’s
houses (mine included). We probably had 1,000
ladybugs in our house.

2.
D.

Sinus and allergy sufferers appreciate a good freeze; it kills
all the pollen and brings peace to their sinuses.

Four seasons we will discuss:
1.

Plowing

2.

Seedtime

3.

Waiting and weeding

4.

Harvest

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

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II.

Plowing Season
A.

Plowing = working.

B.

Luke 9:62 – Once you have put your hand to the plow, do not look
back.
1.

When you are working hard, do not think about how
it used to be when you were not working that hard.

C.

I Corinthians 9:10 – Plow in hope (think about the harvest – not the
plowing).

D.

Plowing = the time I just plain don’t want to do what the Word says
to do.

E.

Fallow ground must be plowed.

F.

G.

1.

Hosea 10:12 – Break up your fallow ground.

2.

This represents preparation for blessings.

3.

Fallow ground = the areas of our lives that have been
lying dormant. They have remained the same as before;
we have not allowed God access to these areas.

The ground is you.
1.

Matthew 13:3-9 – What kind of soil is God’s seed falling on?

2.

I Corinthians 3:9 – You are a field under cultivation – you
are God’s garden.

Hebrews 12:5-12 – The chastisement of God is the plowing season.
IF WE GIVE UP IN THE PLOWING SEASON,
WE WILL NEVER ENJOY THE HARVEST.

III.

Seedtime
A.

To me, seedtime represents learning to do the will of God.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

18

1.

Each time I choose God’s will instead of mine, I am
planting a good seed that will eventually bring a good
harvest in my life.

B.

Mark: Chapter 4 – The parable of the sower teaches us that the seed
is God’s Word.

C.

Be doers, not just hearers.

D.

1.

James 1:21-25 – The Word has the power to save your soul.

2.

It must be “implanted and rooted” in your heart.

3.

We must hear first, but we are blessed in the DOING.

4.

Hearing is like having a package of seeds in a drawer at
home – doing the Word is like planting the seeds in good
ground. Then and only then can one expect a harvest.

John: Chapter 13 – Jesus teaches His disciples the principle of washing
one another’s feet.
1.

Verse 17 – If you know these things, blessed and happy
and to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act
accordingly and really do them].

E.

Matthew 7:21 – Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter
the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is
in heaven.

F.

Luke 6:47-49 – The man who hears the Word and does it is like a man
who builds his house upon a rock.

G.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Obedience is the adjustment to all inharmonious
circumstances.
1.

It is the root of all character.

2.

The source of all happiness

3.

The full, original duty of man

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

19

H.

IV.

OBEDIENCE IS THE SEED THAT BRINGS IN THE
HARVEST.
1.

There will always be a season of obeying God
in a greater way prior to a greater harvest.

2.

Psalm 126:5 – He who sows in tears shall reap in joy!

Waiting And Weeding
A.

After obedience, we enter a time of waiting. During that time, God
is still dealing with us, teaching us to keep the weeds out of our life.

B.

Genesis 8:22 – As long as the earth remains, there will be “seedtime
and harvest.”
1.

Between the SEED and the HARVEST,
there is TIME.

C.

Galatians 6:9 – Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you shall
reap if you faint not.

D.

Fainting = giving up!

E.

1.

When I was pregnant, I fainted from not eating.

2.

Be sure to “eat the Word” and “drink in His presence,”
especially during waiting times – it keeps you from fainting.
a.

Jeremiah said, “I found your Words, and
I did eat them; and they were the joy and
rejoicing of my heart.”

b.

Jesus said, “If any man is thirsty, let him
come to Me and drink.”

How you wait will determine whether you can wait for the harvest
or not.
1.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

Wait patiently – don’t be frustrated and upset all the time.
20

F.

2.

Wait expectantly – wait with hope.

3.

Wait with a positive attitude.

4.

Wait, expecting God to bring the harvest – do not look
to man. If you do, you will get disappointed and that
may cause you to faint.

Weeding – During this season, God deals with us about a lot of “little
things.”
1.

It is the “little foxes” that spoil the vine.

2.

If we are faithful over little things, we will be made ruler
over much.

3.

He deals with little attitudes that are harmful to the harvest.

4.

He deals with little compromises that are harmful to the harvest.

5.

He deals with procrastination, which seems to be a little thing,
but causes great damage to the harvest.

6.

He deals with laziness and continually reminds us that
WEED PULLING IS HARD WORK.

7.

Jonah 2:5 – The weeds were trapped about my head.
Sometimes we have weeds in our mind that have to be
pulled out – wrong kinds of thinking that have long
roots. It takes time to get them out without damaging
the healthy plant.

G.

The Holy Spirit knows just how to get the weeds out of us and
encourage us at the same time.

H.

Waiting is also a time of rooting.
1.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

When we don’t get things at the time we would
like to, it drives us deeper into God.

21

2.

Ephesians 3:17 – May you be rooted deep in His love and
founded securely on His love.
a.

Part of our harvest is to be secure. It only comes
from being rooted in His love.

b.

Isaiah 54:17 teaches us that security is part of
our heritage

3.

Colossians 2:7 – Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply
planted [in Him . . .] being continually built up in Him . . .

4.

The Chinese bamboo tree does not grow above ground hardly
at all for the first four years. It is developing a massive root
system. In the fifth year, it grows as much as eighty feet. If it
did not have the massive root system, it could not support
such tremendous growth.

TRUST GOD DURING THE WAITING AND WEEDING.
HE IS MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR A SUPERABUNDANT,
FAR OVER, ABOVE, AND BEYOND HARVEST.
V.

Harvest Season
A.

The desires of your heart manifest.

B.

Prosperity manifests.

C.

Favor, promotion, and honor manifest.

D.

God makes your enemies to be at peace with you.
1.

He brings justice for past injustices.

E.

You enjoy peace.

F.

You are free from guilt and condemnation.

G.

Your anointing is released to bless others.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

22

H.

Joy (a calm delight) is your normal mood.

I.

You hear from God.

J.

You enjoy His manifest presence – you can sense that He
is with you all the time.

K.

Prayer becomes like breathing – it is no longer an effort.

L.

You are able to adapt and adjust yourself to others.

M.

You are able to submit to authority.

N.

You are no longer insecure.

O.

You can be open with your friends without fear of rejection.

P.

Your past is no longer something that haunts you.

YOU ARE BLESSED. YOU ENDURED PLOWING, SEEDTIME,
WAITING, and WEEDING – and NOW IT IS HARVEST TIME!

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

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WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

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PERSONAL NOTES
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My Times Are In Your Hands
I.

God’s Timing
A.

Psalm 31:14-15 – Trust alone can lead us into peace concerning
God’s timing.

B.

I Peter 5:6 – Due time
1.

C.

What is due time?
a.

When GOD knows we are ready – not
when we think we are ready.

b.

Believe that God knows you better than
you know yourself.

Habakkuk 2:3 – The appointed time
1.

What is the appointed time?
a.

God’s right time
Proverbs 16:9 (AMP) – A man’s mind plans his
way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes
them sure.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

b.

His appointed time is never too late.

c.

Habakkuk 2:3 – Various translations or paraphrases:
1)

(KJV) – For the vision is yet for an appointed
time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie.

2)

The vision shall be fulfilled at the end – it shall
not lie.

3)

(Living Bible) – But these things I plan won’t
happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the
time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled . . .
27

4)

D.

Habakkuk 2:4 – Beware of pride – it always causes self-reliance and
failure.
1.

E.

II.

If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things
will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They
will not be over-due a single day!

(Living Bible) – Note this: Wicked men trust themselves alone
[as these Chaldeans do], and fail; but the righteous man trusts
in me and lives!

Accepting God’s will concerning the when leads to peace.
1.

Being frustrated about the wait only steals our NOW.

2.

Decide to enjoy the journey – it may be a long one.

My Time Has Not Yet Come.
A.

John 7:6 – Jesus refused to be moved emotionally.

B.

Waiting for the right time to speak is very important.

C.

1.

I once said whatever I felt like saying whenever I wanted
to say it – it causes a lot of trouble!

2.

I have matured in this area – now I can sense (discern)
in the spirit when the time is not right for me to talk to
Dave about certain issues.

3.

If I force it just because I want an answer now, even
though I don’t have peace about it, I always get an answer
that I don’t like – and it often leads to strife between us.

4.

If I wait until God releases me, Dave’s heart is prepared –
and my answer is usually favorable. If it is not the answer
I wanted, then I know God needed the time to prepare
my heart to graciously receive a “No!”

Premature births

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1.

Pre – mature – Existing prior to the assigned time.

2.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – Everything is beautiful in its time.

3.

Galatians 4:22-5:1 – Two covenants: One brings joy,
the other, struggle.
a.

Galatians 4:27 – Our works leave us barren,
but “waiting for the promise” brings harvest
and fruitfulness.

b.

Galatians 4:29 – There is a war between our
flesh and spirit. Much of the struggle we
experience in our Christian walk is rooted in
not being willing to wait for God’s timing.
Ishmael persecuted Isaac, and the flesh tries
to persecute (oppress) the spirit.

III.

c.

Galatians 4:30 – Cast out the bondwoman
and her son. Make a decision to rid yourself
of all “works of the flesh.”

d.

Galatians 5:1 – STAND FAST!

Be Patient, Please!
A.

Hebrews 6:12 – We inherit the promises through faith and patience.

B.

James 5:7 (KJV) – Be patient therefore, brethren . . .
1.

Some people never get a harvest because they do not
make it through the watering and weeding season.

NOTHING PROVES OUR FAITH IN GOD LIKE “WAITING
FOR HIS TIMING WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE.”
C.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (KJV) – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning
thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

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D.

1.

Starting a new thing is an exciting feeling, but nothing
compares to the way we feel when we can say, “It is
finished.”

2.

It takes more spiritual strength and maturity to wait
than to move in the flesh.

3.

Being patient is better than being proud.

James 1:4 (KJV) – . . . let patience have her perfect work, that ye may
be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1.

Once we accept God’s timing, we are content.

2.

Contentment is one of the greatest things in the world.

3.

Getting what we want our own way does not leave us
feeling blessed.
a.

Example: I once argued with Dave about a
picture I wanted to buy that he did not like. I
kept it up until I finally got my way. I noticed
I did not feel right inside. I should have been
happy – “I GOT MY WAY!” The Holy
Spirit said, “You did not win – you lost.”

b.

We never win when we resort to fleshly ways
to get what we want.
START WINNING – ACCEPT GOD’S TIMING

IV.

There Were Two Trees In The Garden.
A.

Genesis 2:9, 16-17 – Man was forbidden to eat of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil.
1.

B.

There was something God did not want them to know!

Genesis 3:1-6 – Satan tempted Eve with the desire for knowledge.

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C.

D.

Many times in our life we will have to choose between the fruit of these
two trees.
1.

Eating from the tree of life could represent trusting God.

2.

Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
could represent man depending on his own reasoning
ability or what he knows.

God restricted Adam and Eve from this tree because He knew it would
poison their lives.
1.

He said, “If you eat of it, you shall surely die.”

2.

Trying to know things they were not supposed to
know ministered spiritual death to them.
Confusion, frustration, struggle, complication, fear, etc.

3.

There were many things that God never intended man to
deal with. He knew what they were equipped to handle and
what they were not equipped to handle.
We are not equipped to handle worry, anxiety, fear, bitterness,
unforgiveness, etc. Neither are we equipped (built by God) to
handle knowing everything.

4.

I Corinthians 8:1 – Excessive knowledge causes us to be
“puffed up” and bear ourselves loftily. It causes us to focus
our attention on ourselves.

5.

It is significant that the forbidden tree was located in the
center of the garden, for self-centeredness is the main problem
we deal with. The “I” in all of us is our number one problem.

6.

As soon as they ate of the tree, which God had forbidden,
their first response was self-inspection.
Prior to this, their attention had been on God and His will
for them.

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7.

After eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
they now were forced to measure themselves by what they knew.
a.

Much of our worth and value in society is
measured by what we know and who we know.

b.

They previously did not know they were naked;
therefore, they were free from the struggle of
trying to deal with it.
Their effort to clothe themselves with fig leaves
was insufficient, just as OUR efforts to take care
of ourselves are always insufficient.

c.
E.

Once we know something, we become responsible
for it.

Proverbs 25:9 – . . . discover not and disclose not another’s secret . . .
1.

Don’t try to find things out about people that are unnecessary
– things that are none of your business – because of curiosity
or for other impure reasons.

2.

You may end up with something to deal with that you were
previously free from.
a.

Digging around trying to find out what someone
said about you

b.

What they paid for something – because if it was
a lot, then you might be tempted to judge them.

c.

Everything that went on in their past

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW CAN’T HURT YOU,
BUT WHAT YOU DO KNOW CAN!
(Other than knowledge of God’s Word and His ways.)

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Get Comfortable Not Knowing
I.

Not Having To Know Everything Is Freedom.
A.

Acts 20:22 – Paul went bound to Jerusalem, not knowing what would
befall him there.
1.

B.

All he knew was that he had to go.

Hebrews 11:8 – Abraham was told by God to leave everything behind
and go to a place He would show him.
He went, although he did not know or trouble his mind
about where he was to go.

C.

James 4:14 – You know not what tomorrow may bring.
IF SCRIPTURE TELLS US WE WON’T KNOW,
THEN WHY TRY TO FIGURE IT OUT?

D.

II.

I Corinthians 13:12 (KJV) – For now we see through a glass, darkly;
but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even
as also I am known.

Does God Want Us To Be Ignorant?
A.

B.

Deuteronomy 29:29 – The secret things belong unto the Lord . . . but
the things which are revealed belong to us . . .
1.

What God reveals to us belongs to us.

2.

God wants us to seek spiritual revelation,
not carnal head knowledge.

Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) – It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but
the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
1.

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

We must learn to search with our spirit, not with our head.
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2.
C.

I Corinthians 2:9-10 – God reveals things by His Spirit; for the
Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1.

D.

We should trust God to reveal to us what He wants
us to know, not trust ourselves to figure it out.

GOD REVEALS things to His children, but He
never tells us to try to mentally figure things out.

There are many methods of divine revelation, but we want to
concentrate on revelation through the Holy Spirit.
1.

John 16:13 – When the Spirit of Truth is come;
He will guide you into all Truth.
HE WILL SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME.

E.

Other methods of divine revelation:
1.

Prophetic visions

2.

Through God’s Word

3.

Dreams

4.

Through prophets

5.

Nature

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

a.

Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; and
the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork.

b.

Brother Lawrence, a sixteenth-century monk who
wrote Practicing The Presence Of God, was literally
tormented by fears that he was damned to hell due
to his sin. He was totally unable to have faith. One
day he saw a tree that was blossoming in the spring.
He remembered that it had been stripped bare for
the winter and had previously looked totally dead.
He SUDDENLY was filled with faith. He decided
if God could bring the trees back to life every spring,
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then God could also bring him to life and lift him from
the deadness of sin. HE NEVER DOUBTED AGAIN.
6.
F.

Although God uses many things to speak to us, the common
methods are by His Word and by His Spirit.

Revelation should be sought after, prayed for, and desired wholeheartedly.
1.

We should see the great benefit and blessing of revelation.

2.

When a thing is revealed to us, it comes without fleshly
effort on our part.

3.

Once a thing is revealed, we rarely lose sight of it after that.
Example: God has given me a revelation of the dangers of
strife; therefore, I am very careful to keep it out of my life.
I have a similar revelation about the dangers of complaining.

G.

III.

4.

Revelation can come through meditating on the Word.
Although meditating is a process of the mind, it is the
mind of the Spirit, not the mind of the flesh.

5.

Romans 8:6 – The mind of the flesh is death, and the mind
of the Spirit is life.

6.

Reasoning causes confusion and blocks discernment –
it does not bring revelation.

God does not want us to be ignorant. But He wants our knowledge
to come from HIM, not from ourselves.

Don’t Be Led By Your Head.
A.

Matthew 16:5-12 – The disciples reasoned, and Jesus told them they
needed to discern.

B.

Mark 9:34 – They discussed and disputed (reasoned) over which of
them was the greatest.

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C.

1.

If they would have been discerning instead of reasoning,
they would have realized that none of them were great;
that whatever they could do well, it was because of
God’s grace. They would have been giving Him glory,
not trying to find reasons to glorify themselves.

2.

More discernment would have prevented them from
being in competition with one another.

II Corinthians 10:4-5 – Casting down imagination, theories, and
reasonings
1.

D.

We must cast them down because they block discernment.

Refusing to be led by the head is a sign of spiritual maturity.
1.

I Corinthians 2:15 – . . . the spiritual man tries all things
[he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and
discerns all things] . . .

2.

And he does it without looking super-spiritual.
Some people, who think they are discerning, are really
just judgmental and suspicious.
BEING SPIRITUAL IS NATURAL TO HIM!

IV.

Sometimes We Are Guilty Of Seeking To Know The Wrong Thing.
A.

Knowledge may be withheld if our motives are impure or if we have our
priorities out of line.

B.

Philippians 3:10 – My determined purpose is to KNOW HIM and the
power of His resurrection.
1.

Ephesians 3:3-5 – Paul was given revelation about mysteries
that had been hidden from previous generations.

2.

I believe it was partially due to the fact that his primary goal
was to KNOW HIM.

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C.

Galatians 2:1-2 – Paul went to Jerusalem after a fourteen-year interval
because it was divinely revealed to him that he should go.
1.

D.

E.

F.

When we do things or go places as a result of divine revelation,
we are able to go with faith. Then struggles that come do not
confuse and defeat us.

Ephesians 1:17-18 – Paul prayed for the church to have a spirit of
wisdom and revelation. He also prayed that their eyes would be flooded
with light; and they would KNOW THE HOPE TO WHICH THEY
HAD BEEN CALLED.
1.

“Eyes flooded with light,” is referring to revelation. To
experience the Spirit suddenly making you aware of a truth
equals having the eyes of your understanding flooded with light.

2.

Paul prayed that this insight would come THROUGH the
DEEP and INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE of HIM.

I am convinced that we often pray wrong!!
1.

We pray for too many natural things and not enough
spiritual things.

2.

Most of us spend our time praying for a breakthrough,
not revelation and insight into mysteries. We want
something that is going to alleviate our problem right
now; and sad to say, that is often all we are interested in.

3.

Pray to know Him and to know Him deeply and intimately.
In the process He will also reveal other things to you.

Things we seek to know that should not be first priority
1.

We seek to know people – sometimes people that will not
even be good for us to know.

2.

We seek to know the future; and often, we are not properly
handling the present.

3.

We seek to know more than other people because we think that
makes us important.

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4.

The world definitely exalts education above spiritual knowledge.
Education is wonderful, but it should not pre-empt
knowledge of God.

5.

We seek answers to our problems. We should seek God, and
He will give us answers to our problems.

6.

We seek to know how to make money.
How can I make money? How can I make money?
How can I make MORE money?

V.

Don’t Pretend Like You Know When You Don’t.
A.

B.

C.

Get comfortable not knowing.
1.

It seems difficult for most people to say, “I don’t know.”

2.

The pride of the flesh always wants to be well thought of,
and it wants to be thought of as being very intelligent.

II Timothy 2:23-24 (KJV) – But foolish and unlearned questions
avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord
must not strive . . .
1.

Unlearned questions must be things we know nothing about.

2.

We can cause a lot of arguments trying to talk about something we know nothing about.

II Chronicles 20:12 – Jehosaphat admitted they did not know what
to do, and God helped them.
1.

The first prerequisite for receiving God’s help is
to be helpless!
GET COMFORTABLE NOT KNOWING!

WHEN, GOD, WHEN?

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