Here and Now Is Holy

Michael Todd, lead pastor of Transformation Church, is well known for many things. He is a captivating preacher and anointed to re-present Christ to a lost world who is in desperate need of Him. He puts things in simple terms that anyone can grasp and yet what he says can be so profound you think about it for years.

One of those sayings is this: “Here is holy.” I have spent many days thinking about this phrase over the last 2.5 years. Here IS holy. Right here. Right in these very circumstances, whatever they may be.

If here isn’t holy then we exclude God from being in this place, for where He is is undoubtedly holy.

This makes perfect sense when we view the Old Testament Heroes through this lens. Yes, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son, but we know the end of the story, and so we see a bigger picture, a bigger purpose and we sort of cheer him on. That circumstance was holy.

When Joseph is sold by his brothers we know the end of the story, that he would be over all of Egypt and ultimately prove his brothers wrong and himself right. So we know the journey from the prison to the palace is Holy and his circumstance, his HERE was holy.

And in the New Testament we see the same thing. Friday looked terribly bleak, but Sunday was coming! Paul and Silas sang in the prison at midnight and the doors swung open. Hallelujah we might even say, seeing that this circumstance was holy, too.

Of course it’s harder to walk out in our own lives. We don’t know the rest of the story yet. But isn’t that the very lesson of faith? To walk even when we cannot see the end from the beginning? Trusting that He is right there, guiding our steps, divinely intervening and working on our behalf and the behalf of others?

Aren’t we expected to walk in faith when we cannot know, trusting that this circumstance is Holy and divinely appointed? Obviously, the answer here is yes.

Oh, but isn’t it dark sometimes? Too dark to see. Too dark to know what direction to head? In fact, times when the very direction it seems we are going seems to be the exact opposite of where God told us he was taking us? All the examples above are those sorts of circumstances.

“Abraham, I promise that you will be the father of many nations. Sacrifice your only son to me.”

“Hey, Joseph, I promise you will be in a position of power and authority over your brothers. Hang tight right here in this prison for, oh, let’s say, 20 years.”

“Jesus, you’re my Son, my only Son, and I am well pleased with you. Would you please, hurry up now, let these posers mock you, scourge you, deface you, hurt you, beat you, humiliate you, lie about you, kill you and send you to a devil’s hell to be tortured by Satan for 3 days? Go on now. Time’s a wasting.”

When living it, it is devastating. In these very moments is when we need to remember and know that Here is Holy. Here is exactly when we need it. Not sitting comfortably in our bed reading our Bible, but when we face the worst thing we can imagine. Here is Holy.

The only thing I would add to that statement is that Now is Holy. Here and Now is Holy. It doesn’t really change the meaning, because circumstances include the Now. But we can be so dense sometimes I find it helps to say it so we get it. Now is holy. This very moment in the circumstance. Not just the time period when my kid was sick and in the hospital for weeks (for example), but this moment standing next to him crying, and this moment when the doctor is giving me bad news. Each moment, each Now in which we are living through it. These are holy moments.

When Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, we are told he headed out first thing in the morning. What an agonizing night. Did he ask for a special supper, maybe Isaac’s favorite? Did he watch him across the evening fire with love wanting to burst from his chest, not knowing what would happen. Did he wrestle with the requirement? We aren’t told, but he must have, just as we would.

In the morning, he went about gathering wood, informing his family he was going, preparing for he and his son and his servants to head out.

Then they took the first step, the second, the third. Every step along that path had to be agonizing and full of questions, wondering if he could really do it, trying to see himself actually tying up his son’s hands and feet and lifting him up on the alter he had just made stone by stone and lifting the knife. Picturing his son’s eyes of fear. Every single step.

And, God had told him to go to a place he would show him. Arrgh! He had to be thinking with each step, how long will this go on? I don’t even know where I’m going!

Horrible steps. Horrible moments, minutes, hours.

Imagine coming back down the hill after his obedience to face his servants standing there, and heading home without Isaac. Facing his wife, Sarah. What would he say? Had he told her the night before so she could have that time reveling around the fire? Or had she not known, being busy and not getting to have that special time? How could he have robbed her of it? But facing her was a lot.

Step, step, step. Each step, each thought, each moment spent struggling to submit, to resolve himself, was holy. Just as ours are. Each turn of events, each word from the doctor, each bill in the mail, each newscast. Here and Now is Holy.

A few years ago the Lord started teaching me about the traps the enemy sets for us, the stumbling blocks that cause us to take our eyes off Him and focus on the circumstance, here and now instead of the eternal.

When we do we start to sink like Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus on stormy Galilee. Like Peter, when we do we sink, and the solution is to cry out to God. In other words, we have to put our eyes back on Jesus. If we don’t, well, we sink. We get trapped. The enemy has a heyday in our lives.

And, yes, it looks like he’s having a heyday anyway, causing the storm, causing our son to be sick, but it’s temporary, not eternal.

Charles Capps teaches that temporary means changeable. It can be changed. Whereas eternal means it cannot. We cannot focus on what can change, but instead on what doesn’t change. If it can change, well, it can change! But when we focus on it, when we take our eyes off the one who changes things, they loom over us seeming very permanent. And we make them last longer, give them staying power.

That’s what the enemy wants. He wants us to think for a moment, and then another, that this moment is not Holy. That this step has no God in it. That we are walking alone. That God has abandoned us. Sure looks that way sometimes.

But faith hopes all things. Believes all things.

In the days of Jesus the Scribes and Pharisees where always giving Him grief. And by extension they gave grief to anyone who followed Him, or listened to Him. (They were the first “woke” group, you see!) Pressing people to say what they wanted them to say and act like they wanted them to act. Trying to control even the thoughts and hopes of other people.

They had declared that if anyone followed Jesus, or even said He was from God, that they would put them out of the temple.

Well, being put out of the temple was like being put out of the club, but it also meant being rejected by God, excluded from all family events, all community events, like being doxed. It was the most horrible thing used to pressure people. Something that impacted every facet of your life.

This blind man, who depended on the community for his very livelihood, really couldn’t afford to be ignored by everyone and seen as a traitor to God and their culture.

But one day, Jesus healed his sight. Made him see. Gave him everything he needed to face life and serve God without the obstacle of not being able to see.

Oh, what rejoicing! What dancing and praising and singing to God for His mighty work, that even a blind man, blind from his birth, could see!

Can you imagine those first few moments! Like putting on a VR headset! Unimaginable!

But, he was soon called on the carpet for giving Jesus praise for healing him. That was not acceptable.

His parents backed away and let him take the fall. They didn’t want to be caught up in his mess.

Now, remember, his “mess” was that God healed him! Not that he’d robbed a bank.

His family who should have rejoiced with him threw him under the bus. His religious leaders, who also should have rejoiced with him, are shouting at him and threatening the most horrible things. He is dejected, alone, accused, and in the end, he was thrown out of the temple. Marked by all.

He couldn’t deny the truth. Jesus had been the one. Jesus had healed him.

Imagine the mental confusion and agony. How could receiving his sight have caused all this. What was WRONG with everyone!

He had been born blind. He didn’t do anything to deserve being blind. And now he was healed, and he is thrown away and dejected. He didn’t do anything to deserve that.

What could it mean? What was God doing?

I hope you aren’t familiar with those feelings, but I am. Many have been. It’s a hard place to be. He was a walking talking miracle. Even a fulfillment of prophecy that declared the coming Messiah would actually open the eyes of the blind! He had heard that all his life. And here he was, a fulfilment of prophecy and he was still thrown away by everyone and everything. No hope he could hang his hat on.

His entire worldview system had left him there with nothing. What just happened?

They had tried to make him say that it wasn’t Jesus who did the miracle. Here is holy. Now is holy.

I can feel the despair, the anguish of soul, the questioning disbelief.

And then He heard the voice of Jesus, the voice of the one who had healed him.

That’s what is coming. That’s what changes everything. But we have to hold on and not get distracted. As he felt these things he held fast to one thing, it was Jesus, regardless of what they said or how they acted. Jesus had healed him.

God sent us this way. Why? We don’t always know. But God sent us this way. Right down to the edge of the Red Sea, trapped by Pharoah. Right to the cross. Right to the wilderness with our one and only son to sacrifice.

But God also provides the sacrifice, splits the sea, raises us from the dead, enfolds us in the community.

God is. To come to Him we have to first believe that He is. He is. And if He is, He is Here and Now. And that means, Here and Now is Holy.

Take off your shoes. Bow low to the ground. Acknowledge His presence. His working. His divine intervention and you will walk on water, even if you started to sink. Acknowledge His presence. He is Here. He is Now. Here and Now is Holy. Every second of walking through this event in your life.

Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your path. Your ways and your path. Your moments and times. Your story and scenes. Here and Now is Holy.