Have you ever found out someone was robbing you and you weren’t even aware of it until later?

I just realized that I am being robbed blind and it is happening right under my nose. In fact, I am recklessly leaving an open invitation for it to happen, even contributing to it.

Maybe you are too?

How are we being robbed?

Do you know the feeling of discontentment, impatience, even a slight annoyance from wanting to hurry up to the next thing? Whether it is to….

graduate from school
find a job
meet your future spouse
have a baby
buy your ideal home
make more money
move to a new city
be a parent of older kids
find your calling
move on to the next opportunity in ministry
have an empty nest
finish one season of life and move onto the next
retire

The list is endless!!

As soon as one desire is reached another one takes its place. It’s as if we are perpetually focused on the next goal or opportunity in life. We are always looking for what more there can be for us.

And there is the culprit-MORE!

I don’t know about you, but I am getting consumed with the “more” down the road and it is costing me the blessing of “now”.

Did this happen to the disciples?

I was just reading about the disciples and wondering how this mindset would have affected their lives had they allowed it. Mark 3:13-15 says,

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”

When I read this, I thought of the glorious privilege at hand for the disciples/apostles. I saw 4 blessings richly bestowed on these men by Christ.

Chosen

Called

Transformed

Sent

These men were chosen by Christ for His purposes. He called them to the greatest privilege of intimacy with Him. His very intention was that they would “be with Him”.

Why might that be?

Because through intimacy with Christ, being with Him daily, they would be transformed. As they spent time with Him, they would become more like Him, thoroughly filled and equipped to then be sent out for the work of the kingdom.

What would have happened if while they were with Jesus, they constantly focused on the future with all its responsibilities and opportunities?

Their lack of attention on being with Christ would have compromised their abilities at being prepared for their future.

How did they benefit?

As it was intended for them to be with Him and allow Him to transform them, this would achieve 3 crucial purposes.

1. God would be glorified as they became more Christlike, bearing fruit as His disciples. John 15:7-8
2. They would be edified, growing in the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23
3. The kingdom would be advanced as they, in turn, made disciples. Matthew 28:19-20

If the disciples were not content with the time spent being prepared for their future, then they would have missed what was most necessary in order to fulfill their future. They would have cheated themselves out of what was their greatest opportunity at being transformed, but they would have also robbed God of glory!

It was imperative that they focus and cherish their “now” of being with Christ and not look ahead to what may be next for them. It would have been a mistake to miss out on the “now” to daydream or covet the “more” of the next phase God had planned for them.

Are we cheating ourselves out of what Christ has for us now by being covetous of what more there may be for us?

What can we do differently?

NOW is where we are perfectly prepared for, where His burden is easy and His yoke is light. NOW is where we have just the right amount of grace to sustain us. It is NOW where He is waiting to strengthen us, filling us with His love and wisdom needed for what is planned ahead. NOW is what we are able to fully embrace through abiding in Him.

The reason we are not ready for more is that we are not abiding NOW!

Jesus calls us to follow Him, not get ahead of Him. He will plan for our tomorrow what we are ready for through being transformed today.

What can we learn from David?

We see this lived out in the life of David. Although he was anointed king of Israel as a teenager, it was many years later before he ascended the throne. He waiting patiently for God to bring about His plan for Him. David’s responsibility was to let God do what was needed in David to prepare him for the future. David never sought the path to the throne on his own. Even after Saul was dead, he waited for God to initiate the process of transferring the kingdom over to David.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG

“NOW” is where we are to be fully present, where we are to focus. Let’s leave the “more” to God and let Him do the directing.

What have I learned?

I have learned I can only run hard after one thing well. I refuse to let my future, the “more” I hope for, be what captivates my attention. The glorious privilege of being chosen, called, and transformed is too good to gloss over for my hyper-focus on being sent.

If my being “sent” is robbing me of Christ this very moment, then it really has become my idol.

Oh friends! May we never believe the lie that being sent is what this glorious salvation is about! It is all about the wonderful transformation- where our scarlet sins are made white as snow and our hearts and minds are renewed by Him!

By letting God lead and bring about what He determines best, we won’t miss out on a thing. He will either bring our future to us or us to our future. Through His wonderful grace, we are only required to listen, learn and love right here and now as we sit at the feet of Jesus, taking in all of His glorious worth!

How has this article encouraged you? Comment below.

Be sure to read more from the author Gretchen Fleming at Gretchenfleming.com. Gretchen is a Bible study teacher and speaker at Four Oaks Community Church in Tallahassee, Florida.

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