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  • Bishop Keith Butler

Timing Matters

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:1-6)


In over forty years of ministry, I’ve found that timing matters to God. Of course, God is not limited by time, but we live within the boundaries of time on this earth. Solomon wrote: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).



Although Jesus told His followers to preach the Gospel to every creature, there was a time when God did not permit Paul to preach the Gospel in Ephesus (part of what was known as Asia in those days). Perhaps the people to whom Paul ministered in Acts 19 weren't ready to receive yet. We don't know for sure why God had Paul go to Macedonia first, but we do know that since Paul followed the Holy Ghost's guidance, he had a very fruitful ministry in both Philippi and Ephesus.


Practical Application – Timing is important. God knows when the situation is right for you to move forward. Listen to Him and trust His direction.


Acts 2:4; Acts 10:45

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