It’s so difficult to know - really truly know - and believe that the life we are currently living is temporary and fleeting. It’s easy to be aware of and comment on how quickly the time passes, but the funny thing is that we have nothing else to compare it to. We can compare March to January or 2019 to 2018, but there’s no real way to compare our current life with eternal life - the life that’s coming. And then to comprehend that what we are doing in this life will fade away while death here brings about something lasting and forever, now that sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie.
This gets even more challenging for me when I measure my heart’s desires against the value of eternal life. This morning, I realized all over again that I want to love Jesus more than I want to love anything else in this life. And if that’s the case, anything I pour my heart into and care about has the opportunity to become an idol in the face of my faith.
I was listening to a lecture by John Piper about how Jesus wants us to experience and go after the joy of knowing Him and glorifying Him. He talked through what it truly means that “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” In death, we lose nothing (because of Jesus’ death) and in life, we experience Christ through what Piper called “staying alive to the theater of God” that is the world. He further described this as wanting “Christ to be magnified in his life and in his body.” He finished this thought by saying, “Christ will be made to look magnificent in my dying when in my dying, he is made to look not like loss in this world, but gain.”
And I thought, it’s easy to magnify my joy for so many things, but these things are nothing compared to what Jesus has done for me and what He has prepared for my future. I thought about all the things that fight for space in my heart and in my life, when Jesus has blessed me with space in abundance - these things are not to be craved, but He is to be.
I want my desire to see the Holy Spirit move and work on the Earth to be greater than my desire to be married or always have enough in my back account. I want my desire for Jesus to be known to be greater than my desire to do well in my work. I want my desire to share his promises with those who’ve never known them to be greater than my desire to know that other people are enjoying my company. I want my daily perspective to dwell in the knowledge of eternity so that the way I live is truly reflective of what I believe. I want less space between me and Him. I want His heart to be my heart. I want to be able to say without any hesitation, “You can strip it all away, Lord, and I would still have the greatest treasure/everything I need, because I would have You.”
We’ve continuously created need for things in this life to fill the space that God originally created to have for Himself. We’ve made up our own versions of what a ‘complete’ life will look like. But our completeness exists with our being satisfied with all that God is for us, the bread of life. We are so quick to do what Piper called “turning away from a flowing fountain and scratching at the dirt…”
The things that make up our life are gifts - but they don’t exist in eternity; not even marriage lives on in Heaven. But it’s because we have everything we need in Jesus and our eternity is set with Him. Our call is to bring Heaven down and make His kingdom here, which we have the choice to do in many ways.
I know the next phase is something like understanding what kinds of gifts these things that make up life are and how to use them well in glorifying Him, because even though I want to be complete in His fullness, I do still have dreams for my life that have come from a place of wanting to be kept in the shadow of His wings as His daughter and child. And I’m sure that with time, the purpose of each gift will be made known. But the gifts will never take their rightful places if my heart is not first wholly His. I want to stay alive to the fullness of God’s drama through what He has gifted in this theater of His.