Oswald Chambers said that “We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.”
Chambers correctly identifies the need for living now. He says, “His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future.” I think that it is natural for us to project our lives into the future. We live now towards tomorrow, particularly if we are a goal-orientated purpose-driven leader.
The danger with disconnecting from the now for the sake of the future is deeper than that of simply “letting life pass you by.” The danger is that one may fail to recognize the hand of God at work in the present. If everything that God is doing in our life now is for tomorrow, then we are never in sync with God.
I am forty years of age and I know that God has been preparing me. But how much of the present have I lost, in dreaming for the future?
When I was a teenager, I was preparing for when I was twenty. When I was twenty, I was preparing for when I turned thirty. And when I was thirty, I was preparing for when I turned forty. When does this end? What can I do now?
In balance, God does prepare men. We must recognize that there are events in our life that help equip us for the future ministry that God has given us. But there is a way to live now and to let the “nows” add up until tomorrow.
This is not new thinking for me. I have worked on this concept of living in the moment for twenty years. I still don’t think I have captured it.
In the same way, we can make prayer in preparation for the work. But prayer itself can be the work. Chambers notes that prayer is more than “the reflex action of devotion.” Prayer, again, is an event in the now. It is more than preparation; it is the action.
Jesus said in John 6 “that our work is to believe in him who is sent.” Prayer is a manifestation of this work.