Jesus Smelled The Roses, Will You?
What are you doing this weekend? Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your plans for the holidays? It seems we as a society feel the need to live in the future. We see that in television and the futuristic connotations of some shows, in movies, where it seems half of them today are post-apocalyptic, and even our jobs, where the goal is to be promoted and eventual “be a success”. Yet, we forget, as Christians, that God wants us to live in the present, not the future.
In James 4:13-15, James writes about this very subject, stating that we should never make plans without first seeking the will of God. He says,
13 Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’
And the interesting thing is he just previously wrote about not hurting your brother, and keeping from stealing, murder and other sins because we have a urgent desire and want to fulfill it no matter the cost. Sound like any country or countries of today? James is trying to tell us, when you become greedy and selfish like that you need to repent and turn towards God's will.
We read that God wants us to live in the moment, but why do we need to do that?
1. Jesus Did:
Christ was all about living in the moment, he lived the old saying “stop and smell the roses”, so much so that he only owned what he wore. When there was a need, God was able to provide, either through people he knew (Luke 5) or through the provision of God Himself (Matthew 14:19). Jesus even knew it and said a few times in one way or another that he had nothing that he owned or a place to call home (Luke 9:57-58). He was content with his life and the present time at which he was living, not because he had things, or planned for the future, but because he knew God would provide. He enjoyed life and loved those around him because of that knowledge.
2. It Is Good For Us:
God always has a reason for why we should do the things He asks, and it is always for the benefit of us. Throughout the Old Testament we read “weird” rituals and cleansings for all sorts of things, but if you look closely, they are all accurate ways to stay healthy. So, when we look at God telling us to live in the moment, and not the past or the future, we need to look at the benefits of it.
- Our stress can be relieved. We no longer need to fear the unknown, because we embrace God’s will and His plan for the future.
- We will have so much extra time. How much of your life is spent worrying about the next thing, when you can’t even enjoy the present situation?
- Our faith can be strengthened. When we trust God, our faith is strengthened, not just because we trust, but because we then see the results of God’s power in our lives we know God is with us.
Life is definitely a struggle. There are fears, struggles, and the unknown, but through God; the worry, the stress, and the need to know can vanish. But only if we remember to live in the moment like Jesus, and trust in God’s plan. That of course doesn’t mean you need to just sit back and let everyone else do everything for you. It just means that as your are saving up for a trip, planning your five year work goal, or even deciding what to do on the weekend, make sure you keep God in the center. Make sure your will and desires align with His, and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.