The Word of God has amongst its many wonderful statements the statement that has always been a great encouragement to me and I’m sure to many of you also and it is found in “Esther 4:14” where we read – “…you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”
With that in mind today let me ask the question “How many of you have ever played the game of tag?” Tag for those who may not know or are in a differing culture from the “West” is a playground game involving two or more players chasing other players in an attempt to “tag” and mark them out of play, usually by touching with a hand. It’s also known as – tig, it, tiggy, tips, tick, tip with a variety of other forms. Most forms have no teams, scores, or equipment. Usually, when a person is tagged, the tagger says, “Tag, you’re ‘it’!” The last one tagged during tag is “it” for the next round. The game is known by other names in various parts of the world, including “running and catching” in India and “catch and cook” in the Middle East. Children will engage and play tag for hours. No one would give up until every child had been tagged and when that happened, it was the signal that the game was done!
Why As a Child Did, I Like the Game?
Even though by character and personality I’m a shy guy and not really very gregarious as a child I used to like to when in the school playground to engage in it because it was a “Group Activity – It was fast activity and required some planning” to avoid getting “tagged and being “It.”
It was also a favourite because even though I was and if I’m honest still am somewhat of a “loaner” if I sat out of it for a while, I could jump into it again without any problem. However, what I didn’t like was getting “Tagged” but as the saying goes “You have to be in it to win it.” Eventually all in the game gets tagged. It’s sad I know but whether we like it or not, at some point each one had to be “it” for at least some of the game.
Why Is This Important?
When we look back over the history of the Church over the past 2000years and especially as we look into the Bible itself and maybe “Hebrews 11:4-38” we see individuals who were tagged in the game of life and faith – Take a moment to read the following – “By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice. By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God. By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations the City designed and built by God. By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shrivelled loins there are now people numbering into the millions. Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them. By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar. By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau. By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff. By an act of faith, Joseph, while dying, prophesied the exodus of Israel, and made arrangements for his own burial. By an act of faith, Moses’ parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child’s beauty, and they braved the king’s decree. By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. He chose a hard life with God’s people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king’s blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn’t touch them. By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned. By faith, the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat. By an act of faith, Rahab, the Jericho harlot, welcomed the spies and escaped the destruction that came on those who refused to trust God. I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets… Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them! —making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.” The Message
There is quite a list there to consider of those who were “tagged” by God to be “it” in their generation, for their own time. These individuals, and others in the past 2000years are both men and women who recognising that they had “Come to the Kingdom for such a time – took the generation they were in “as theirs” andwere utilised in the hands of God to change the course of history on earth.
In “1 Chronicles 12:32” we read of the men of Issachar it says of them “…from Issachar, men who understood both the times and Israel’s duties, 200 leaders with their families…” These men understood the times they were in, and they recognised what they had to do. These 200 leaders were born for their time, and I say today that it is now you and me who are born for our time.
Do we understand the times in which we are living? Do we recognise the plight of both the Church and the Lost? Are we prepared to seize the moment by any and all means to bring across the gospel in a fresh and meaningful way, without watering it down to be accepted, and still keep its powerful and impactful to a lost generation of both saved and un-saved alike? Or! And it’s with such sadness I say this – “Will we be at ease in Zion?” will there be a “Little folding of the hands to rest” will we “continue to lie there?” will we “get up from our sleep?” if we do we can expect only poverty of spirit because the enemy “will come upon us like a robber” and we will find ourselves in need because a bandit will have stolen away the richness that God has for us.
Today my friends, I say it again today we need to ask once again for His wisdom and in doing so know what will be affective for his Kingdom. It is now the time when God by the Holy Spirit is “Tagging Us” and it is time to play our part in the service of Jesus as we find ourselves in these last days and this prophetic season.
Gods timing is so specific, He knew that the best time for you and me to be an effective witness for him was right here and now.
In “2 Timothy 3:1” the Apostle Paul said – “Here is what I want you to know. There will be terrible times in the last days.” – New International Reader’s Version, 1998 ed. (NIrV) (NIrV.) It was as if he was looking through a telescope of time and the Holy Spirit was allowing him to see just where you and me are sitting right now and the Holy Spirit was urging him to tell us what he could see and what is emerging in our day and generation, and within all of our cultures.
If we have read our Bibles, we would see that the Holy Spirit has been warning us and preparing us for what is coming and is already upon us – my friends “the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” – “Matthew 3:10.”
We have not been taken captive by a spirit of fear – Have we? We have not lost our sound minds – Have we? We can discern surely how to deal with the issues that are confronting us can’t we?
In “2 Corinthians 6:2” it says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” And this time of favour has not ended – still it is the day of salvation for saved and un-saved alike. Let me ask the question of us just now in light of the two Greek words that are utilised to speak of time. There is “Chronos” and that is indicative of “time in general.” The second is “Kairos” and that is speaking of a “specific moment of opportunity, a moment of favour” in which time are we living and at home in? In general just drifting along or opportunity why do I ask? Because for you and me it is our Karios time – It is “Such a Kingdom time.”
I’ve recently turned 69years and I can recall the World in which I am living to be a very different place and life was much slower and safer – Do you remember a time when you didn’t even need to lock the doors to your house (if so like me you are showing your age.) However, I know and am absolutely sure that I am here right now as an Ambassador for Christ and in the Kingdom for such a time as this. The Holy Spirit is today through the words of “2 Timothy 3:1” raising His voice and reaching out through the ages past to our present to get our attention. He is reaching out, to grab us, to shake us, and cause us to sit up straight, and open our eyes and ears so we truly grasp the day in which we live.
He the Holy Spirit I want to say to all of us today is speaking – loudly, He is speaking authoritatively, and truly He is speaking emphatically – to us.
The men of Issachar of whom I spoke of earlier well understood their times and knew what to do. Do we? However, that was then and now is now. We have been brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this.
It is true to say today that we will never have a better opportune time to live for God than Now. We were brought into the Kingdom to serve God, not next year, not next month, not next week, but here and now for God.
Friend, let me remind you and in doing so remind myself that God has “tagged” you and me to live in this time! And since He has chosen us for this late round of the game, we can be assured that He has also supplied us with everything we need to live in this season victoriously.
May God help us to know what to do, and how best to do it, in our time, here and now.