If you think of yourself as just another animal whose existence ends with death, your focus in life could be described as, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!”
If you see yourself as a spiritual being with an eternal existence, your focus in life would be very different. So, if we live our lives here on earth knowing that our life on Earth is just a fleeting shadow or a mist that vanishes compared with eternity, our focus will be on eternity.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Ephesians 3: 1-2)
When we view our priorities in life from an eternal perspective the important things in life change. For example, one of the major goals in most people’s lives is to secure a good pension income before retirement. We want to ensure a comfortable livelihood when we rest from our labours. When we take an eternal perspective resting from our labour is described as our life in the New Heaven and New Earth after being resurrected from death at the return of Christ.
What is important in securing a comfortable life there? Sanctifying our lives while here on Earth is what is important for eternity. Sanctification produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. This fruit naturally produces good works.
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6: 18-19)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 19-21)
Canadians live in a country with one of highest levels of personal wealth and available leisure time in the world. It can become very tempting to use that wealth and available time on our leisure time activities to the exclusion or minimization of God in our lives.
In spite of all of our available leisure time, we can put sanctification at the bottom of the list of our priorities. Our own busyness with leisure time activities becomes more important than God. We live only for our life here on Earth. Some also become workaholics pursuing wealth or acceptance or position to the exclusion or minimization of God in their lives.
If we diligently pursue sanctification, our priorities will change naturally so that God becomes more and more important to us, and we will gradually see the importance of living our life from an eternal perspective. We are spiritual beings with an eternal existence. Our life here on Earth is only a moment compared with eternity. Live your life from an eternal perspective and you will “lay up treasure for yourselves as a firm foundation for the coming age” while running the race of this life called Christianity.
In my next column I will write about sanctification, what it is and how we receive it.