It’s Right in Front of You

I get so many emails from people trying to find a group of like-minded people or frustrated with the current political climate in which our country finds itself. These are troubled times indeed, but we are part of a kingdom that transcends everything in this age. Our God is working behind it all for his glory and to bring history to a glorious conclusion as the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Christ and of his Father.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that he is with us, too, working out his purpose in each of our lives. So quickly we get our eyes on people or our circumstances and forget that we are not alone in any of it. No, we don’t always get our way, but there is always a path to take that yields to the glory of his kingdom and how it takes shape in us.

This quote from a recent Time Magazine article spawned some of our discussion last week on The God Journey Podcast.

Unless you’re among the tiny group of people who exercise actual, substantial political authority, each of us can only have a large influence on a small number of people and a small influence on a large number of people. In other words, we have the potential to transform a life. We have minimal capacity to individually change American politics.

From Why Anger is a Wasted Emotion by David French

Man, I can raise my hand here. It may feel good to berate the idiocy of our national leaders, but to what end? How much time and emotional energy do we give to circumstances over which we have no control or influence? Social media provides yet another illusion that our voice on the big-ticket items of politics or religion can really make a difference, and then are frustrated when it doesn’t.  What I love about the quote above is that it asks us to be present in the places where we can make a difference, which is in the lives of people right in front of us every day.

Who do you know that brightens your heart when you spend time with them? Who do you know in need whose day you can brighten? What conversations can you have today that will move the needle in someone’s life? Who could you reach out and encourage today instead of reading the end of this blog?

That’s where our attention needs to be. I’m afraid the enemy has us wasting so much time venting on things that have no impact, instead of engaging the things right in front of us that do.

Somehow we’re always looking for the big moment “out there” somewhere instead of living with what Father has put right in front of us. Many keep trying to find the right group of people to fellowship with, or the best model for church life, instead of celebrating his presence in whomever we are with today. Jesus seemed to live every day with what was in front of him, and some of his most impactful moments rose out of spontaneous engagements that he didn’t pass by.

I’m finding my heart these days much more drawn to what I can impact and wasting far less time with words that merely flitter into the ether of cyberspace and are lost the moment after I push “post.” And I’m having a far richer time.

Jesus said the kingdom of God wasn’t “out there” somewhere; it’s already inside you. What you need from God today, he has already brought right to your doorstep. All you have to do today is respond to what God has already put inside you, and to what’s in front of you. That’s where you’ll find life abundant and fruitful.

You might well miss it if your eyes are set “out there” over the horizon, instead of “right here” where you are today.

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7 Comments
  1. Christine McKinley February 18, 2019 at 10:51 am

    What a wonderful reminder. I needed this today. Thank you.

  2. BevK February 18, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Thank you! I have felt the same way about wasting time bemoaning the state of affairs, how terrible things are getting to be, how it used to be, etc. Jesus is still on the throne, and I can make an impact on who or what he sets in front of me. I’m glad you send these posts to “flitter into the ether of cyberspace.” 🙂

  3. Cindy February 18, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Spot on! Thanks! Really needed that today.

  4. kevin February 18, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Hey Wayne, perfect timing to see your post as we’re waiting out a 5hr layover in the Vancouver airport, which gives me plenty of time to type, delete, type, repeat… . Got a lot to say about this.

    “…but we are part of a kingdom that transcends everything in this age…”
    Are we, or are we making some assumptions here based again on information received while a part of the conformity community? Unfortunately, I think people have generally been trying to find or fit into a community based on______, fill in the blank. For us, it was in attempting to study the early church, how they appeared to look, how they appeared to act, and what appeared to be a very positive culture and community. We tried to copy, Wayne, and people today are trying to copy a romantic notion of something which they believe was romantic, and good, and spiritual, and loving, and sanitary. It was a mess! Looks like it took about two weeks for the early church leaders to forget most of what Jesus said concerning temples, and worship, and having spiritual people and teachers with authority over them. I get it, it was a very difficult time and task, bringing/transitioning people from the false and impersonal Judaism and into an ORGANIC relationship with God within the kingdom (harmony) of God, but they fell back into some bad old habits in short order, and these bad habits have continued to this day. Not bad habits like smoking or drinking, but bad habits of copying, and ritual, formula, and the economical organizing of the saints so to wash their minds, over and over and over, while never growing up and becoming rooted themselves. People have attempted to connect with God in a copycat way, period, and not by Spirit and Truth as Jesus said. Jesus was a friend of sinners and called a glutton and a drunkard…. Doesn’t sound like a real ideal church community crowd if you were to ask the majority of church goers, home church, micro church, (am I missing any here???) or even those who try to follow an idea of church outside of the organization. But has anyone stopped for a second to think that maybe the point was that we were given permission by Jesus to stop being religious, act religious, talk religious, and look religious? That we could actually be normal citizens within society who are learning true harmony from many and any means, and have become a new chapter of an eternal story, that may look nothing at all like the sermons we’ve listened to or even the songs we’ve sung, or the bible verses we’ve memorized? We read about a saint talking or singing, “Your word being a lamp unto my feet”, so we make a song about it and sing the song over and over. Or we keep reading what we call the “word” over and over, washing and convincing the mind, but washing and convincing doesn’t satisfy for long…we want more. Isn’t that what your post was about? Wanting more? Wanting better? David wasn’t reading his bible when he wrote that down…David was walking with God in his own way and he was overcome by the presence and direct voice of God to himself…that is the more that we’re looking for but this is the most significant piece that is missing. We don’t find this in a community. We find it in the wilderness and in solitude, and it is confirmed and exercised and shared in community…as you say, whatever community that might be. We’ve become a bunch of religiously pampered cry babies who are too afraid or too lazy to meet with God on the Holy Mountain in front of us as our own priest, and instead say, “just tell us what to do…and we’ll do it.” We all know what happens after that…or do we? Here’s a hint: Slaves to law and copycats of formula and ritual. That is not the way to the kingdom of God.

  5. Sam F. February 18, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    As always, thank you. I need this reminder often and seem to remember a personal email with similar wording. Thank you for all you do.

  6. Mary Roberts February 19, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Thank you Wayne. This is spot on. With the turmoil caused by Brexit, there are many of us in Europe feeling like we’re going over Niagara Falls in a barrel and we are powerless to prevent it. This is a timely reminder to stop being distracted by all the media hurls at us, and focus on each day and what it holds in store. As the saying goes, ‘Bloom where you’re plantef’

  7. Melissa February 26, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Was feeling like I needed a reminder about this journey I’m on. God led me to your blog, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I am still believing the lie that what I need is “ out there” instead of right here with him. Thank you so much! May the Lord continue to bless you and use you to share your journey with others!

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