Today I stopped at a little coffee shop on the mountain top between my little town and the next little town. The lattes are sublime, the view incredible, and they hand-craft a mean Chinese food lunch on Wednesdays. I took along a book but needn’t have bothered because it’s a rural community and half the people who walked through stopped to chat.
One acquaintance sat with me while awaiting her to-go order. As is typical between two Christian women, the conversation turned quickly to God things. She has been going through some dramatic life changes and she related the way the Lord had been reminding her that life must be lived in the “now moment”. Past is gone, future is yet to be, and God is found right here, right now. The “now moment” is a sweet grace gift waiting to be unwrapped. A good thing for all of us to remember.
Then she said something that would have been familiar to anybody who has had more than one churchy conversation. “My friend has such a call on her life, everyone knows it, but satan has done just about everything to keep her from it.”
Even as my head began to nod in agreement my spirit stirred with disquiet. Suddenly something sounded way off key. I rolled the words around in my mind and tried to listen to what I felt the Holy Spirit was attempting to convey.
If we are living only in the moment…if we can only know God in the now, not in the past or the future… then we can only serve Him in the now. Henry Blackaby explained this in his classic study, “Experiencing God”, where he taught us to look for what God is doing right now in our midst and then join in.
I talked the thoughts through with her as they tumbled out of my spirit. Of course, everyone is called and has a God-ordained destiny. But our call is not, cannot be, in the future, because it is only now that we can hear Him, obey Him, walk with Him. Intimacy with our Lord can only occur now. If we are thinking about or planning intimacy, we are not experiencing intimacy.
If we investigate, which usually means get still and listen, what He is currently doing, and then join that activity, it will take us into a connected series of future “nows” which is our destiny unraveling as we walk it; in the same way that we step from one stone to another to cross the creek. Or, to use another analogy, we can stand beside a road and imagine what beckons beyond the next bend all day long and get nowhere. But as we step onto the road and begin to travel it disappears behind us and unwinds before us until we experience that place we tried to imagine.
The only way to actually believe that satan can hinder me from reaching my God-ordained destiny is to believe that destiny is always in the future, and then to give the enemy a place of power between myself and it! This place of vain imagination, where beliefs are lifted higher than God’s truth, can only bear the fruit of frustration, stagnation, and hopelessness.
But if I understand that God is with me now then the only way to occupy my destiny is to accept and involve myself in this particular moment of it. When I do this I will realize that nothing and no one can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and His love is my destiny! When my destiny is now, and I am actively and willingly and knowingly occupying that moment of my destiny, then nothing and no one can get between me and it! Such a revelation topples satan from a place he wishes I would put him, in his attempt to hinder me from being what I already am (at least from God’s perspective).
Am I making any sense at all?!
Each of us is searching for meaning and hoping for greatness. Both meaning and greatness are found as we submit to Christ and allow Him to pour Himself into and then out through our life. If we cannot begin to live in the now moment we will wake up one day and find this life is over and our destiny is still locked in all those past moments we never unwrapped.
(photo courtesy of heavensreef.blogspot.com)