Souls of the dead from the Old Testament waiting for centuries for a Savior still had to wait more than 3 decades after the Messiah had come. It seemed that heaven was going a slow, relaxed pace in accomplishing the task of salvation even if thousands---perhaps millions---of souls were perishing in hell at the time, like the Rich Man who fed Lazarus with crumbs of bread. Yeah, some say that was just a parable, but Jesus' parables reflected truth.
Why didn't Jesus simply come to earth as a 33-year-old man and be nailed on the cross all in one day? Anyway, nothing is impossible to God. He could have saved man that way. But no, Jesus had to be born and grow up just like anyone else. Salvation cannot be hurried up. Salvation was designed to flow naturally with life. There are other important components that God needs to insert as the story of life naturally unfolds and lead to the act of salvation. For instance, you cannot be born as a baby and get saved spiritually at the same time.
Yes, the salvation of souls is urgent. But there's no need to hurry up, like what a lot of ministers today are doing. The right way of doing salvation is to live LIFE as Jesus did. And then the urgent task of salvation naturally flows into it. Seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and the rest, including the task of salvation, are added. You don't have to exert hard efforts or hurry up because God will simply "add" them to you. And what number of souls he adds to you is his business alone. You cannot mess with that.
Do not hasten it up. If you move before God does, a deadly friction happens between what you do and what God is doing. The physical or the flesh can never interfere with the Spirit. The nature of a spiritual man is to simply keep still and wait on God. Otherwise, beware what happened to Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu. They moved before God did and offered "unauthorized fire" before the Lord [Leviticus 10]. It's not your excitement or aggressiveness or industriousness in ministry that matters. It is your steady walk with God.
No wonder many "busy" ministers today are sick with deadly diseases. They do not know how to walk with God.
Mary knew what Christ was capable of becoming. Just imagine the numerous angelic appearances that accompanied Christ's birth. Imagine the angel announcing, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
No doubt, the Wise Men also could've mentioned to Mary how they sought "the one who has been born king of the Jews," as they had also told Herod earlier.
Jesus was to be Messiah and King.
And yet, as Jesus grew up, Mary saw him spending more time alone in remote places and the wilderness than going to educational institutions, like the Royal Library of Alexandria in Egypt perhaps, where the great scholars of the time spent hours of serious study, or probably sitting down before great teachers of the law to study religion. How was he to be King of Israel if all he did was wander in remote places?
If you were aiming for the country's presidency or a seat in the Senate, you would be spending a lot of time in prestigious learning institutions like UP or Ateneo. The same if you wished to be CEO of a big company. If you were aiming to be a church bishop or pastor, you should be earning titles and degrees in seminaries. You see how the world and the church are similar? To them, power means being the greatest.
But in God's Kingdom, it's quite different. In fact, even eerily different. You have to be relaxed and have as much free time as possible to do the one thing that really counts---know God intimately and learn to walk in his ways alone. Know his timing.
Here's how to get out of the kingdom of this world. Click here.
Hence, Abraham was sent out of busy Mesopotamia to a long quiet journey to Canaan, Joseph spent 2 years in jail before being called to the king's service (I believe he felt relaxed while in jail), Moses was sent out to God's mountain (from being prince of Egypt) to become a lowly shepherd there, David was likewise assigned menial tasks as shepherd out in the wilderness, and Jesus was often in remote places and hillsides.
See the pattern? That's how the Kingdom often works. God prepares you in a secluded, uncomfortable and often uninteresting places where you have no choice but to have free time with him. At first, its painful and difficult, and makes no sense. You're all stressed up. But later, you get used to it and find yourself relaxing amid adversities. And there he sharpens you to be his instrument, unleashing you in his time. In the Kingdom, power means being the least.
Have you experienced this kind of wilderness?
Yet, Jesus, indeed, was being groomed to be king. But the kingdom was not of this world. All kingdoms here on earth are bastions of stress and pressure. And this includes the kingdom of the church, even evangelical churches. These kingdoms are always in a hurry. Aspiring for greatness makes you always hurrying to and from, like Martha was. But if you're the least, what is there to hurry up for? No wonder, Mary, Martha's sister, simply sat at Jesus' feet. And Jesus said Mary did what was "better."
Jesus' kingdom is all rest and relaxation. "Come to me all who are tired, and I will give you rest."
It's important to be in the center of God's will, to live out his commands with urgency. But that does not mean we cut short God's timetable to produce everything now. It does not mean we keep hurrying with ministry. That's how the world works, but not God.
God's kingdom works through LIFE. Jesus came from the desert hungry after 40 days of fasting, and the devil wanted him to eat RIGHT NOW by turning stones into bread. That's not how God works, although he could do that. If the devil can have his way, he would have created everything in one day. But not God. God took his time and created in 6 days. Then after that, he rested again.