It is easy to set up our kingdom and protect our dignity. It is very hard to place ourselves at the call of people and lay our affinities aside. A corner office looks anointed, and saintly, but is it?
“I was with you the whole time…” – Acts 20:18
Certainly Paul traveled much. He was busy. Yet, when he was present, he was completely present. So much so that he cried with people, knelt with people, and taught from house to house.
His was not simply “the present” of visibility but of devotion. Not “the present” of paycheck but of passion. He was immersed completely in the moment, without strategic outlook, ministry agenda, or corporate ladder to climb. Where Paul was, he in fact, was.
The Lord is not in the work of tomorrow for to Him, who sits outside of time, there is no tomorrow. He may open our eyes toward possibility and stir our hearts toward vision but “today is the day unto His salvation.” He surely prompted Paul be readied for Jerusalem and then Rome, but whilst Paul’s feet stood in Berea, Ephesus, Antioch, or Malta, the appeals of tomorrow’s quest took secondary place to the ministry of today’s need.
If I am not fulfilled in today, the sin is not God’s, it is mine. If I do not serve Him in the current occurrence, He is not void of speech, I have refused to listen. To be like Paul, and more like Christ, I must practice the presence of “now” and say to all, “I was with you the whole time.”