They say you can never go wrong with preaching and speaking from your own weakness because you can never be the only one facing these issues. This past week, I heard it said that Christians need to stop living for the moment and start living for the miraculous and I don’t think this could be said better. So what does it mean to live for the miracle instead of living for the moment?
Living for the moment
When I say living for the moment, let me clarify what it is I mean. I am saying that we are not to live our lives caught up in the earthly things that surround us everywhere we turn. As Jesus tells us:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:25-34, NRSV
Do not get caught up in worrying about today and what we have or desire, but rather give our worries and dreams for the now to God. We are not seeking personal fame and glory, but rather giving the glory to God and our lives should be that which are seeking his face and pointing others to him.
Yet, it is so easy and natural to seek the moment. To live for the here and now and be liked is a natural instinct we all have. We crave love and attention with all that we have. Yet, the reason we crave this love is because we were made for relationship with God, and God is love. God’s fundamental nature is love. Love exists in and through God, and without God, any and all love is incomplete (1 John 4:7-12). We were made for relationship with God who is love, and our innermost being longs and desires for this.
As Augustine said in the 4th Century, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Or as Blaise Pascal said in the 17th Century, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.” Or as C.S. Lewis said in the 20th Century, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Three of the most brilliant men, not only in their time, but in history, all said this same thing. Inside of every person is this void which needs to be filled. Yet, we often seek to fill it with temporary things. We try to fill the void in our lives with the moment when we should be seeking to fill it with the miraculous, the eternal.
Living for the miracle
Rather than living for the moment in the here and now, we are to be living for something more, something greater, something else. There is a mindset change when we realize that this emptiness we are seeking to fill cannot be found in the momentary things. As Paul tells the church in Colossae, “so if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:1-2, NRSV).
I am not arguing that we are to sit around waiting for supernatural occurrences to happen and then we act. Rather, we live our lives knowing and expecting that the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow is the same. That the God who performed miracles throughout the Bible is still able to do the same today and is still fully capable of the miraculous. Yet, whether we witness any supernatural healing or of that matter, we are still living our lives resting in Christ.
To live for the miracle is to live our lives in the presence of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. It brings rest, assurance, confidence, and a boldness regardless of whatever comes our way in life. Living for the miracle, for the eternal, and for God brings true life and freedom and fills that void inside of us which in turn allows us to truly love others in ways we never could otherwise. When I have that emptiness filled by the love of God that only he can fill, I free those around me from the unfair expectations to fill that void which in turn allows me to love them better. I can love my wife better for this reason because I do not depend on her for love or happiness because I find that most fully in God, and I can show her the love that I feel and receive from God alone.
Do not hear me wrong. There are plenty of good opportunities and things which happen in the moment, and there are also plenty of opportunities to do good in the moment. Living for the miracle is not avoiding or missing these, but rather not living to find my happiness or worth in the moments. The things of the here and now pass away, but the eternal will always remain. I will never be able to do enough in the moment to save myself, but through faith in Christ – real living for the miracle – I am simply enough because of his love and forgiveness. So stop living for the moment and start living for the miracle.