‘Thank You, Lord, for Now’: The Power of Being Fully Present
Back in July, I wrote an article titled, “Carpe Momentum! (Seize the Moment!),” emphasizing the importance of living in the moment. In the article, I mentioned a newfound practice I had developed in which I frequently stop my activities to say, “Thank You, Lord, for now!”
I started doing this because it is all too easy for me to get ahead of myself, to be here in body but somewhere else in my thoughts. This new practice has helped me focus on the here and now, recognizing that this one moment is what God has given me, and this is where my attention must be devoted. It really is making a positive difference in my life.
Thank You, Lord, for Now
Recently, I traveled to Poland for three days of ministry. It was my first overseas trip since COVID shut things down, but one of many overseas trips I have taken over the years (now, over 160 such trips in total).
During the trip, I noticed those old tendencies coming back, especially when I had to combat jet lag while speaking.
Leaving the hotel for the first meeting, I thought to myself, “I can’t wait to get back to my room and go to sleep!”
But I immediately stopped that thought and said to myself, “Thank You, Lord, for now! This is why I’m here. This is why we have been praying. This is the whole purpose of the trip: to minister to these precious people.” And just like that, my focus readjusted.
I’ve even found that this works when I’m in challenging situations. God is here with me in this moment, which has some strategic importance of some kind, so I want to respond to it rightly. “Thank You, Lord, for now!”
The Mystery of the Holy Spirit
During my travels, I was reading A. W. Tozer’s book The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, and this quote really hit home:
I have said the church would be better off if we called for a moratorium on activity for about six weeks, and just wait on God to see what He would do for us. Just wait on God. The early church did that very thing. They cleaned up the loose ends and were united. We pray, “Oh, God, send Thy Holy Spirit upon us so we’ll be united.” We might just as well repeat “Three Blind Mice.”
God does not hear that kind of prayer because it has no sense in it. The Holy Ghost did not come upon the disciples to unite them. The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples because they were already united, “Being of one accord and in one place.”
Scholars tell us that “being of one accord” is a musical term, meaning harmony. The early Christians already were one. They were in harmony with each other when they were together in one place.
The trouble with some is that they are here, but not all here. Their mind is wandering around all over the place, but they are here in body. The disciples were together in one place. Someone said that we have yet to see what God can do with a man if He can get him together in one place.
That last line is classic, changing the famous words often repeated by D. L. Moody, “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” (It was Henry Varley who originally shared this thought with Moody.)
Tozer, citing an anonymous “someone,” changes it to: “we have yet to see what God can do with a man if He can get him together in one place.” Wouldn’t that be amazing!
Fully Together in One Place
How incredible it would be if each of us — or any of us — could be fully together in one place, our minds and hearts focused as one and all our energies going in the same direction. Present in the moment. Focused in the moment. Living in the moment. Oh, for grace to carry this out!
John G. Lake (1870-1935), a pioneer missionary and healing evangelist, once said, “No matter what your soul may be coveting, if it becomes the supreme cry of your life, not the secondary matter, or the third or fourth, the fifth, or tenth, but the supreme desire of your soul, the paramount issue — all the powers and energies of your spirit, soul and body are reaching out and crying to God for the answer — it is going to come!”
May we each discover the power of being fully present, of being “together in one place,” of being undistracted and undivided. I’ve got quite a ways to go, but I’m making progress. You can too!
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is The Political Seduction of the Church: How Millions Of American Christians Have Confused Politics with the Gospel. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.