Let’s imagine you board an airplane for a three-hour flight. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a man doing something odd. He seems to be focused on the interior design of the area surrounding his seat.
In fact, he’s actually decorating. He’s making his seat look awesome. He’s built a little ottoman to stretch out and relax. He’s putting in an over-sized flat screen TV. He seems to be adorning his area with candles and paintings. He’s even putting up pictures of his family.
What would you think of this spectacle?
You’d probably think this gentleman had lost it. The flight is only three hours, and yet he’s treating it as though it’s his home. He’s acting like he’ll be staying in that seat forever. It just doesn’t make any sense.
What if I just described your life?
We Are All Just Visitors Here
Jesus said we are not of this world (John 17:16). God tells us we are just visiting here (1 Peter 2:11) because our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
That means this world is not the place to live for. But so many do. Almost everyone does. What about you? Are you living life for here and now?
Often, we are similar to the odd guy in our story; acting like this life is forever when it’s just temporary. We let ourselves get obsessed about the square-footage of our home, getting that new car, going on a nice vacation, having granite countertops in our kitchen, or how much money we have in our savings account.
Someday, we’ll realize this life was so temporary, but we treated it like it was our home.
Why Do We Treat This Life As Though It’s Home?
After this life, we’re going to live somewhere forever, and then we’ll realize this life wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as we made it out to be. This life was preparation for our forever life.
Why do we get consumed with this life as though it’s our home? It’s very easy to do. After all, this is the only home we’ve ever known, and it’s all we can see.
But God helps us to see past this life to our true home and calls us to live focused on our home in Heaven.
This is why it’s important that we encourage and remind each other to live for what’s eternal instead of this temporary life.
The Power Of Eternal Thinking
There’s a pastor I know who tells the story of a day he went to the store and noticed a sticker on the door that simply said, “Think Eternally.”
It was just a simple sticker, but the concept overwhelmed him. He realized he wasn’t thinking eternally and wanted to focus his life on the things that last forever.
He would later tell people about the shift in his perspective and asked them to think about how short this life is. It doesn’t feel very short since it’s all we’ve ever known. We may get to live seven or eight decades to live here on earth, but heaven lasts for eternity.
My pastor friend would ask people, “Why are we obsessed with living this life when there’s an eternal life coming? Why am I so concerned with this life, but not concerned about forever? It doesn’t make any sense! Why do we worry and fret and save and plan and focus our lives so completely, when this life is just a preparation for the eternal life to come?”
Now, we certainly can’t ignore this life; that would be irresponsible. But I’m afraid we run a much greater risk of ignoring eternity, and that’s even more irresponsible.
Two Ways To Evaluate Your Heart
What is it that you are living for? Or are you truly thinking eternally? Here are two ways to evaluate whether you’re thinking eternally and with Heaven in your heart:
- Are you focused on helping other people know Jesus so that they can be in Heaven forever too?
- Have you invested as much money as you can into things that will have an eternal impact, instead of things that are only temporary?
This is what success looks like in God’s eyes. God is looking for people who think eternally.
God has prepared a place for people who have chosen to live for spending eternity with him. When we get there, we’ll be grateful for the times we chose to live for eternity instead of what’s temporary.
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