Knowing the future is a nice thing. Especially if the future is good. For instance I know now, that when I get home my wife will most likely have prepared another amazing meal. She’s a stellar cook! Here’s the problem though: Knowing in the “now” what is still to come makes me more hungry. My belly seems to growl more. It makes me want to have a snack. It makes me want to short cut the system. C’mon don’t tell me you haven’t done the same and ruined your appetite!
You know, being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t mean that we know everything in the future, but very so often the Spirit of God gives us glimpses into it. Exciting glimpses. As we walk this disciple’s road with Christ, He begins to shape us and refine us into sharper instruments in his hands. The more we are formed the clearer we understand our role, our giftings and our calling in the Body of Christ.
God then starts guiding us by his Spirit into a very specific thing; something that he is calling you and you alone into. By the favour of God he gives you a vision for his Glory. He sets you apart for a specific mission and his desire becomes your desire! There is no excitement like knowing that God has divinely called you out to a task for his Glory. That is what I want to talk about for a moment. What happens when you find yourself knowing “now” what the “not yet will be?” What do you do with that?!
Well, knowing “now” what the “not yet” is can really tempt you to “grab that snack in the fridge before supper” so to speak. Abraham did it! He was given an amazing promise that through his descendants would come a great nation. God told him to go outside and look up at the stars. If he could count all of them, that would be how many descendants he would have! What a promise to know! Still, Abraham had to wait. After waiting for a while, he decided to help God along with His promise by concieving a child with his wife’s handmade Hagar. The result? An illegitimate child, a whole ton of pain, turmoil and grief. He grabbed the preverbal “twinky from the cupboard before supper.”
Jesus, on the other hand, operated in the “now” still understanding and trusting by faith in the “not yet” that God had spoken. I mean think about this: He ministered for 3 years, was then crucified, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven with only a group of 11 disciples left behind. These 11 were tasked with fulfilling the “not yet” that Jesus was promised by God the Father. What was the “not yet?” We get a glimpse of it in Revelation 7: “a multitude without number from every tribe and nation clothed in white crying out “salvation belongs to our God , who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.” That is the “not yet” that Jesus trusted the Father with. This great multitude is the reward of Christ suffering, and you and I have the priveldge of helping to fulfill the “not yet” for Jesus. .
On this disciples path, the Spirit of God may have revealed something to you about the road ahead. Can He trust you with it? Can He trust you not to shortcut it? Are you willing to wait even if it hurts? Even if Satan tempts you with distractions?Will you remain focused on what God has called you to? Remember, He didn’t have to show you. He could have kept you in the dark. Do not betray is confidence. “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”- Psalm 25:14 If you have been entrusted with an instruction from the King, be sure it is carried out when and how he has instructed you to do it.
Mary found favour in the eyes of the Lord, and was given a promise. She was faithful to that promise and she became the earthly mother of Christ himself. She was faithful with the “now” and trusted God with the “not yet.”
Lord, give us grace to do the same.
I’d love to hear your “now and not yet” stories. You can share your comments below.
Here is an excellent Message by Charles Price on this matter.