Living in the Hear and Now
Renee Swope

“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.” John 5:19-20a (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.
Related Resources:
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

A Walk to Remember: Living and Leaving a Legacy (2 Session DVD) by Renee Swope

Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer

Do you know Him?

Application Steps:
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?

Power Verses:
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)

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Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you so much. That was great. I commited my day to Him. I especially liked the verse ' so that people will know I love the Father'.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow..this devotion really captures the essence of what I am going through now, of just living in the
"hear and now" and not being anxious of my future particularly with respect to my career.

Thanks for these words of wisdom

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the emphasis on "hear" and
now. Lord give us trained ears to
know you and your voice. Three
hymns come to my mind--Jesus Calls
Us, Moment by Moment I'm kept in your care. andTake Time to Be Holy.God bleesyou andkeepyou and
make His face to shine upon you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the reminder to stop and that I know what He desires...not me dictating to Him what I desire. Thank you for a good perspective on listening.


Blogger Lisa said...

Renee, I was at your personal blog and I clicked to follow you over to this entry. Lo and behold, as I read it I realized that I already read this, just this morning. BUT, I got something completely different this time. Thank you thank you. AND the new site makeover is GORGEOUS!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my first visit to your website, and this devotional is exactly what I needed. God is sooooo good!!! Bless you all.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in desperate need of wisdom such as this. Lately, i have been at the point where i am doubting my beliefs and God. My big decision last year was whether to marry my now-husband. God was so clear to us and our Pastor that this was His will, but now a year later, we struggle through much pain just to survive our marriage each and every day. This is not the marriage that God promised. My husband is not the godly husband i so desperately need. I am no where near the godly wife i should be. Please pray for me. I don't want to lose my faith in God or my marriage.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Hi Desperate for God,

Thank you sweet friend for being so honest and real in a very raw way. We are going to be praying for you and your marriage. Please do not lose hope in God or your husband.

I want to encourage you to read a devotion that was posted recently on this blog. It's called Surrendering Your marriage - click on Marriage in the left sidebar and it will come up. It was posted September 5th. My friend Melanie wrote it based on her brokenness and struggles in her marriage. She also shares those in her book - What Every Husband Needs. I know you want him to know what you need, but this book has helped thousands find hope again. May the God of all hope strengthen and encourage your heart as you seek Him.


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