By Mandy Nevarez
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV)
If you are like me, it seems like anytime I want to make a change in my life I fail in my efforts. For example: starting a new diet or health plan. I can find myself going to bed in the evening thinking, “OK, tomorrow I will tackle this problem,” only to find myself in that exact same place the next evening. While it is important to exercise grace for our short-comings, it is also a maddening cycle of procrastination. Nothing gets done if we continuously put it off for tomorrow.
One evening as I was looking back on the events of the day, feeling stuck and certainly not seeing any progress, I heard the Lord say, “Not tomorrow Mandy, but today.” Today is the only day we can truly implement change in our lives. It starts with one small choice after another, making the right decisions and letting them become a habit. I love what one of my professors said, “Stop trying, and start training.” Even if it is only one small change for today, let’s do it, and be consistent with it.
Today is all we really have, yet most people have a hard time living in the present. Many people are bound by experiences of the past, and others are so focused on getting ahead, they miss the beauty of the moment. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not promised. It is the wise person who plans for the future. However, I don’t want to miss what is right in front of my face.
I have recently started homeschooling. At first, I was more than a little nervous, thinking “What have I done?” But the other day, as I was sitting with my eight-year-old daughter in our dining room (which I converted into a classroom), it hit me how precious that time was. As I was sitting there, talking and laughing with her, I knew that moment would never come again. I watched as her bright, beautiful eyes lit up as she spoke and giggled, with a certain amount of silliness that was sweet and innocent at the same time. I just wanted to grab onto that moment, and never let go. It is this sort of thing that can be so easily missed by busyness, stress, or just normal life in getting things done. I don’t want to just get things done, I want to live in the moment.
As I approach this new year, asking God to prepare me for this time of consecration, the word He is continually speaking to me, is “Today’s the Day, Mandy. Today is the day I have heard your cry, and answered your prayer.” What I want to truly change in my life is not just a collection of habits, good and bad, but instead I want to walk closer with my God and deepen my relationship with Him. In John 15 Jesus speaks about abiding in Him. If we abide in Him, He will abide in us. It is a place of habitation, of dwelling, not just visitation, and it is something you can only do today.
For a long time, I found a certain amount of hope in thinking that tomorrow I will be able to work on my issues, and tomorrow will be the day I change. The problem with that kind of thinking is that until I take responsibility for this day, my tomorrows will stay the same, until finally there are no more tomorrows. There is only a set amount of days that everyone has, and I am tired of wasting mine. Don’t get me wrong. I live a productive life, but there are areas that still need change and continued transformation. Better yet, areas I need to surrender to the Lord. What areas has the Lord been speaking to you about which He wants you to surrender to Him? True and lasting change comes from the power of His Spirit, and the authority of God’s Word.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus I want to invite you to do that today. It is not too late. Ask Him into your heart. God Bless!
Mandy Nevarez is one of the pastors at New Life Assembly of God. Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.