Page 6: What If. . .
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword,
drew it and struck the high priest’s servant,
cutting off his right ear.
(The servant’s name was Malchus.)
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away!
Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
—John 18:10-11 (NIV)
“Drink the cup the Father has given me” jumped out as I read the verses in John. When this happens, I know it is God speaking to me through His Word. So I asked, “God, what do You want me to know?”
I sensed Him inviting me to look at how Jesus lived, not only in this scripture, but throughout His life. So, I in turn, invited the Holy Spirit to enlighten me! *
Your list may look different than mine, but here are a few things that encouraged and challenged me:
- Jesus lived in the present, doing the next thing in front of Him.
—He healed Malchus’ ear (Luke 22:50-51).
—He spoke truth without judgment.
—He was willing to do the hard things.
- Jesus lived in the present, with an eye on the future.
—He didn’t ask, “Why me?” He accepted what was.
—He knew the end of the story: God wins.**
When I live in the present, I’m not focused on regrets, how I thought things would be, or what I wish would happen. I just do the next thing. I make the phone call, offer a helping hand, ask the hard question, or pray.
I plan for the future, but I don’t live with a mindset of things needing to change before I’ll be okay. I live each day, knowing my future is eternal life with Christ. I partner with God in the simple or difficult things before me, believing they will make a difference in others knowing the love of Christ.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing
Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.
—Author unknown, but popularized by missionary Elisabeth Elliot
Try it out:
Pray: Lord, You modeled living in the present. You listened to the Father, You watched what He was doing, and You joined Him. I want to do the same. No matter what the cup-of-the-day holds, I want to be willing to drink it. Increase my belief and trust that You work all things together for good for those who love You (Romans 8:28).
Lord, from the What If? message today, what is one thing You want to personalize for me?
Does anything in my thinking need to change?
How do I live this out?
Show me how You’ll be present with me today.
Take time to respond to God. He has overcome the world. And He is present in your world.
* John 14:26
** John 16:33 (“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”)