Have you ever struggled to live in the moment?
This week, we continue our series on reasons to read the Bible with another key reason: it helps us live life better today.
(If you missed any of our previous blogs on reasons for reading the Bible, you can click on these links to find them: The Bible points us toward the truth, it strengthens our relationship with God, it helps us grow in our faith, and it offers hope in dark times.)
I'm a major planner, so it’s a daily effort for me to focus on “right now.” I mentioned last week I’ve been struggling to remind myself it’s not Christmas yet—in spite of the super-cute decorations in all the shops and the Christmas music my daughter has started playing. In fact, it’s not even Thanksgiving. (That’s tomorrow!" But some days I get so focused on what’s coming next that I can’t truly enjoy this moment.
With all its focus on life after death and preparing for the end times, it might surprise you to know how much there is in the Bible about the importance of living in—and enjoying—the present moment. In fact, I think that’s one reason why God keeps talking about the future: to help us understand the importance of today!
The Bible contains a number of verses that remind us to focus on the present.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (NIV).
Many of us know and love Psalm 46:10, which reminds us to “be still and know that I am God.” The fuller context goes a bit deeper. Beginning in verse 8 it reads, “Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.' The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:8-11). God’s got this, the verse is basically saying. He’s in command, and He’s our strong tower—our refuge. Don’t worry about a thing.
The Bible also has some helpful words on how we should be living in the moment—that is, walking on God’s path, which He has blazed for us. God provides us with His commands, His laws, throughout Scripture. He tells us Who we are to model in how we live our life—His son, Jesus Christ. When we read the Bible, we understand how that’s done. We get the examples we need.
Proverbs 6:23 says God’s command “is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.”
In Matthew 4:4, Jesus says, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
When the Israelites were in the desert, God gave them manna—food from heaven that provided all their daily nourishment (Exodus 16). He provided new manna every day. They weren't to store up the manna; it would go bad and rot overnight. They were to eat their manna, then collect new manna the next day.
I wonder: when I'm worried about tomorrow today, maybe I'm doing what the Israelites did when they gathered too much manna.
If you find you are so focused on tomorrow that you can't enjoy today, stop a moment and wonder if you, too, are trying to store up extra manna like the Israelites. Slow down and breathe. Take a cue from Psalm 46:10 to "be still" and "know" that God is the great I Am, fully in charge of all our needs.
Do you have a favorite verse in the Bible that helps you focus on the "now"?
Join us next week as we take a look at the next reason: to prevent us from getting “too comfortable.”