Thursday, October 1, 2009

"The Rest of Our Lives"

In praying about a challenging matter recently, I expressed to the Lord that I wanted to faithfully walk with Him therein for the rest of my life.

The thought immediately occurred to me that "the rest of my life" is simply today. We have no guarantees that we will be in the world tomorrow, and the day in which we live is therefore our only assured opportunity to trust and obey God.

"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness" (Psalm 95:6-8).

In particularly challenging issues concerning godliness, it is a great comfort to realize that our Lord does not call us to faithfulness beyond this present day. Our spiritual enemies would have us view our lives in such large terms that the small matters of the day - where life is actually lived, and where the provision of God actually exists - are neglected due to a clouded focus. Recognizing that we are called to faithfulness only in the present moment illuminates our heart with the light of truth and reality, and enables us to see God's "I AM" in the now where by definition His "I AM" can only exist (Exodus 3:14).

Great challenge also awaits us in this perspective. Our flesh loves the notion of looking beyond today because it is infected with the pride of believing that we will be on the planet tomorrow, and that we can even determine the course, nature, and condition of the future. "Ye shall be as gods" said Satan to our original forefathers, and part of being a deity is confidence in our ability to dictate tomorrow as well as today (Genesis 3:5). Living in the present therefore requires putting to death this proud notion by the humble acknowledgment that the living and true God is God, and we are not. Accordingly, we walk with Him in the only hour that He assures. This hour.

"The rest of our lives," is today, or more literally, the rest of our lives is this moment. Trust and obedience is possible only right now. Grace for such godliness is only available right now. Great rest of heart, and great faithfulness awaits us as we attend ourselves to the matter at hand, and to the living presence of the great I AM.

"Go to now, ye that say, Today or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."
(James 4:13-16)

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