Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. 6 Recognize Him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.

Paying Attention

The “Presence of God” in the “Here and Now.”

Luke 8:18 (NLT) “So pay attention to “how” you hear. To those who listen to my guidance, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.”

About 13 years ago I began to sense the Lord was telling me to“Pay Attention”. I thought He wanted to help me get through the ‘Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008’, but It was a much more personal and broader command. Here’s what I’ve learned about “Paying Attention”. 

The teacher takes attendance to determine who is in the classroom. If we're "paying attention,” we’re able to respond when the teacher calls our name by saying “present.”

Paying attention is a skill that you can acquire.

The "Here and Now" is where we pay attention. To pay attention means to focus on that which we are aware of consciously.  Being "present" is being aware of the situation you are currently in. We can be mindful of many things in the here and now and still not pay attention to them.

Definition of “pay attention”: The process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others.

"Attention is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether considered subjective or objective while ignoring other perceivable information"

"Attention is the cognitive process that makes it possible to position ourselves towards relevant stimuli and consequently respond to it. This cognitive ability is very important and is an essential function in our daily lives."

"Attention is a complex cognitive function which is essential for human behavior. Attention is a selection process for an external (sound, image, smell...) or internal (thoughts) event which has to be maintained at a certain level of awareness. It is not a stable but rather, fluctuating skill."

From all this information we begin to understand that paying attention takes conscious effort. 

Two Bible verses come to mind…

Romans 8:14 All that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God.

John 10:27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

And this one…

Matthew 10:19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious about how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.

These verses speak of the present-tense indicative verb of paying attention to the Holy Spirit in the here and now”. Not just being aware of God's presence but "choosing" to pay attention and engage in your relationship with Him. To be “present” is more than just occupying space in a given situation; but you need to also pay attention.

To be present means being fully engaged in the here & now and not distracted by memories of the past or worries of the future. 

The ploy of the enemy...

The enemy does not want you to pay attention to the Holy Spirit in the here and now. He will use distraction by trying to get you to focus, not on the present situation I call the "Here and Now" but to focus on the past using condemnation/hopelessness, or the future using speculation/fear... Or both.

Reality does not exist in the future or the past.

My relationship with God exists in the “here and now.” 

There is no other "time or place"  to "Walk with God."

We exist and have our being in the "Here and Now.” It is where we make our choices and decisions that will shape our future. Do you trust in your limited perspective and understanding in your situation? Or will you choose to pay attention to the Lover of your Soul and trust in His Guidance and Counsel?

 "Now" is the time, and "here" is the place we create the future God wants us to have.

Philippians 3:12 (NLT) I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

Proverbs 3:5 (CEV) With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment. 6 Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.

The Present Moment and the Presence of the Holy Spirit

The present moment is "where" and "when" we exist and have our being. Our understanding resides within our thoughts in the present moment. Our understanding is informed by our “perspective" which is derived by a combination of our five senses; our memory of the past that validates the present moment; and our ability to reason, which anticipates the future. Because of this, each individual has a “unique” and limited perspective.

Our perspective is limited by the laws of physics and the nature of our inertial frame, which is our physical body. This is why the truth of Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 and 6 is so important to understand. And why being Spirit-led is an essential aspect of every believer’s walk.

If we are born again we are “conscious” of the Holy Spirit’s presence. According to God’s Will, the Holy Spirit “informs” our perspective and therefore increases our understanding so, if we trust and obey, we can participate in what God is doing in the present moment (Revealing the Kingdom).

The present moment, the here and now, is the only place that a child of God is led by the Spirit of God. It's where the Holy Spirit reminds us of His leading in the past... 

John 14:26 (ESV): 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 

It is where He speaks prophetically to us about the future...

John 16:13 (ESV): 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

The present moment, the here and now, is the only place where we can exercise Biblical Faith as we trust and obey the Holy Spirit's leading!  Jesus said, "I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees (present-tense) the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way. Jn 5:19 Jesus also said, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Jn 14:10

“Have you noticed that no matter where you go, when you get there it's always now. Maybe that's why they call it the present moment”

“The "here and now" is “where and when” our existence takes place.”

God's "Presence" is "present" only in the “present moment” of the "here and now"! The here and now is where we invest in "Eternity" because "now" is where we abide in Christ. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday. In Christ, we abide in Eternity because He is Eternal.

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