WHY NOT NOW?


Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  NASB

When I ask the question, “Why Not Now?”  I sometimes get push-back from people saying, “Well, Jesus did miracles and the 1st Century Church had miracles but once the Bible was completed all that ceased.”  They usually quote 1 Corinthians 13:10 as their proof-text to validate their contention. 

I agree that the Bible is complete and is the Inspired Word of God.  It is, in that sense, Perfect!  There will not be more Bible given.  Jesus was, truly, “the Perfect One” and the only person ‘born of woman’ who lived a sinless and perfect life qualifying Himself to be the propitiation for our sins.  He satisfied the demands of divine justice and the requirement of perfection to become our substitute and ‘buy us back’ from the domain of darkness. 

Some have argued that Jesus did what He did as God, therefore, we cannot expect to do what He did.  That flies in the face of His own words in John 14:12 where He specifically said, that believers would do the works He was doing and even greater works because.  Because of what?  Because He was going to the Father.  Remember His directive to the disciples and the followers as He ascended to heaven?  He said, “tarry in the city of Jerusalem until…”  Until what?  Until you are endued with Power which was the coming of the Holy Spirit.  He confirms that in John 14 and introduces the idea that we can be “as He is in this present world.”  That is confirmed by John in 1 John 4:17.

Therefore, if Jesus said we could do what He did and even greater works then “Why Not Now?”  If Jesus said, that we have authority over all the power of the enemy then, “Why Not Now?”  If as the apostles and biblical writers declared, we can be as He is in this present world then, “Why Not Now?”

1 Corinthians 13:10 says, “When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away.”  The ESV renders it, “When the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”  There will be a time when the gifts of prophecy, healings, knowledge, wisdom, tongues, etc. will cease.  Is that now?  I believe not because it also says that ‘knowledge would cease’ and we know that knowledge has not ceased even though sometimes I wonder in dealing with people.

I believe that the Perfect is a reference to the Glorified State when All Things Are Completed and God sets up His eternal Kingdom.  You may disagree and that’s your choice.  However, if Jesus is the same as He once was and still saves today and if we are to do the works He did and greater works, and He healed the sick, delivered the bound, and gave guidance to the troubled, “Why Not Now?”

I call to mind the words of John in 1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  NASB.  

Jesus is God and God does not change.  Isaiah 59:1 declares, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear.” NASB.  Numbers 23:19, reminds us of God’s incredible declaration of Himself, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” NASB.  Isaiah 55:11 declares the incredible promises and revelation of God and His power, “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”  NASB

I stand on 1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” NASB.  Likewise, Jesus’ Promise in John 14:14 is indelibly imprinted on my heart and mind, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” 

I fully believe that Jesus has never changed.  I believe that He still has the same power He once had.  I believe that believers, in the Power of the Holy Spirit and on the Authority of the Word of God are still “more than conquerors” through Jesus (Romans 8:37).  I believe that the Atonement is still fully in effect today, all of it!

Yes, I pray prayers that do not seem to be answered for healing and provision for myself and others from time to time.  Does that mean miracles have ceased?  Not in my view.  It could mean many things including me being guilty of asking amiss or not believing in my heart, or my timing parameters and schedule are not God’s.  I won’t stop praying for healing, deliverance, salvation, provision, guidance, direction, and for “the Kingdom to come and the Will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  My lack of seeing does not indicate the absence of availability.  The problem is not on God’s side, nor in His unwillingness. 

I cannot explain why on some things, but I still believe that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God and that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Therefore, I keep seeking Him and keep asking, “Why Not Now?”

I hope that I have challenged you to press into His presence a little more.  This devotional has convicted me more than I can detail, and I am more committed than ever to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.” I want the Atmosphere of Heaven in the present and want to allow the Spirit of God to develop the Culture of the Kingdom in me and my surroundings.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day He has made and given us to enjoy!

WHY NOT NOW? WHY NOT TODAY?


Spiritual Blog - Why Not

Mark 16:14-20 – “Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, ” Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  16 ” He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.  17 “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”  

19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.”  NASU

Why do we live, as one preacher said, “Unbelieving Believers?”  That might sound a bit confusing but what he was talking about was people, in Church, and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes believe for salvation but not any of the other promises of God, especially miracles, signs, and wonders.  Most Christians that I talk to pray for God’s miraculous but many of them do not really expect it to happen and if God does something supernatural they are surprised.  I’m not trying to elevate myself or put down any other believer, we are all living in the understanding we have and have developed our belief systems largely by the influence of whatever doctrinal views to which we have been taught or exposed.  I am simply asking, IF and that is the issue that must be settled in our hearts.  If Hebrews 13:8 is true and Jesus is the same, past, present, and future then “Why not now?  Why not today?”

I always ask people to hear the conclusion of the whole matter before throwing away a presentation or dismissing a position.  I encourage people to be like the Bereans and ‘search the scriptures’ to see if the position or presentation is true.  I also encourage you to be completely open and honest with scripture rather than filtering everything through your present doctrinal dogma.  You may be right, and you may be wrong.  You may have complete understanding and there might be something in which your understanding is incomplete.  That’s not easy for most to acknowledge but is a path that I’ve been on for several decades.  I want Truth and I want God.  I want to live in His Presence now and experience as much of His fullness as I can stand.

If Hebrews 8:6 is true and Jesus is truly the mediator of a Better Covenant, which has been enacted and established on Better Promises I ask, “Why Not Now?”  If Isaiah 55:11 is true and the Word which goes forth from God’s mouth, and I believe the Bible is just that, God’s word; and that word does not return to Him empty but accomplishes He desire, then “Why Not Today?”  If what Jesus declared in Matthew 19 is true and All Things Are Possible with God and His declaration in Mark 9:23 that All Things are Possible to those who Believe, then “Why Not Now?”

If the commission of Matthew 10 can be carried forth and applied to All Believers that our commission is to go and take the Gospel to the world, heal the sick, and even raise the dead, then “Why Not Today?”  I believe that according to Matthew 28 and Mark 16 the commission is to each of us who believe.  How do we contend that it is only to preach the Gospel but not the rest of the provisions and promises of God?  If in the Old Covenant there was healing, economic blessing, deliverance, guidance, protection, etc. how is it a Better Covenant with Better Promises if we do not enjoy the full benefits of His New Covenant.  Consider Isaiah 53’s description of the Atonement and 1 Peter 2:24’s reflection to that occurrence.  Look at the directive of Praying for the Sick in James 5, and the report of Mark 16 that God confirmed the Word, not the individuals, with ‘signs and wonders following’. 

If John 15:7 is to be deemed true and applicable for believers in all generations, and I believe it is, then we have the promise that if we abide in Him we can ask regarding anything and expect to receive the petition.  We dare not ignore the warning of James 4:3 that if we are asking but not receiving the cause could be because of wrong motives and a wrong heart.  Not because God does not desire to bless His children and provide for them whatever they need and even grant their desires.  Desires that reach for Him and seek to advance His Kingdom on this earth.

We should not forget the words of our Lord in Matthew 6:33 to “Seek First the Kingdom and Righteousness of God.”  We should not forget the directive of what is called the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 seeking for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Our hearts should be God first, God second, and God third and when we seek Him with a whole heart, he will guide our paths and all the things we need in life are part of His covenantal provision in the New Covenant.

I totally agree that the greatest need of any person is JESUS!  It is Salvation, the forgiveness of our sins.  It is being born again and being adopted into the family of God.  However, I also believe that God is concerned about every detail of our lives and that His repeated directives to seek Him, pray for the miraculous, and seek His Kingdom and will on earth are not pie in the sky for the sweet by and by carrots dangled in front of our faces.  God is not that kind of God.  If He tells us to pray for something, He wants to grant it.  If He says we have authority over all the power of the enemy, we have it and need to learn to live in it.  If He says, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us, we can.  If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever then whatever He once did, He can and wants to do today.  He has not changed and His desire to provide for us has not changed.

I conclude with Ephesians 4:11-13.   “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as  evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”    Why?  To equip us for service and to build us up in Him.  How Long?  UNTIL.  Until we all attain the unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Son of God and spiritual maturity (Fullness in Christ Jesus).  Have we achieved those?  Then I suggest they are still available for today and God wants to confirm His word with signs and wonders in our lives and equip us to reach the lost, minister to the hurting and set the captives free as Jesus declared when He quoted Isaiah in Luke 4:18-19.

For me personally, the cry of my heart is “More Lord!  More of You Lord!  Help me to take up residence in Your Presence and learn to fully trust You and live fully obedient to you!”  I am not seeking to stir up controversy or cause anyone to feel that I’m questioning your love for, or relationship with Jesus, simply I hope to encourage us to seek All That He Is and Receive All That He Has TODAY!

God bless you as you enjoy your journey in Him!