MARK: When we first started kicking this idea around, it was the beginning of a new season for Third Day. We had just started a relationship with a new management company and had just got back from the musically inspiring Grammy Awards. This was the very first song that we worked on for Revelation, and I think the sentiment of the song reflects where we were in the life of the band. We were ready for whatever was going to come our way, and we were excited for the opportunity on this album for the "world to know that You're the One". This song, probably more than any on Revelation, sounds like vintage Third Day. Also, for the record, the bridge of this song is one of the best moments on the record, both from a musical and a lyrical standpoint.
MAC: The song ‘Ready’ was written towards the beginning of the political process for finding a new president of the USA. The conversations about this process were just about to become an everyday event and I took the opportunity of seizing that time and writing this song. I hear so many people talk about change, I hear it in songs, and I hear it from politicians, and we have to do more than just talk about it, if there is going to be change it starts with us as individuals because there is no song or no politician that can bring about that change completely. God’s Spirit is the only thing that can stir us to true change, and we need to individually make ourselves open to His change in our lives.
In the album process, not the political process, this song sits just before the decision to move forward, when we say to ourselves okay, now it’s time to do what I’ve been talking about for so long. There are so many people in life who want to change but find it really difficult to change and perhaps even find it easier to stay caught up in their addiction or in their circumstances.
"As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:1-2, NIV).
Have you ever waited ages and ages for a specific event to occur and then all of a sudden it happens and you can hardly believe it? Perhaps it’s that revelation from God that you’ve been hanging onto for years without fulfillment yet, or a healing touch that you are desperate for. So often we are told that God’s timing is different from ours—remember when studying ‘Slow Down’ we discovered that there are times when we’ll need to take it slow and others when we’ll need to speed up. Yet one thing is for certain—we’ll always need to be ready to respond when it’s the right time.
Now is only a small, three-letter word but it appears in the Bible over 1,200 times! It can be translated from the Greek as—now, immediately, at once, from now on, right now. Whenever the word ‘now’ appears it isn’t by accident, it is significant. Jesus uses the word to emphasize that it’s vital to believe in Him right now, and that the crucial time has arrived right now. Jesus knew that true hearing of His words would result in believing, and that the consequences of really believing would be decisive action. Resurrection power- for the listeners of Jesus this would be in the future, and for us was displayed the past- is available NOW! Jesus often used a word that in Greek is ‘kairos’ and means the right time, the appointed time, the significant time- and almost always when he used it, that time was NOW!
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15, NIV).
A MAN WHO ALMOST MISSED THE RIGHT TIME
It’s sad but true. Sometimes people do prefer to remain in their tragic circumstances rather than accept change.
Read the story of one man who nearly fell into this trap in John 5.1-15.
Jesus was walking past the pool of Bethesda in the northwest corner of Jerusalem. It was surrounded on all four sides by people hoping to be cured of their sicknesses, because tradition had it that the first person into the pool after an angel had passed by and caused the water to stir would be healed. Jesus notices a man who had been there for 38 years. He was lame and as such would have had no chance of rising from his bed and reaching the water in time.
At first glance, Jesus; question to the man appears to be a strange one- ‘do you want to get well?’ You would expect the man’s reply to be ‘of course I want to get well, I’ve been stuck here for 38 years and everyday I pray that I’ll get well, that’s all I hope for!’ but instead his reply is a complaint about his circumstances. Faced with THE crucial time in his life, instead of jumping at the chance (okay- he couldn’t have jumped!) he moans and groans almost as if he’s become comfortable with his circumstances. Perhaps those 38 long years of pain and hardship had worn the man’s will down, perhaps his self-esteem and his faith levels were so low that deep inside him he really doubted if he would ever be ready and able to rise up from his mat.
So Jesus is asking him if he truly wants to be and believes he can be healed. Then Jesus commands the man to get up, pick his mat up and begin to walk. It’s here that we read one of the ‘NOW’ occasions:
"At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked" (John 5:9, NIV).
Incredibly, Jesus healed the man not because he had asked him to, or because the man had shown great faith, but because it was the right time. The impossible happened through Jesus, and it happened at the right time even though the paralytic man didn’t seem ready for it himself.
Not long after this miracle, Jesus gets criticised by the Pharisees and he replies thus:
“It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living. “It’s urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived—I mean right now!—When dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive" (John 5:24-25, The Message).
Are you ready right now for change in your life? If God wants to break into your world in a new and a fresh and a powerful way are you ready to receive or are you too comfortable in your old ways and the things in your life that paralyse you? If Jesus said to you right now ‘get up and walk’ what would he be asking you to walk away from, and what miracle would he be accomplishing in you?
Old School Third Day—Listen to ‘Show Me Your Glory’ from Come Together or Offerings 2
Written by Pastor Nigel James