“the state or quality of lasting or remaining unchanged indefinitely”
3 Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.
Well, have you made it up to the temple yet? Has the elevation change made you feel any different? As you pursue God with us at Eastside, we hope that you feel the permanence of that journey. It’s not just for you now, but “forevermore.”
Both the now and the forevermore have a distinction in your upward journey toward God. The now is what you have with him today. The forevermore is what you will have with him for eternity. Today is a shadow of the substance that will come one day. There is a tension between the two. Sometimes this is called the tension between the now and the not yet.
Let this tension fuel the close of week one of your 21 Days of Prayer. Here’s how:
Now: Our hope is in something that will come someday, and we hope to see evidence of it today. What hope for the future do you need to see evidence of today? Ask God for it now.
Forevermore: Our hope will be completely fulfilled someday. What one thing must you accept today to fully place your hope in a “not yet” answer from God? Tell him about your choice to do that.
Now: What is something you want to ask God for that someone else you care about really needs? Ask God for that now. Tell him why you feel it’s so important to bring it to him now.
Forevermore: What is something someone else needs that can only come in when God accomplishes what Jesus called “the renewal of all things” (Matthew 19:28)? Visualize that person’s need fully met, and their body and relationships made whole. What will that look like when God’s kingdom and reign fully come, and all things are renewed? Worship him for that.
Now: What is something you believe God would want you to ask him for today that would bring renewal and a taste of heaven in advance to someone? If you don’t know, ask him. Pray for what immediately comes to mind.
Forevermore: Ask for God’s order (reign) to come on this earth in its fullness. The nation of Israel thought it would happen in Jerusalem when all nations would come to worship God there. In a sense, that did happen when Jesus came to Jerusalem and laid down his life there, rising again to give us just an appetizer of the kind of life that is coming to this earth someday when God fully returns to it, and Jesus reigns . . . forevermore. The early Christians prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Think of some situations in the world that upset you, and after you think of each one, say those three words: “Come, Lord Jesus.” This will prepare you for tomorrow when you begin a fresh new week of prayers that will help you build community with others.