Acts 16:10 – And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
When I was a youngster, I would often hear people use the word directly as a one-word answer to someone’s request. For instance, someone might ask, “Can you help me move this table?” Upon hearing that request, the person of whom the request was made would respond, “Directly.” Now while the term directly is a shortened form of saying “I will get directly to it,” by the mid-20th century, it seems to have meant, “I’ll get to it when I’ve finished what I’m doing.” Or perhaps, “It will be next on my list.” My point is this; over time, the meaning of a word often changes from what it originally meant. When we consider the lapse of almost two millennia, we can understand how we might not think of immediately today as it was intended then.
The word, immediately, as it was rendered in our Text for Today speaks to responding to an order or request without any intervening time or space between the order or request and the attempt to carry it out. In other words, immediately meant right now. Thinking with the mindset that immediately means right now, consider with me two other terms from a Biblical perspective; wisdom and love.
Wisdom, from a purely Biblical perspective, is immediate obedience to the Word, or commands, of the Lord. Jesus said the wise man was the one who heard His Word and did His Word. Love, from a purely Biblical perspective, is clearly stated as “keeping His commandments.” In essence, wisdom and love are the same thing. You see, hearing and doing His Word and keeping His commandments is the same thing. In both passages, Matthew 7 and 1 John 5, the implication is an immediate response to whatever God says. To delay the response is to be disobedient, or rebellious, or stubborn, and in any of those responses, death resides.
The church has never needed the power manifestation of the life of God more than it does today. While I do not claim to have a definitive answer to that need, I am convinced that one of the major elements needful for its manifestation is instant obedience, doing what we hear when we hear it, walking in love, and living in wisdom immediately. That means right now. When you consider the definition of faith found in Hebrew 11:1, “Now” becomes a very important term. Faith is now; that means immediately, with no intervening time or space between the order and carrying it out. It’s time to get to work being doers of the Word, keeping His commandments immediately.
Manna for Today – Acts 16:6-40; Hebrews 11:1; Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 7:24-27; 1 John 5:3