Sunday, November 27, 2011

Power Thought #10

I Live in the Present and Enjoy Each Moment

[Unlabeled quotes are taken from the book Power Thoughts, by Joyce Meyer.]

The aim of this chapter seems to be to get us to live in the now and to do so with joy.  John 10:10, John 15:11, John 16:24, and John 17:13 are listed out to emphasize that Christ desires us to be filled with His joy.  The author wrote about a lesson learned by Brother Lawrence.  "He found kitchen work to be very distasteful, but learned that if he did it for the love of God, he was able to practice the presence of God in the midst of it. this same principle was applied to every facet of his life and practicing it enabled him to enjoy life in a superior manner.  He turned what could have been a boring, mundane, miserable existence into one that was admired and coveted by many.  People wanted his simplicity, joy, peace, and profound ability to converse with God while doing everything he did."

We live in a driven society.  We're a multitasking generation.  And our lives are a messy blur much of the time.  We need to carefully set our minds to live in the present and enjoy each moment.  Her challenge is to "give yourself to what you are doing" and "to appreciate each moment that you are given as a rare and precious gift from God." If you're listening to your children, listen - don't be planning your grocery list.  If you're kissing your husband, do I even need to say it?  Be all there!  Not all multitasking is evil by any stretch, but it can be.
"The ability to e-mail and text is certainly convenient and has enabled us to communicate much faster, but if we let every little beep of the phone or message that announces 'You've go mail,' be the controlling factor in our lives, we will end up frustrated and often appear to be rude.  Listening requires your attention and pretending to listen when in reality your mind is on ten other things is not only rude, but it does nothing to build good relationships."  
The author also stresses that many of us have to let go of the past, that we need to choose our battles, and should recognize that we cannot meet everyone's expectations.  If you do a study on "joy" in the Bible, you'll find that it is linked in large degree to fellowship with God and His people.  There is joy in knowing that God's grace and Christ's blood is sufficient to wipe out our debt...I love what Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14 " thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  So if your past haunts you, forget it in the sense Paul means here and press forward in Christ.  If you're a people pleaser and you're frustrated all the time because you can't meet everyone's expectations, take a breath and remember it is Christ who purchased you with His own blood and it is to Him that you'll give account...get your marching orders from Him and then give yourself to whatever He puts into your hand.  He is big enough to handle the expectations of others.

Her last exhortation in this chapter is "Don't wait to enjoy yourself."  Some people break their life up into segments thinking things like "this is my work, and when my work is over, I will enjoy myself."  Our TGIF society lends itself to that kind of for the weekend.  If that is you, remember the lesson of Brother Lawrence and learn from the presence of God in each present moment He gives, and enjoy Him in it.  

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