God blessed many in the Bible by putting them at the right place at the right time, and He continues to do the same for His people today. Read on and let Joseph Prince show you how, when you turn to God in confidence, trusting in His grace and favor rather than your circumstances, you will find God-moments of success!
God wants to share with you the secret of how to live successfully during this time of financial turmoil.
Ecclesiastes 3:15 says, “That which is has already been”. In other words, what is happening now has happened before—history repeats itself. So we can look at how God supplied for His people then and understand how He provides for us today.
It’s interesting to note that in Genesis, there was a global famine during Joseph’s life, and now in the end times, there is also a global financial famine. We see financial experts at a loss as to what to do next, and the news reports are often negative and depressing. Today’s situation can be described in Ecclesiastes 9:12:
For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
But let me share some good news with you and show you what God is doing during this “evil time”. In Ecclesiastes 9:11, Solomon says,
I returned and saw under the sun that—the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.
You Can Ask God For His Best
In the natural world, the fastest person usually wins the race, right? But the Bible says “time and chance happen to them all”. This means that being the fastest to read a financial report or reply an email may not matter, and being the strongest may not win you a legal or financial battle.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 also says that provisions need not flow to the “wise” nor “men of understanding”. In Hebrew, the word “wise” is chakam, which refers to natural wisdom, not God’s wisdom. Chakam was also used of Pharaoh’s magicians and wise men. So it is not true that just because you possess a high IQ, and have a great accumulation of knowledge, qualifications and experience, you will have riches. And favor doesn’t belong only to men of skill, because those who are most skillful may not necessarily have favor.
So the good news is that you need not be the fastest, smartest or most qualified in order to have success. You only need to ask God for His best. What is important for us today is to look to God for His favor and His timing—when God puts you at the right place at the right time, you are blessed.
A Son Of God, Not Of Adam
It is important to remember that what is happening right now is not from God. This “cruel net” that the world is caught in, this financial famine, was not caused by God. And although “sons of men” may be snared like birds—even financial experts have been taken by surprise and are losing money—this does not apply to you, a believer in Christ.
How do I know this? Let us take a closer look at the term “sons of men”.
There are five Hebrew words for “man”. In Ecclesiastes 9:12—“So the sons of men are snared in an evil time”—the word used is adam, which means mankind or natural man. Therefore, those caught in the evil time are sons of adam, natural man.
Some of you may say, “Pastor Prince, it seems like I’m caught in this net too.” It might seem that way, but you are not. As believers, we are sons of God, not sons of adam. John 1:12 says,
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…
So we are all, ladies too, sons of God! And once you are a son, you are a son forever. Your heavenly Father wants to give you success, so let’s find out about being at the right place at the right time.
Protection From The ‘Cruel Net’
Now, God-moments can mean guidance from being caught in a “cruel net”. Some years ago, a family from our church went to Penang, Malaysia, for a holiday. They were having a good time at the beach when suddenly one of them was seized by a craving for food from another part of the island. They packed up and left, and within an hour, a tsunami hit. That is an example of how God can lead you—even through your stomach cravings—to be at the right place at the right time.
We also have a testimony from a man in our church, whose son worked in one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. This man always prays for his son, and on the morning the planes hit the twin towers, his son, who is usually punctual, was very late for work for some reason.
Of course, the son was frustrated, but I truly believe you should not complain when you are late—you never know why God slows you down. If there’s a traffic jam, or slow drivers around you, maybe God is using such moments to protect you.
The Time Of Grace
Since it is so important for us to be at the right place at the right time, let us take a closer look at the words “time and chance happen” in Ecclesiastes 9:11. The word “time” in Hebrew is eth. Eth can also mean “in its season”.
Psalm 1:3 talks about the blessed man being “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season”. Deuteronomy 28:12 says, “the Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
Eth is also used for “in the evening”. Under Levitical law, a man who had sores or a bodily discharge was unclean until the evening. I used to wonder why. Then I found out that God had instructed the Israelites to offer two sacrifices, one in the morning and one in the evening. Both times, lambs were offered. (Exodus 29:38–39)
This is interesting because the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ was crucified at the third hour (9am) and that He breathed His last at the ninth hour (3pm). (Mark 15:25; Luke 23:44–46) Thus, He is the Lamb of God who fulfills both the morning and evening sacrifices. So we see that the time of the evening sacrifice is the time of the finished work, the time of grace. Now I understand why a man was unclean until the evening—he was unclean until the evening sacrifice, which speaks of Jesus’ finished work!
The Grace Zone
Just as God answered when Elijah called upon Him in the evening to send the fire that defeated the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:36–38), God will answer your prayers when you pray in the time of eth. This doesn’t refer to the physical time, so don’t only pray or plan important events in the evening! Praying in the time of eth means praying in the time of grace. It is praying in the grace zone.
We can confirm that eth is based on grace and the finished work by using the principle of first mention. In Bible interpretation, when a subject is mentioned for the first time, it carries a special significance.
The first time eth appears in the Bible is in the story of Noah. Noah sent out a raven to see if the flood waters had receded and if there was dry land, but the raven did not return. Then he sent out a dove, which returned as there was no dry land to rest. Seven days later, Noah sent the dove out again, and “the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth”. (Genesis 8:11)
The words “in the evening” is eth, so we can see that eth is associated with a dove—a picture of the Holy Spirit—and an olive leaf, symbolizing a message of peace. Today, the Holy Spirit is inside you, and He speaks peace to you. He does not point out your faults. Instead, He tells you that you are righteous in Christ.
Today, judgment has passed like Noah’s flood, and there is no longer any enmity between you and God. You are not perfect, but you have peace with God because all your imperfections, all your sins, were carried by Jesus at the cross. (Romans 5:1) And when you are conscious of Jesus’ finished work, you are in the grace zone.
Praying For Success To ‘Happen’
When Abraham decided to find a wife for his son Isaac, he sent a loyal servant back to his father’s village to look for one, as he did not want Isaac to marry a neighboring Canaanite who worshipped idols. So the servant traveled to Mesopotamia and arrived outside the city of Nahor at evening time. (Genesis 24:1–11) Again, we see the use of eth, in the evening, the time of grace.
The servant wondered how he would find the woman that God had appointed for Isaac. Now, he was smart and knew what to do. He prayed. And his prayer is recorded for us in verse 12: “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day”.
The Bible says that he prayed for success! The “success” that Abraham’s servant prayed for is qarah, which means “happen”. This is the same word used in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “time and chance happen to them all”.
And the servant continued praying, specifying the way God would reveal the appointed woman—that she would be the one who would draw water from the well for him and his 10 camels. And before he had finished praying, it happened that Rebekah came to the well and ended up drawing water for him and all his camels. Now, when you consider that one camel can drink 100 to 150 liters of water, that’s a lot of water to draw from a well!
So we see Abraham’s servant turning to God confidently and praying for success, and he received his God-moment. What is success? It is being at the right place at the right time for God-happenings to happen to you. So pray in a similar way for success in all areas of your life.
Our God is a God of success, not a God of failures. When He made the world, the birds and the trees, He made them perfectly. We also believe in a big God with a big heart—no matter how much you ask, there will still be plenty left over. He won’t be surprised when you ask for success in your life. So don’t ever let anyone discourage you from praying for success.
Don’t Dwell In The Law Zone
Sadly, many believers prefer the law zone, the effort zone, to the grace zone. They still believe that they have to keep the law to be holy. I believe in holiness, but I believe it comes by grace, not by keeping the law. If you can be holy by keeping the law, there is no need for Jesus to come.
I like the way the apostle Paul says to put “no confidence in the flesh”. (Philippians 3:3) But I often hear people say, “I’m over 50. It’s very hard to find a job. Employers consider your age, you know.” A person who says this is not in the grace zone, but in the law zone. His eyes are on his flesh. He doesn’t expect a good job, and he has more confidence in his age impeding him than in God’s grace to supply him with a job. That frustrates God’s grace from working in his life. He has forgotten that grace is unearned, undeserved favor! (Romans 5:21, AMP)
Put Your Confidence In God
It is better to put confidence in the Lord for favor than to depend on your own abilities or qualifications.
Become a person in the grace zone who prays like this: “Thank you Lord, I can receive Your grace, Your favor, because I don’t deserve it. I don’t qualify for it, therefore it’s mine.” You will find that it delights God to use what you feel is your problem area for success.
When I was in my teens, I used to stutter, and all my classmates would laugh at me. But now, by God’s grace, He uses the area of my weakness to impact lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I’m here to tell you that what you think is your disqualification is the very area where His favor can flow. (2 Corinthians 12:9–10)
If you are struggling to see beyond your situation, remember the story of Ruth. She looked beyond her circumstances and did not place her confidence in them. In the natural, she did not have much going for her. She was a widow, and a foreigner—a Moabitess. There is a law of Moses against Moabites, which says that no Moabite can enter the Lord’s congregation. (Deuteronomy 23:3)
Thirdly, Ruth was poor. So she could easily have looked at her situation and given up. But instead of bemoaning all these negative points, what did she do? She asked for favor! She said to her mother-in-law Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” (Ruth 2:2)
Ruth believed in the favor of God, confessed it, and this was the result: “And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz”. (Ruth 2:3) Out of all the fields she could have chosen, she just happened to come to Boaz’s field. And Boaz was from Naomi’s family line, a man of great wealth, and a bachelor. When Ruth trusted in God, He blessed her with qarah—she happened to be at the right place at the right time.
When God-Moments Just Happen To Happen
God can also put you at the right place for you to be a blessing to others. Once, I was with my wife at a mall, and I had to go to the men’s room. When I came out, I was strangely attracted to an exit door that I had not come in by.
When I opened that door, I saw a lady in a cleaner’s uniform sitting on the stairs, reading a Bible. We looked at each other, and I felt a little embarrassed, so I closed the door and left. But the Lord stopped me and said He didn’t lead me to the door for nothing. He wanted me to go back and tell the lady the words He would put in my mouth.
So I went back and told the lady the Lord had sent me to tell her that Jesus loves her very much, and that her miracle was on its way. You should have seen her face—it lit up like a neon light!
Some years ago, I was returning from a conference in Holland and was looking forward to some private time to rest on the flight back. A lady sat down next to me, and asked if I was Pastor Prince. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to meet people, but I was tired from the many sessions of preaching.
But as she began to share with me, I realized that God was putting me at the right place at the right time to minister His grace and love. The lady was having problems with her husband and I told her that it was important she received God’s Word before I prayed for her. So I lent her my iPod to listen to one of my sermons on grace. After she finished, she asked for more, and she ended up listening to four or more sermons during the flight.
When we reached Singapore, she was all aglow, and said that she was going to ask the Lord to come into her life and marriage. I could see the transformation on her face, and you know something? When I stood up, I suddenly felt so happy and blessed. I felt really honored and trusted by God, and I understood what Jesus meant when He said He was refreshed after ministering to the woman at the well. (John 4:6–34)
I felt that that was a God-moment for this lady. Some months later, I found out that the lady and her husband had started attending our church together. To God be the glory!
So you know you are at the right place at the right time when God blesses you or uses you to bless others. He knows what you have, and what another person has, and He can put two people together for success, whether it is in business, love, friendship, or spreading the gospel.
And it’s important to look beyond your natural circumstances and trust God to give you success. Only He can put you at the right place at the right time. When you pray confidently and flow in God’s grace, He will lead you to the abundant, blessed life He has promised you.
© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2009. All rights reserved.
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