December 28 I Friday
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” —1 John 3:2
In the life that Christ procured for us, there are things that have both present and future fulfillments. This tension of the now and the not yet involves five areas of our lives: the intellectual, moral, social, spiritual and physical.
Intellectually, there are things God has revealed to us, though often not in full. Paul says of believers, “Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.” Right now, we are looking in a dark mirror, but when perfection comes, the imperfect will disappear. “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Morally, we are being changed from one degree of glory to another into the likeness of Christ. John writes, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Though believers increasingly bear the fruit of the Spirit, the day has not yet come where we have been made perfect.
Socially, we are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” We are influencers of our society, but there remains much division. Inscribed near the entrance to the United Nations building in New York City is Micah 4:3: “They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more.” This day is coming but is not yet.
Spiritually, we have been brought into union with Christ, which makes us a member of His church. Revelation 19:7 describes the church as the bride of Christ, saying, “For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.” Presently, we enjoy a love relationship with Christ, but we are not yet a bride without blemish.
Physically, in the area of health, death has already been conquered, but we continue to age, decay and die. Paul writes, “...we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). There is a new order coming where there will be no death or mourning, no pain or crying, but for now, we are still part of the old order.
As Christians, we live in this tension between now and not yet. We anticipate the fulfillments to come, but in the meantime, we experience the fullness of the now, bringing every part of our lives into submission to Christ and allowing Him in His wisdom to bring about His purpose in His timing.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live in the tension between the now and the not yet. Thank You for all You have already fulfilled and for what I have to look forward to in the future.