Are You Living A When & Then Life?

Jen’s Gem: The time is now!

I’m currently reading “Internal Affairs” by Dr. Larry Hutton, a recent Elevate the Day podcast guest. The book is focused on living a life of peace and joy no matter what’s going on in your life or how you are feeling.  

As I was reading, several revelations came to me but the most glaring one was the notion of a “when and then” life. What do I mean by this? Let me give you a few examples:

  1. When my kids start school, then I will launch my business.
  2. When this project is completed, then I’ll have time to relax.
  3. When my house is organized, then I will have a tag sale.
  4. When I retire, then I will write my book.
  5. When my kids leave the house, then I’ll have peace.

I’m sure you get the picture. Are we waiting on external circumstances or feeling a certain way before we decide to take action?  Are we letting something outside of ourselves dictate our thoughts, feelings, and actions?

This my friend is a recipe for an unfulfilled and frustrating life. NOT, let me repeat – NOT the life Jesus died for you to have.

Here’s the lesson: There’s never going to be a perfect “when.” That’s a fairy tale. Actually, it’s more like a lie from Satan. Why? Because when he can keep you from doing the things you know you are being led to do or living the life God purposed for you, he does the happy dance.

Remember the verse I’m always quoting, John 10:10?

“The thief comes ONLY to steal, kill and destroy.” (NIV)

A “when and then” lifestyle is also filled with one MAJOR assumption. You are assuming that when your “when” happens, you will be alive and well enough to experience it. You’re assuming that there will be no other external circumstances that will impact your life. 

In Ephesians 5:16, it instructs us to “redeem the time.” Seizing the moment and acting with immediacy are noted many times throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

Not once did Jesus live a “when and then” lifestyle. He was clear on His purpose, stayed connected to His Father, and was obedient unto death. I’m no Bible scholar, yet I feel fairly confident that Jesus never said things like:

“Well, when I have a 5 million followers, then I’ll preach the Sermon on the Mount.” (He preached to tens of thousands. Matthew, Chapters 5-7.)

“Hmm, when the storm subsides, then I’ll head over into new territory.” (He got in the boat and calmed the storm. Mark 4:39)

Jesus was a carpe diem kind of guy. Seize the day! How was He able to do this? Because He knew who He was and He knew His divine purpose. He also knew His time was limited. Thirty plus years is not a lot of time to change the world…but He did it. He’s still doing it today.

“..while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV)

Let’s stop letting our circumstances or feelings be the barometer of our peace and joy. Neither promises peace. Neither promises lasting joy. Neither will last. When they pass, then you will be faced with their replacements, further delaying your spiritual or personal growth. 

We can have a great day every day if we put these external things in their rightful place. The choice is ours.

I want to encourage you to trade your “when and then” life for a “now and now” life. Then watch and see what God will do!

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