Now is a time of urgency that will determine both our faith and eternal fate, according to evangelist Johnny Louw.
During January, Johnny was invited to speak to a men’s group that meets at the House of Bread in Bloemfontein.
“The Lord laid it on my heart to share the word he had given me for this year, which is the urgency of the time: the Lord says leave the old stuff, focus on this year, on the new, because the time is so precious.”
After the meeting Johnny was blessed with a love offering for his ministry that the men’s group had collected. At the bottom of the offering basket was a watch with a note that said, “For Johnny”.
The evangelist immediately felt that the watch, which fitted him perfectly, had an additional, deeper significance and was a way of attracting his attention.
“It’s unusual for a person to take a watch off their wrist and give it as an offering. The instant that I saw the watch at the bottom of the offerings basket, I felt that it was more than a material present or contribution, but had a spiritual implication as well.
“I asked Andre Venter, who is convener of the men’s prayer group, to pray with me, because the Lord is saying something in the spirit through the watch.
“After about a week of prayer the Lord gave me the following word: ‘The season is now’, which in Hebrew is expressed as “Moadim”, meaning the appointed time’.
“The Lord says this is an appointed time for a specific message to go out to His people — the end is near, the time is ticking by and running out’.
The time is now
“The Lord spoke into my heart, ‘Every time you look at this watch you must realise that the time is now — be in the moment for my specific purpose’.
“Ever since I came back from Bloemfontein, the Lord has being laying it on my heart that what He has done in time past has gone; in 2017 He is calling for people to keep the time, to be in this moment of time, to sacrifice time for those who are lost and to be in His presence.”
Johnny says a good way to be in the Lord’s presence is by spending time in His Word.
“The Bible tells us in John 1 that: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ . . .’And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’.
“God had to become flesh to speak to us in a manner that we can understand and to teach us to rely on His Word all the time, especially when facing hardships.
“If we are not focussed on His Word then we will miss the place where He intends us to be now, because the Word is Him, is about Him, directs us how to live our lives in His way and have the strength, through the Holy Spirit, to be effective in a time like now.
Directed through God’s Word
“God created us to do His will in these times, right now. We were not created for the 1920s; He created us to do His will in 2017, and it is through His Word that we are directed how to do His will, now.
“The Lord says, the time for living a life and a dream that is far-fetched and far-flung is gone. He says I am God of the moment.
“For example, on the last day of 2016 during my quiet time I was directed to Isaiah 43 where the Lord’s Word says, ’Do not remember the former things, nor consider things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’.
“These words that the Lord spoke to me in the spirit through His Word have become real and physical in my life.
“My wife and I were forced to move from the house we were happily living in to a new house, which brought with it stress and financial pressure. Yet, while the new house is in an area in which construction continues and is full of sand, we have a borehole that supplies us with water for our garden in the middle of a drought.
“Furthermore, an off-ramp is being built on the R300, near the house, that will cut-out 40 minutes of travelling time to work and back for my wife,” says Johnny.
Called to be in a time such as now
He explains that once he had realised how the Lord’s Word in Isaiah 43 had materialised in his life it also reminded that the Lord also says in Isaiah 43 ‘You are mine’ — He says he has called us by His Spirit to be in a time such as now and we must focus on Him in the moment.
Johnny says the watch is ticking and the Bridegroom is longing to come back to His bride.
“We have to see the urgency in the times and know the Lord is for us and not against us. The Lord is not out to punish us, because of old things, He is helping us turn over a new leaf.
“As the seconds tick by, the Lord is wiping away all the disgrace of this world. He is renewing His love in the moment that we are in His presence and focussed on Him,” says Johnny.
“However, we have to be aware of the Lord’s presence now, in this moment, because it is only now that we can be in His presence, not tomorrow or yesterday.
“If we are not aware of the Lord’s presence now, in the moment, then we have missed the opportunity, because if we are in the flesh then we have missed the moment in the spirit and God is spirit,” he adds.
Johnny’s message hit home and struck a strident chord in my heart, as I am something of a serial procrastinator, putting things off now to tomorrow or next week and not following through with goals.
According to Psychology Today, everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20% of people chronically procrastinate to avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions — which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we’ll feel tomorrow, or the next day.
This led me to God’s Word that is clear on the dangers of putting off now to tomorrow:
- John 4:35-37 Do you not say. ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal: so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps’.
- 2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you”. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
- Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
I realised that now is an urgent time and not a time to procrastinate. After all if you watch, listen to or read the world’s media you are likely to be discouraged if not depressed by the wars, rumours of wars, apostasy, failing economies, spiralling personal and national debt, growing unemployment, expanding gap between rich and poor, and instability and criminality on the increase even within government and the church.
However, I also realise this is not the time to be disheartened by the material world surrounding us, for although we are in the world we are not of the world; we are children of God who is Spirit, and we should neither be discouraged nor influenced by the material world; our faith is in God and His Word, for Jesus said, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away’ (Matthew 24:35).
Johnny encourages us to be aware of the urgency of the time, not to procrastinate but sacrifice time with God’s Word and for the unsaved, because the time is now and now is the only time salvation can be accepted or we can benefit from being in the presence of the Lord.