THE NOW: Saving the Best for Now

The "Not Now mentality" and the "Someday Syndrome" can disrupt the abundant life God has for us, so instead let's focus on what God is doing RIGHT NOW!

Dr. Wayman Ming Jr.

General Assembly 2023

June 21, 2023


Growing the Church

Saving the Best for Now

(Editor's Note: The following transcription was utilized for print in the Fall 2023 issue of the Pentecostal Messenger.)

Have you ever considered the ramifications of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee? In essence, Jesus changed the timeline of his entire life and ministry because His mother asked. The inference here is that it wasn’t Jesus’ time to begin his public ministry yet. It wasn’t the right time or even the God-ordained time, but He changed the entire ontological and teleological timeline of His life and ministry because His mother asked!

Not Now!

Initially, Jesus seemed to imply NOT NOW: “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4, NKJV). How often can this become our response in life? “I know I need to eat right, exercise more, and take care of myself, but NOT NOW! I know I need to spend more time with the Lord, fast a meal or two, and share my faith this week, but NOT NOW! I know I need to allow my present to be disturbed for a better future, but NOT NOW!”

It’s a good thing that when Jesus was agonizing and languishing in the Garden of Gethsemane and having quite the conversation about being the Lamb of God destined to take away the sin of the world, He didn’t say, “NOT NOW.” And it’s also a good thing that when He hung on the cross, hearing the cheers and jeers of the crowds while being pricked and prodded and bruised and beaten, He didn’t just call down twelve legions of angels and wipe humankind off the planet by saying, “NOT NOW.”

I believe one of the greatest dangers to our effectiveness in the Kingdom at this moment in time is living in the NOT NOW or “Someday Syndrome.” Someday we’ll fill the water pots. Someday, we will multiply ministers, plant churches, or mentor the next generations. Someday we’ll impact eternity. Perhaps, the all-important question remains, “What are we declaring someday or NOT NOW over?” Mary didn’t even let Jesus get away with it because she said, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (Jn. 2:5). Jesus’ mother flips the script from the NOT NOW to the RIGHT NOW.

Right Now!

What is God speaking to us right now? Do we know how important that is? Notice what Jesus said to the servants at the wedding, “‘Fill the water pots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, ‘Draw some out NOW, and take it to the master of the feast.’ And they took it.” (Jn. 2:6)

Jesus instructions were very specific: “Fill the water pots with water,” “draw some out NOW,” and “take it to the master of the feast.” Of course, we could look at the specificity of Jesus’ words here, but let’s focus on the urgency of Jesus’ words. Jesus said, “I want you to do it RIGHT NOW. Take it to the master of the house RIGHT NOW.”

Question: What is the most important faith in life?

NOW Faith is the substance of things hoped for (Hb. 11:1). We don’t use faith for yesterday or even faith for tomorrow; we use faith for today! RIGHT NOW faith is your current address in the spirit world. RIGHT NOW faith determines your life in God!

Do you remember the narrative of Lazarus? After Lazarus died and Jesus showed up, Martha talked about her faith for yesterday. She said, “Lord if you had only been here, Lazarus would not have died” (Jn. 11:21). She had faith for the past, but you can’t use faith in the past.

Yesterday’s moments can’t use today’s faith. RIGHT NOW moments use RIGHT NOW FAITH. Martha talked about her faith for the past, and then went on to talk about her faith for tomorrow. When Jesus told Mary and Martha that their brother would rise again, Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (Jn. 11:23-24). She not only had faith for the past but faith for the future. But again, you can’t use faith in the future.

Tomorrow’s moments can’t use today’s faith. RIGHT NOW moments use RIGHT NOW FAITH. Martha had faith for yesterday and faith for tomorrow, but she still wasn’t getting it. So, Jesus explains it to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes [not believed or will believe] in Me, though he may die, yet, shall he live” (Jn. 11:25). Jesus was trying to teach Martha that He is the I AM in the RIGHT NOW.

Jesus even takes it to a whole other level when He transitions from Lazarus’ death to His own. He is hanging on the cross, bookended by two thieves. One thief was living in the past and begins to banter with the chief priests and scribes saying, “He saved others (in the past) but now He can’t save Himself.” Of course, the other thief speaks up and says, “Leave Him alone. We are getting what we deserve. Our past has brought us to this RIGHT NOW moment.” But what is intriguing is when this other thief moves from the past to the future and says, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom” (Lk. 23:42).

One thief was living in the past and one in the future, but right in the middle of the one thief symbolizing the past and the other thief symbolizing the future was Jesus representing the present. He says to the thief, “Assuredly I say to you, TODAY you will be with Me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).

Loved ones, wherever you’re hanging out—in the past or even in the future, Jesus is hanging out in the middle of your mess RIGHT NOW. He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” and “Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” He is with you RIGHT NOW!

As the Cana wedding celebrations come to a close, the master of the house makes an interesting statement, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until NOW” (Jn. 2:10).

Listen, I know we may want this passage to say that Jesus saved the best for last, but it doesn’t. It says that Jesus saved the best for NOW! Allow me to encourage you with these words. You may have had a great past, and depending on your age, you may even think that your best ministry was in the past. But with God, your best isn’t relegated to the past. GOD SAVES THE BEST FOR NOW!

In the Pentecostal Church of God, we have witnessed a great past and will experience a great future, but let’s not forget that God has saved the best for now! We’re not living in the Old Testament or even the New Testament but in the NOW Testament! So loved ones, let’s do whatever it takes to overcome the NOT NOW or someday syndrome. Let’s hear the challenge of Jesus’ mother to do whatever He says because Jesus has saved the best for now.

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