Friday, March 14, 2008

God Is In The Now!

I’m happy to announce that today we’re sending off the newly re-edited manuscript of my devotional book A Year In The Now for its fourth printing! Everything about this new edition will basically be the same as the first three versions, but it will have a new cover (front and back), and a couple of new endorsements from other ministries. I’ve also tweaked a few minor things in the phrasing, and my staff has painstakingly proofed every page of it to look for any minor imperfections in the layout, punctuation, grammar, etc. I also just finished writing a new introduction for it, and so, because being IN THE NOW is still where my head is at today, I decided to talk about that subject here with all of you.

In a word, God is in the NOW! God is always in the now! God revealed Himself as the “I AM” to Moses in Exodus 3:14…not the “I Was” or the “I Will Be”. He is I AM, and AM is NOW! He even went on to say that “I AM” would be His eternal name…

“This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations.” (v.15 - AMP)

God is eternal, and eternity is best defined as “THE NOW”. It is only in the NOW that can we experience the “PRESENCE” of God…PRESENCE means that He is PRESENT (not past…not future)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-PRESENT help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1 - TNIV).

Many, if not most, people miss the miracle of the NOW because they are too distracted by regret over the past, or fear of the future. But the God Who calls Himself “I AM” encourages us to “forget those things which are behind” (Philippians 3:13), and to stop worrying about tomorrow…

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing RIGHT NOW, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 - The Message)

When you let go of past-regret and future-anxiety, you can finally say with confidence that THIS is the day that the Lord has made! THIS IS…not was…not will be. That’s why the writer of Hebrews declares that faith is always “NOW”…

NOW FAITH IS being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 - TNIV)

And a few verses down he says…

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 – NKJV)

To come to God…or to come into the “PRESENCE” of God, you must believe that HE IS (another tense of I AM). Before you can even begin to believe that He is a rewarder, you must first establish that HE IS (or HE IS I AM). The verse says “must believe that He is AND, AND, AND that He is a rewarder”. Those of you who are a part of CITN know that I am teaching a series on this right now, and that I have been telling you that people who believe for rewards without first believing in His “IS-ness” or “AM-ness” are out of order.

The IS (or AM) always comes before anything else. That’s why so many people are frustrated in their prayer life…they have never just concentrated on believing that HE IS, and so it brings imbalance into their lives when they attempt to believe that He is a rewarder, even when they diligently seek Him. The bottom line is that if you don’t embrace the NOW, you cannot seek HIM…you just end up seeking rewards that never come, which leaves you in a constant state of disappointment.

But there is no disppointment in the I AM, and nothing is more important that right NOW. Let yesterday go. Stop worrying about tomorrow. Regret is a waste of time, and anxiety never creates anything positive…





Anonymous said...

Good Morning,

I really know that God is in the Now, right now and I am experiencing His I - Amness on such a great level. That scripture from Hebrews you have speaking about on Wednesday nights Hebrew 11:6 is pretty awesome. Just embrace the who He is and everything else will be added to us, like the rewards and the favors and His Super with our natural. This has been a true rhema word for me as I have experienced the isness of God.

Yes, I have that Now, when I pray! You are a master teacher/I will see you in intercessory prayer later this morning! Yvonne

Anonymous said...

Good morning “ALL”

I like the self-healing circular-ness of Heb 11:6. Believe that He Is-- and that He is a rewarder--of those who-- diligently seek Him-- and believe that He IS-- and...

When I notice I'm thinking He is not a rewarder? Red flag--Get in the now, Go back to He IS

I needed this reminder tonight, and I just heard it on Wed! What’s up with that?!

Thanks, Bishop.

Donald said...

When you're living in the now everything is new. Excitement seems to surround new things. Everything becomes an adventure. My son is home from school this week and he brought his Black Lab/Tasmanian Devil puppy with him. This puppy is only about 8 or 9 months old and believe me, he is living in the now. Life is an adventure for him. You can see it in his expressions. When you look at him carrying on you can the expression on his face that says, "What exciting thing can I do next?" He NEVER slows down! Then there's our much older Boston Terrier, Doc. He has seen it all and done it all and is content to just lay in his little bed next to the hearth and mind his own business. Well, Wally (my son's dog) won't have it that way. He can't understand why Doc would rather just kick back and take it easy. Wally is constantly pestering Doc and Doc will just look at me as if to say (and I can use this term literally here and no one can argue with it), "Get this son of a bitch away from me!"
But it dawned on me that we get like Doc too often. Life has given us our knocks and we start missing the excitement of living in the now. Everything is new to Wally because he hasn't been alive long enough to experience everything.
If we live in the now we can be like Peter Pan,...we need to learn how to fly, learn how to crow, er er ERRRRRR!!!!! (That was supposed to be the rooster sound that Robin Williams made when he was playing Peter Pan in Hook).

DoubleBack Alley said...

Don't you get the feeling that we have all been here before? I remember when Jonathan Winters was Mork's son Mearth and the hook was that he was born old and becoming young. That was life on Ork. Is that what Jesus was talking about? Is that what becoming a child is? Maybe we are to regress while we progress in the Now. Congress is not an option, nothing happens there.

Anyway, the Now is the eye of the hurricane. Chaos and whirling dervishes execute the intricate steps of dance. We see it all from the center of the hurricane, it seems to be out of control, but if we focus, we Trinity our way through the pandemonium; we see the bullets coming. They stop. They fall. We empower ourselves to exercise authority over situations. Is that maturity of adulthood responsibility or is that child-like faith? Are we coming or going? Maybe we are. In the Now.

Back to front, front to back, as long as we are in the Now, nothing else matters.

Look Ma I Won, Now I Am Kool.

Ain’t God Good?

Sheri Travis said...

Wow! Thanks Bish for an awesome word!, it was right on time.I was awake this morning at 4:00 having massive anxiety. I just can't quit praising God .Congratulations on the book! It's the best devotional I've ever read. I'll have to get the new edition, I've worn mine out.:-)
I can't wait to get the CD from this past Sunday.I'm cravimg more,more,more

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Greetings to the posts...Yvonne, I guess by now you know I wasn't at intercession...had to be downtown for a Safehouse boad meeting...Cool, Avatar...Donald, I'll say it crack me up! Great observation, though...DBA, as always, the stuff you bring to the table is a the concept...LOVED the TV show!...thanks, Creme Bruille...I have that same funny feeling about this coming Sunday!

Listen, everyone who posted a comment on "How Great is our God",...check out the response from "Anonymous" who acutally has a name. Very sweet.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

"Acutally" it was at a BOARD mtg!

Anonymous said...

BOAD/Board. Well then, here's something interesting [you guys know I love the typos!]

BOAD has two meanings--French for:
Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (West African Development Bank)
Brotherhood Of Ale Drinkers

One prophetic?
Other one, I'm guessing they don't meet on Friday mornings. I'm going with the prophetic one. LOL

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Lord, have mercy.

Lise said...

OK, gang...
It ain't over till the fat lady sings, and you've no idea how I'm longing to hear her voice! There's no BAD news! It's just that I was SO hoping that this infringement on my time and life would be over with today. I was on the verge of having a pity party... why me, Lord? And I admit to crying a few crocodile tears on the way home and even now, but I KNOW that I've heard God's voice on a near daily basis over the last 7 weeks, so there has to be a purpose in this. Do I want to be in this situation? *#%@ NO! Has my relationship with God proven sweeter? Absolutely yes! But right this minute, instead of feeling like more than a conqueror, I'm feeling like the 5year old me who was supposed to have her tonsils out. Incidentally, they were never taken out. The surgeon didn't even mention a needle biopsy, he just said, "It's definitely a tumor; we can take that out for you." He didn't say there was cause for concern, but he did say that as a surgeon he COULDN'T tell me that there is nothing there until it is removed and sent for analysis. So, here we go again with the waiting. I go back tomorrow for bloodwork, since my stomach wasn't completely empty today. And at some point on Thursday AM, the 20th, I'll be in an outpatient hospital for the first time in my life, out under anesthesia for the first time in my life, and I think it's the process that is putting all the butterflies in my stomach. So don't stop praying; I NEED YOU! I could use my big sister right about now, but I don't want to lay this stuff on her. And it seems that there must be something purging about going it alone (sans nuclear family). My Joe will be with me, of course :) I really do have some uplifting things to say... more beautiful words... impeccable timing! I'll try to post that later. Right now, I MUST get something in my stomach... preferably no insects!

Anonymous said...

LPinSC: I'm assuming you still have the Joy of the Lord, so no apology will be necessary for reminding you that insects actually have a lot of protein in them. (smile)

We're here. God IS.

Rx: reread Bishop's post, 70 x 7 as needed.

Teezy313 said...

Because God is in the NOW we have no existence in the past or the future...we must only be in the many times we make broad plans for the future when we have so much to do right ow...or we worry about things that happened so long ago that we may come to realise we are the only one who remembered it happened. If we are really trying to become more like God we have to seek him in the now..not the past or the future..It's good to learn from your past and honor it and it's also good to plan for the's not good when we let either consume us that we miss the miracle of the now!


tracy said...

To Lp in SC- Over the Christmas holiday,I "supposedly" had a heart issue going on, SEVERAL tests came back negatively. I of course had my peeps pray for the situation, but I also insisted the machines that tested me were tore up. This went on for MONTHS and I continued to say the machines were all tore up-who cares that is was several machines and several offices? Anyway, the test that would have showed any defect or potential problem specifically came back normal. At the beginning I KNEW something was not right, but with each test we proclaimed God's word over my body and the result was literally changed by how we dealt with each negative report. I say Peace to you and every cell in your body Must line up with God's Word, can't wait to hear the report of how awesome our God is.

Lise said...

What would I do w/out you?!? I needed that :) So now, perhaps, I can face Thursday thinking, "I'm calm; it's just protein coating my gut!"

Told you I had a few uplifting words. More choice morsels from my best friend (God) to me. I bought Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Moving On, a few days ago. It was on a clearance table, and I have treasured her book, Simple Abundance, for many years. I started reading it (the new one) last night, and what a passage I came upon! Some might say coincidence... I THINK NOT! Bear with, it's a little long, but considering Bish's "RX" blog from this morning, imagine the aaah-haa that my spirit felt.

"In Hebrew tradition, so holy & hidden is the Almighty's identity that the proper name of God cannot be pronounced. But in English it is written as four sacred letters
-YHWH- representing the past, present, and future tense of the verb 'to be.' God told Moses to call on the great "I AM," and when Moses did, the seas parted & his people were fed daily while wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Many of them probably looked up to the sky calling their God 'Manna,' the name of the heavenly substance that arrived each morning & kept them alive. Interestingly, manna could not be hoarded & saved for the next day; it turned rancid & inedible. So does our understanding of spirituality need to be kept fresh. We need to rediscover ways to acknowledge the generosity of Spirit by recognizing the mystical in the mundane... the sacred is found in our ordinary moments... we know it all matters and that grace is when you can both savor the small things - and not sweat the big ones."

So Bish, when I read your blog this morning I immediately thought, "God is just reinforcing the fact that HE IS!"

Do you all get what I'm saying about the post-its left all over the place for me? It's really special & quite bizarre at the same time! I came home from my appt. somewhat discouraged, but what was waiting for me? A couple of bulletins (one particular friend posts 2 devotionals per day) to encourage me in the Lord. Part of one read: "The only way for God to be seen is through our lives. Our lives must reflect all the things we say God is... We must demonstrate what we know about God in the way we think, talk, walk and live. God is peace. God is strength. God is mercy. God is forgiving. God is all knowing, all powerful, abundant, radiant life. God is love. To know God is to be like Him. All else is a figment of your imagination."

In the other one, a part of Psalm 103: He crowns you with love and compassion and satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed.
"No matter what you may be facing today, forget not His benefits! God wants to satisfy you with good things. If you need healing today, healing is a benefit...." And etc.

Seven weeks of this! I don't know exactly why He has chosen to put me through all of this... it's super special and really crappy at the same time! But perhaps it's so that my understanding of spirituality will be kept fresh. I don't know. I do know that I want to make Him proud! I can only hope for that much...

(Sorry so long!)

Lise said...

THANK YOU! I'm so glad you're OK... that your faith made you whole! And I'm blessed beyond measure to have you CITN peeps holding me up in prayer! You guys are awesome!

Anonymous said...

Knat Kat said...

"Good Friday"
We have 48 Fridays a year
Only one has significance here,
Good Firday...
Should be Great Friday
Miraculous Fiday, Wonderous Friday.

On a particular Friday
Thousands of years ago
Our God came to earth
Pushed out of His virgin womb
This boy who grew into a man
With all power
Called Lazarus from the tomb.

He hung out with the least of them,
Allowed Himself to be tempted,
Batterted beyond anything we could imagine;
Tempted, tested, most likely to be arrested
Kept it cool and called it all blessed.

His sacrifice shifted paradigms
Laid straight the gate...
His blood He gave for our sake.

"Good Friday"
Is too common an adjective
to describe the power, sovereignty
And majesty of the man
Who lived and died and rose again...
My Jesus, the Christ.