When I think of living in the moment, I think of memories that are so etched in my mind. One of them was when I was walking down the aisle the day I married Jim. I can see him standing there like it was yesterday.
Another one was when I had my daughter, Dawn. She was born, and the doctor said, “It’s a girl.” I can hear those words like it was yesterday.
Another moment that is etched in my memory is the moment I was born again. It was in the same church that I later married my husband, Jim. The Holy Spirit touched me that day. At the end of his message, you would have thought there was a sale at Bloomingdales the way I ran to that altar. In a moment, my life was changed forever. I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I received eternal life that day.
The moment we are born again, the life, the presence, and the power of God come into us.
Jesus explained it this way:
John 3:5 – “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit.”
“Flesh gives birth to flesh” marks the moment we are physically born. “Spirit gives birth to Spirit” marks the moment we are born again. Our spirit comes alive.
The moment we are born again, the life, the presence, and the power of God come into us. As Christians, the abundant life is found as we live in the moment, led by the Spirit, and empowered by the very presence of God that is in us. That will happen as we learn to live in the moment.
A prime example of this is if you are living in the moment, there is no room for worry because worry is all about what is going to happen tomorrow.
Matthew 6:27 – “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Those were Jesus’s words. In essence, what he is saying is it’s a waste of your life, and it isn’t going to get you anywhere. When you live in the moment, there is no room for worry.
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is dependent on you, for it trusts you.”
Matthew 6:31-32 – “Do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat, or what will we drink, or what will we wear?’ The people who do not know God are looking for all these things. Your Father in heaven knows you need all these things.”
He reminds us we no longer need to worry. We have to leave that old mindset behind and instead shift our thoughts to our Father in heaven. We now know Him (shift). That’s how Jesus describes eternal life: “This is eternal life, that they will know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent.”
Let go of the worry and open your mind and grab a hold of the perfect peace of God. Isaiah 26:8 says, “You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on you, for it trusts you.” Think about it. That is what a small child is like. They don’t worry. They look to their parents that their needs will be met. We too can make that shift in our life by trusting God.
It’s also important not to worry or focus on the past. If you do, you can get trapped there. You can get trapped there by living in regret for things you can’t change. Sometimes forgiving ourselves can be more difficult than forgiving others, but that forgiveness is there, just waiting for us to receive. And when you do, you will be free to live in the moment, filled with joy and thanksgiving, knowing that the weight of sin and shame was lifted off of you because of Jesus and the price He paid on the cross. And you can live your life as a reflection of the victory He bought for you.
You don’t have to stay trapped in a victim mentality. No matter what may have happened to you in your past, no matter what has happened in your past, God has a future for you filled with hope and purpose. God gave us free will, and the most important thing we can do with that will is to choose God’s will. Victor or victim, the choice is always ours.
I can’t help but think of my mom, who refused to have a victim mentality in her later years. I can so clearly remember the words she spoke to me. She said, “Dorothy, I absolutely refuse to become a nasty old lady in my elder years. I don’t want my children to remember me that way.” You see, she had seen some of her friends act that way, becoming demanding, impatient, and ungrateful, and it had a profound effect on her. She unwaveringly set her mind on her goal. She would not be a victim. She would instead focus on all she has to be grateful for.
And by the grace of God, she is such a beautiful example to us of a woman who is living in the moment, embracing this season in her life. That is a choice she makes every day. She refuses to be a victim, even though she is legally blind and needs to be in a wheelchair for any outside activities she may engage in. Each day, she arises and counts her blessings that God has given her another day of life, and she chooses to live it with a heart filled with gratitude and focuses on all she has to be grateful for—that she is surrounded by her family who loves her dearly, that she is not in any pain, that she has clarity of mind, and most of all, that Jesus is her Lord and Savior, and she will spend eternity with Him.
Let us embrace our life fully in whatever season we may be in and live in the moment and make the most of the abundant life Jesus bought for us on the cross.