September 26, 2007
Living in the Here and Now
By Renee Swope
John 5:19-20a, “The Son can do nothing by Himself; he can do only what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.” (NIV)
I sat on the couch looking out the window thinking about the months ahead, wondering what that fall might hold. A lot had been happening in ministry - book developments, speaking engagements and great opportunities. My excitement, mixed with the fear of getting over committed, ignited a rapid firing of thoughts: Would I be able to do it all? Was God calling me to do it all? Was my ministry about to really take off?
Instead of worrying, I decided to start praying and wrote my questions in a notebook. "Lord, what should I say yes to? Where do you want me to spend my time? Please show me what you have planned for me this coming year."
I wanted God to give me a sneak peek into His calendar so I could adjust mine. Instead, I sensed Him telling me not to worry about tomorrow but to live in the hear and now. I think He may have even spelled it so I would be clear on the point of hearing.
I thought I’d been listening, but my prayers reflected that I wanted to know where to invest my efforts. God wanted my ears. He was more concerned about character than my calendar. Many times I’d sought God for the larger plans in life, convinced that if I figured out what He wanted me to do I could become the person He created me to be. Have you ever thought, “If only God would show me what job to take; what man to marry; what church to attend - then my life would be complete and I could serve Him with my whole heart”?
The problem is sometimes we get a glimpse of where He wants us to go and then assume we know how to get there. I’ve made that mistake many times and then wondered why I wasn’t getting anywhere.
Jesus depended on His Father for the large and fine print written in His life plan. He listened closely and obeyed quickly. Today’s verse reflects His absolute dependence: “The Son can do nothing by Himself; he can do only what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also.” (John 5:19)
Like Jesus, we can’t fulfill God’s purpose for our lives unless our ears are always listening. We can only discover God’s calendar and calling when we live in the hear and now - listening for His voice and obeying here and now.
God, sometimes I have selective hearing. Many days I don’t even ask what You think about my plans and choices. When I do, it’s often because I am desperate and need to make a big decision. Then I get frustrated because I don’t know what you are telling me. Could it be I have a hard time hearing You because I have grown unfamiliar with your voice? Today, I lean in to listen. Make my ears attentive and my heart willing to live in the hear and now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Journey of My Heart with Renee Swope
Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer
Take time to quiet your heart and your thoughts right now. Be still and acknowledge that He is God and you are not. Tell Him your desires for today and then ask Him to show you His. Give Him permission to interrupt your thoughts and agenda and lead you in a different direction if He wants to. Get ready for a day filled with adventure and companionship as you walk hand in hand with your Maker.
Do I listen for God’s voice each day? Or do I assume I know what He wants me to do?
If God were to speak to me, would I recognize His voice?
Is my mind so full of worries (and the need for control) that my thoughts drown out the possibility of hearing God’s thoughts?
1 Samuel 3:10, “The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening.” (NIV)
Psalm 119:16, “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” (NIV)
John 14:31, “But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 26 September 2007.