Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You – Review

Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You

You are a human. With that comes several limitations that you are uncomfortable with. You are bound by space and time to one location at a time. You are bound by all kinds of limitations, though your sin nature would have you believe that they are escapable. The enemy whispers in your ear that you can be like God. You just have to reach out your hand a little farther to grasp at what God is keeping from you.

Here’s what I think a lot of us have begun to suspect, deep down, perhaps in sacred moments of clarity, after we surface from the social media fog of our phones: the need to transcend time and place ruins us for our own time and place. If we constantly have our minds set on the next thing or another place, we miss the life God has actually given us, even as we keep existing our way through it…. Both your joy and your longevity lie in embracing a life that loudly declares, ‘I am not God.’ That confession – and the freedom it brings – is the goal of this book.

Adam Ramsey, Faithfully Present, p. 15-16

Adam Ramsey’s new book reads like a prophet in a wilderness of the unsettled and discontent Christians who are always hoping for the greener grass that will never come on this side of heaven. He has picked up on something that I too have noticed in pastoral counseling over the years. We all fool ourselves into thinking that the abundant life Jesus promises is contingent upon some dream circumstance that is always just out of reach.

This present generation is especially paralyzed by the fear of missing out on what they perceive to be the best possible lives with the best possible jobs, the best possible spouses, and the best possible living conditions somewhere in their mythical future. They are always discontent with their present moment, and longing for some different setting or situation where they believe there will be less problems and more fulfillment. Social media certainly contributes to this.

For the first time in human history, young people can scroll through thousands of potential spouses fantasizing over a future marriage to the perfect one who will be for them what only Jesus should or could be. Technology has made it possible to work from any where in the world. Technology has also made it possible to escape our present location in the world at any time. Ramsey writes,

Wherever we live, we must be willing to give our heart and attentiveness to that place. To learn to confess with Jacob, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it’ (Genesis 28:16). We can be thankful for the technology that creates the sense of a global village. But let’s commit to being known to the local one. The attention economy driven by clicks and likes in the digital world will repeatedly try to trick us into believing that real life is attained by being where we’re not – that to be full present where we are is to somehow be missing out on what’s happening with everyone else, everywhere else.

Adam Ramsey, Faithfully Present, p. 113

I strongly encourage you to read this book. The author puts into right perspective time, space, seasons, bodies, waiting, rest, death, and eternity. This book is a worshipful reality check for all of us who live the lie of our age that true fulfillment can be found in escaping our limitations of time and space. Read this book and let it help you to stop and enjoy the breeze, rather than living in the exhaustion of always grasping for the wind.

(Purchase the book on Amazon.)

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