"You never know what you have until you lose it." We can apply this little gem of truth to almost everything in our life, including God. We never seem to appreciate anything in our life until we either lose it or come close to losing it. Most of us do not appreciate how quickly things can be taken from us or how fast life can change. We are healthy today but tomorrow we have diabetes; we have enough money to live on today, but tomorrow the bank account is empty; today our family is together and healthy, but tomorrow a child will never walk through that front door again. We fail to live in and appreciate the moment and because we live so far into the future we fail to celebrate what we have today.
We live in fear of the future and because of it we are constantly making plans and provision for the future. We are so worried about retirement that we fail to live in those moments of our children's growth. Before we know it they are grown and starting on a family of their own. We failed to make the memories in the moment, to appreciate a messy house, to accept the hugs at a busy time, to enjoy the small, daily achievements of our children, to celebrate each scraped knee and every tiny bruise with great triumph. The moment slips by so quickly. So do the moments with Jesus.
We are the most privileged people in history. We live in a time of God's grace, the evidence of his power, the manifestation of the Spirit. We live and enjoy this "day of salvation" and the freedom we have to worship Jehovah, the LORD God Almighty. We live in the day of the revelation of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We live in this great time of history, when God's Spirit dwells with man, and we don't appreciate it. Jesus told his disciples:
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. (Matthew 13:16-17)
Earlier Jesus had pointed out that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet to have been born. He was greater than all the other prophets we read about in the Old Testament.Then Jesus stated that the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than John. Do you understand what he is saying? We are greater than John who was greater than Elijah and Elisha. These prophets only got to see from a distance what we get to experience every day. They longed for what we take for granted. They looked at the privilege of this age and wanted to experience it. We take it for granted because we have been born into this age of privilege and blessing. But I ask you, are we achieving what these prophets of old had achieved with far less than we have today?
Jesus stated that because we have freely received we must give in the same manner. You are prophets bringing the Word of God to the nations. You are filled by the Holy Spirit, God's power pumps through you so you are equipped to do anything God calls on you to do. He told us not to rehearse our words because he would fill our mouth with what to say. He promised us that, because of the Holy Spirit, we would speak with power, authority and with boldness. We have fellowship with our Father every day and have the privilege of knowing his will, if we would just open our ears to hear. But we take these privileges for granted and we miss the moments we are told to live in.
We act like spoiled children and keep all the blessings and knowledge of the living God to ourselves. We use the Kingdom money to build fine palaces for ourselves to be comfortable in to worship a God who is far from comfortable and who desires to make us feel uncomfortable. His plan was not to spoil us but to mature us as we worked through the mission he has given us. We however have set aside that mission so that we may "enjoy" life. We are missing the opportunities in the moment and we will come to regret it. One day we will have to give an account of what we have done with what God has provided us with. What kind of crop was produced through us? How was the "talent" multiplied? How much was "reproduced" through us? This is the mission, to make disciples of Jesus Christ with all that we have been equipped with. How can we fail at this when we are filled with the power of God?
It really is time to shake ourselves from this slumber and realize that we have been unproductive. We have lost the moments that have passed but there is no need to lose the moment of today. Share the Word of God in boldness today. Be in the moment with that suffering co-worker and ask Dad for a miracle that she will see Jesus through that miracle. Be bold in telling people you have the answer to their problems, and his name is Jesus. Do not be afraid to allow the Spirit to work signs and wonders through you today. Produce a crop 10, 20, 100 times more than what you have been given. Do not end your time in this world regretting those lost moments; do not stand before Jesus realizing what you had as it is taken away from you.