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Series: The Now; The Kingdom of God
Sun am 24 March 2013 – Kobus Swart
Matt. 6:25-34; Luke 21:1-3; Eccl. 3:11, 15; Eph. 1:10; (John 8:58); (Matt. 18:3).
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Isn’t this what modern life is all about? The mindset that is prevalent in the Western world is about making a living; what shall we eat, how shall we dress, where shall we live. Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Look at the birds! Stop! Absorb! Think! Get into the now. We are forever busy, either thinking about yesterday or tomorrow with all the things that need to be done. So the present slips past us. Life is always about the now. In a sense there is no future. When tomorrow arrives, we will only experience it in the now. (We are not suggesting that you should sit on the pavement neglecting certain duties, but do not use your busy program as a cop-out for not sitting still and doing what Jesus is saying here.) The birds are not concerned about what to eat, where to stay. And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Anxiety shortens your life. And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. A mind shift is required for you and I to stop being anxious about these things. We have a heavenly Father and He knows what you and I need. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt. 6:25-34).
Our mind is always replaying past glories or defeats, or imagining the unknown future, while the present is slipping by. The now must never be overlooked. Do something practical about this word. Take time off to do nothing, not for the sake of doing nothing but to connect with the present. We must always listen to the music of the present; every present moment has its own music.
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins (Luke 21:1-2). Jesus noticed. Our minds must make way for our spirit man to notice and see what is happening in the now moment. The future is inside us but it needs our partnership to unfold. Even as Christians we are so future minded that we forget to live in the present. Unless you become like a child you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3). A child lives in the now and is absorbed with small things that you and I do not even notice.
Here is wisdom: Whatever was, is. Whatever will be, is. That’s how it always is with God (Eccl. 3:15). We must live this. Capture the present. Eternity is not a space of time. Eternity is in the heart of every man (Eccl. 3:11). Eternity does not have a past or a future; it has no beginning and no end. It has nothing to do with time but it has to do with the mystery of the great I Am. Jesus said, before Abraham was, I Am (John 8:58). Jesus came and represented God in this “time-space bubble” in which you and I live. We carry something bigger than that within us. The time will come when this “time-space bubble” will burst and have no more effect on God’s children. The eternal present is the space in which our lives unfold.
Our minds want to be in charge and we must know how to prevent our minds from stealing from us these moments in which we touch the eternity that is inside of us. We all have fear and anxiety and the enemy uses that to rob us of the present. It is all about the joy of being, not doing; that is why we are called living beings. Too much thinking of the future brings anxiety, stress, tension, worry. Too much thinking of the past brings guilt, regret, resentment, sadness, bitterness and unforgiveness. It is all controlled and used by the ego-mind, the mind that wants to be in control, but the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God, not by the mind (Rom. 8:14).
We carry the future within us. We are the future busy unfolding. The sooner we connect with that truth, the greater our peace will be. We are tomorrow busy unfolding. Jesus came in the fullness of time (Eph. 1:10). That means the “last days” and our future arrived with Jesus 2000 years ago. Now it all has to do with the Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
Where is Christ? Within! Where is eternity? Within! What is trying to rob us? Our focus on the past or the future.
There is a transition taking place. Let us not miss God in this transition. Let us find our rest in our Father.