Thursday, 7 January 2016

If Not Now, When?

Proverbs 7:24 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

       I have been asking myself this question a lot: "If not now, when?" There seems to be an urgency in the Holy Spirit within me that is asking me to move forward in the maturation of God and all the blessings He has for me because of who I am in Christ. If I slow down just a bit with an exaggerated excuse as to why I want to do the assignment later on, I hear a soft nudge saying, 'If not now, when? 2 Cor. 6:2 For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. 
      Putting off the inevitable lesson God is trying to get through to us is a mug's games. There is no way around the growing process in the eternal plan of God. The Lord will build His church with or without us. That would be such a sad moment in any Christian's life to be left out of the greatest holy project in the universe, because we are the church body of Christ. So, why would we hinder our growth? We are either for God working within us or against His righteous guidance. There is no middle ground of lukewarmness. Rev. 3:15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 
      The love God has for us is helping us move forward to a place where we are ever growing into the image of Christ. When I look in the mirror, I smile and thank God for what He has done in me to this point, but oh, the journey ahead is clear; more work is needed. I can clearly see that lukewarmness of heart and slothfulness in attitude will not get the high calling of God's desire operating in my life to its fullness. If we do not move forward when the grace of God is moving ahead then when will we set out?
      We read in the book of Exodus when God moved by day or night, the people had to move also or they would be left behind to the dangers of the desert and all its perils. Ex.13:21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. It would have sounded foolish if some of the people would say, "Oh, just go ahead, I'll catch up later. I'll get into God's wilderness desert program when I get around to it." No, that attitude would not have worked. Why then do we take on that attitude today when the pillar of God is moving in our lives per se? 
      The desert was froth with wild animals walking and stalking the fringes of the camp looking for easy prey. From a cackle of hyenas to a coalition of cheetahs ready to take down the weak traveling on their own in the wild of the desert was not wisdom nor a place to find oneself. Death through thirst and hunger would have been lurking as a constant possibility for anyone foolish enough to take on God's plan without God in it. These slow and rebellious people would be in constant danger of losing their way in God and life. 
      Why, then, do we think we can do the same today when God tells us it is time to move forward in His plan? Paul warns us that wolves would try to tear apart the body of Christ. Acts 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Peter warns us of the devil going about as a lion looking for the spiritually weak in heart. 1 Pet. 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
      These warnings and object lessons of wild animals the Apostles are using are meant to show us our adversary the devil is out to slow us down to a crawl, so we can be vulnerable and therefore pounced upon and destroyed mercilessly. Someone might say, "Well, I'm only an usher in the church, how could I slow down the plan of God in any one's life or my own life?" Maybe you were supposed to have been the music pastor and that is why the church assembly you attend is having a hard time breaking through when worship is going on. 
      The point is we are to flourish where we are planted and grow into what God is preparing for us and in us for today and the future. If you do not step up to the plate now, then when? Today is the day to act upon what God is doing because we only have today to do it. Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. To assume we can catch up to what God is doing in our life later on when we feel up to it is a form of arrogance that should not be part of our Christian nature.
      We do not dictate to God when He can do a work within our soul. The Lord dictates to us when the time is right and now is the time for the next step of our walk in Him. Maybe God has been asking you to forgive a person who did you wrong or give back something you took that was never yours. 
      Maybe God is asking you to step out by faith and answer his knock on the door of your heart in order to take part in the next feast God has for your life. Rev. 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. If not now, then when will you enter into what God is doing for you and in you? If not now, when?

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