3 dimensions of Time

UntitledEcclesiastes 3:1: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: (ESV)

Time exists in three dimensions.

There is the chronological (linear) time, which is based on what the clock says. Tick tock…. It is the basic earth life infrastructure.

There is the process of time, which is about seasons, time attached different activities that come one after the other or they go together. It is focused on what occurs in chronological time.

And there is fullness of time or the appointed time, where many things come together into a time crescendo. This is focused on the plans and purposes of God.

The chronological time can be seen as a horizontal line.

The process of time is a diagonal one (one thing built on another).

The appointed or fullness of time is a vertical line (it presents a sudden jump).

Physical age is tied to horizontal straight line, spiritual age is tied to the diagonal line while the age of the earth is the vertical.

In the book of Hebrews, we see a group of people who ought to be teachers but still needed to be taught the elementary things of Christ (Hebrews 5:11-14). They have not been properly processed in the process of time.

There is nothing wrong in being a baby when you are a day old, but there is something wrong when you are ten years or twenty years old and still a baby.

On the appointed time, Paul, writing to the Galatian church spoke about a child is under tutors and guidance till the time appointed by the father (Galatians 4:1-2).

The time Jesus was baptised in water by John the Baptist, which was followed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, was a fullness of time (appointed time).

John was in the wilderness till the time of his showing to Israel (Luke 1:80) and that was the appointed (fullness of) time.

Understanding the times is a spiritual skill. That was a something in the skill set of the Sons of Issachar (1Chronicles 12:32). They were referred to as having the understanding of the times knowing what Israel should do.

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, for not understanding the times (Matthew 16:1-4). He wept over Jerusalem, for not knowing her time of visitation (Luke 19:41-44). That is the appointed time. The appointed time therefore does not mean a particular point in the chronological line, it could be a period.

It was the time Jesus ministered in Jerusalem, but that city did not respond to him (to the appointed time) as it should, and they were bound for judgement. Therefore, how you respond in an appointed time is important to determine what comes after.

Now is the appointed time of the favour of God for accessing the grace of Jesus. It is the “acceptable” year of the Lord, the year of jubilee (Luke 4:19). The time to believe in Jesus to be saved, because a time is coming when the door of this kind of opportunity will be closed (2Peter 3), when another fullness of time will be due in the grand plan of God for the universe, just as the ark in the time of Noah was closed and those who were not in were destroyed afterwards (1Peter 3:20).

Time affords us time to grow. If we do not use “time” to grow then we are wasting time. The bible says that Jesus grew in wisdom and favour with man and with God (Luke 2:52).

He grew in height which has to do with chronological time, wisdom has to do with “process of time” while the fullness of time is associated favour with man and God.

When God came down in the Mount Sinai, it left an indelible mark on the nation of Israel. That was an appointed time for them (Psalm 18:9). The years leading to their movement from Egypt, was the culmination of the process of time, leading to that fullness of time.

The bible says that in the process of time a Pharaoh arose who knew not Joseph (Exodus 1:8), bringing a new season of difficulty for the children of Israel in Egypt. And that was a process of difficulty that led to the people calling upon God, and he responded by getting them out.

For chronological time, God has promised to satisfy us with long life (Psalm 91:16). And we should focus on that. We should put our faith to work in that direction.

For the process of time, how well you use one season will aid you to prepare for the next. Hard work and right decisions maximise the process of time.

For the appointed time, who appoints the time? God. That is where he wants to drive the times and processes to.

Trust with God the appointed time. The bible says that John was in the wilderness till the time he was manifested to the world (Luke 1:80). God determined that time, and not John.

The only thing that you directly influence is the process of time; that is why we are enjoined to be circumspect in who we associate with because they influence us over time.

The process of time is about what is influencing you and what you are influencing, what is pushing you and what you are pushing. The process tells of activities. The raw material is your effort. It also has to do with who you are and what you have at the beginning of the process; while the outcome is the new you after the period.

You do not have control over the chronological time, or the fullness of time, only on the process of time. Focus on the process and leave the rest to God.

For the process of time, Jesus said that the apostles would teach others all he had taught them. The teaching you access is important for your “process of time” (Matthew 28:18-20). And Jesus said that Mary had chosen the best part when she decided to spend good time at his feet, learning from him (Mark 10:38-42). In another place Jesus said that those who continue (in the process of time) in his word will become free (John 8:31).


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