We tend to think in terms of past and future, of what we did, and of what we are going to do. Such thinking leaves us ignoring the moment. But our God is the God of Now. He revealed His Name — “I AM THAT I AM” — to Moses at the burning bush. He is the God of life, the God of the present tense, the God of the here.
God is with us, at this very moment, and He never leaves us nor forsakes us. These words are written in Joshua 1 and Hebrews 13. These thoughts make my heart warm. These words are the source of all courage.
Let’s look at Joshua. He was the man who came after Moses. He had spent his life as the sidekick, the second in command. Moses opened the sea. Moses brought water from the rocks. Moses called down manna to feed the nation. Moses guided the people through the wilderness.
But Moses was not the man to take the people into the land of promise. He had dishonored the Lord, according to the account in Numbers 20:11; and the Lord held him accountable. Moses would die before crossing the Jordan River into Canaan with the people.
Joshua was given the job to lead Israel to its destination. A large assignment before him, Joshua surely felt the pressure of the moment. But the Lord showed up. God encouraged this man with a set of promises.
A promise for his walk: “Every place the sole of your foot will tread I have given you …” (Joshua 1:3).
A promise for his battles: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life” (Joshua 1:5).
And, the promise of His presence: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Substance from the Word
It wasn’t until after God made these promises that He commanded Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage.” The Lord always supplies the stuff that we need, the substance that will allow us to stand.
That substance, that stuff, is all wrapped up and presented to us in our Bibles. The Lord said as much to Joshua, telling him to “be careful to do according to all the law.” The Word makes all the difference; this is what God told Joshua and it is what He continues to tell us.
Meditate on the Book day and night was God’s instruction. Hear. Read. Think. Consider. Ponder. Practice.Meditate on the Book day and night was God’s instruction. Hear. Read. Think. Consider. Ponder. Practice. Click To Tweet
Let this be the pattern of your life. Keep the wood on the fire. This is what meditation is all about. Modern concepts have corrupted the reality of meditation and can stir up images of weird chants and abstract adventures.
The biblical model is taking up the Scriptures, a little bit at a time. We read a couple verses and think about them. This sparks something in us. The Holy Spirit does His work in us and fans the flames. We move through the Word with care and concentration.
It is quite simple on the surface. But it is not easy. We do have distractions flying at us from every side. We live in a wicked atmosphere controlled and manipulated by the prince of darkness and lies. The pattern is there for us, however.
Hear. Read. Think. Consider. Ponder. Practice. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God – this is what Romans 10:17 tells us.
What will be the results? Prosperity and good success, according to Joshua 1:8.
Just in case Joshua didn’t catch it the first time, though, the Lord said it all again.
Be strong and of good courage. Fear not, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Now we are back to where I started. God is with us, right here and right now. I remember learning this great principle from one of my first pastors. He called it the principle of God’s “Eternal Is.” The way he put it went like this: The past is gone forever; now just passed by; and tomorrow does not exist today.
God is, He eternally is. He’s always with us.
With Us, Always
Yes, He has given us much to do. He has saved us, but He has also left us – for now – in a broken world full of fragile and crushed people. Let’s not get overwhelmed by all of that. Meditate – think on what the Word says about His presence. It’s the now that matters.
Do you have small thing to do? Do it with all your heart as unto the Lord. Really, He’s right there with you as you do it.
“Lo, I am with you always.” Jesus said this at the close of Matthew’s gospel. He said this to a small group of nervous and hopeful disciples. He sent them with His blessing, and He sent the Spirit to live in them.
He is the God of our now. Let’s believe Him for it always.
Happy New Year? That’s OK to say. How about this one?
Happy Now Year.