Being Prepared In Season and Out of Season
Near the end of his life, Paul writes a second letter to Timothy with wisdom that we can benefit from today. Paul instructs Timothy to be ready in season and out of season:
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.“
– II Timothy 4:2 NKJV
A wonderful quote by Zig Ziglar reads “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation”. Being ready in season and out of season is all about being prepared to the degree that if you get a call right now to perform your business pitch before a group of investors, you can confidently drop everything and arrive at your destination without the need of rehearsing your pitch. You may rehearse it along your commute to ensure you hit every point, but for the most part you have practiced the pitch so many times to the effect that you are not anxious about the thing.
The Diligent Hand Will Be Made Rich
Paul’s words to Timothy informs us that Paul was extremely diligent in God’s calling for his life. He wasn’t wasting moments and opportunities. He was making the most of every moment, leaning on the grace of God to equip him for every good work he was to fulfill.
Our lives are meant to be lived diligently assessing God’s heart and will for our lives. Jesus mentions in the book of John that his food is to do the will of the Father, and Jesus did an amazing job accomplishing God’s will for his life with no wasted opportunities. He was incredibly productive to the point that John mentions in the last verse of his book:
“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”
– John 21:25
Can you imagine that? The world not being able to contain the books that would be written of all Jesus did? My office room can certainly contain books of all I did to this point (and I’ve certainly put my hand to the plow to change that as I’ve chosen to live intentionally for God). Proverbs 13:4 says it best:
The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
Yes, we shall be made rich with the blessings of God in our lives (in this world and for eternity) as we are ready in season and out of season.
Dangers of Slacking
It is easy to stop diligently training in a particular field when the demand on you to perform is not present. As a result, we binge streaming and Youtube, engulf our lives in video games, and/or relax in other forms of entertainment. When there is no urgency, the tendency to slack is present.
This presents a danger to our destiny because we will not be prepared for the opportunities that come. Saul was made king of the Israelites and it was soon stripped away from him because of disobedience which is largely in part due to lack of preparedness. Had he been prepared, he would have known how to obey God’s commands despite the circumstances he faced. Saul had potential to continue being king but failed to act in accordance to his role and so it was taken from him.
Too often do I hear peers discuss prophecies given over them that confirm what God’s will is for their lives and yet the words are taken without reverence, essentially putting the call of God in their lives on the shelf until it just happens with no regard to holy living and hungering for God. Ephesians 2:10 in the New King James tells us that we are God’s workmanship created for good works in Christ Jesus which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. It doesn’t say will or would walk in them. It says should. If we are not revering God with our lives, we may very well miss out on assignments intended for us that God could not trust us with any longer (though we were meant to walk in them).
How Will You Respond?
Is there something you should be doing but you’ve put it off because of the lack of opportunities currently present? Is God’s will for your life your food, of which you’re eager to do?
There is immense blessing waiting for you as you take heed to the call of God in your life and remain diligent despite the lack of opportunities in your life to use what you’re working on. We are meant to live by faith, and when God calls us to something, we must believe that what we practice and train for will ultimately present itself to us as an opportunity in due time.
May this be a reminder for us to be ready in season and out of season always.