5 Questions to Help Believers Keep an Eternal Perspective
5 Questions to Help Believers Keep an Eternal Perspective
Laura Bailey iBelieve Contributor
Somewhere along our spiritual journey, we start wondering if God is secretly holding back as if He intends for us to engage in a never-ending game of hide-and-seek. We seek to do the right thing, to please Him, but still feel like God eludes us.
“Time is short. Eternity is long. It is only reasonable that this short life be lived in the light of eternity.” -Charles Spurgeon
Eternity, a simple word, but a complex concept. We waited an eternity for our food; the car ride lasted an eternity; it seemed an eternity before our baby slept through the night. These statements exaggerate something that seems to go on and on, but no one truly comprehends eternity. Yet, the Bible has much to say on the topic.
John 3:16 tells us that if we trust in Jesus, we have eternal life. Ecclesiastes 3:14 says God has put eternity on man’s heart. God cares deeply about where we will spend eternity but holds us accountable for how we spend our time on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10). So, we must ask ourselves, "How do we live our short time on earth with eternity on our hearts?”
What does the Bible Say?
Often, godly, Christian women tell me they struggle with making important decisions because they have yet to understand God’s will for their lives. Somewhere along our spiritual journey, we start wondering if God is secretly holding back as if He intends for us to engage in a never-ending game of hide-and-seek. We seek to do the right thing, to please Him, but still feel like God eludes us.
Truth is, God has given us His Word, which outlines everything we need to know to live in accordance to His will. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all Scripture is God-breathed; we can be confident that the words on the pages of our Bibles are precisely the message He wants us to hear, to read, to trust, and obey. God’s words instruct us in righteousness. They rebuke, correct, and teach, but for what purpose? So that the servants of God (believers) are rightly trained and equipped to live like "little Christs" (Christians). Therefore, to ponder if our lives honor the Lord is to do so in vain (Colossians 3:17).
Filtering our lives through the lens of God's Word gives us a sharper, eternal perspective. God clearly tells us to submit to the authority of the Scriptures and apply their timeless truths to our lives, even when our flesh wrestles against it, which it definitely will.
Why am I here?
Lots of time and money are spent figuring out one’s purpose or calling. But, here’s the good news--you can stop searching; God created you with one! Although He desires us to know Him (John 17:3) and make Him known (Revelation 4:11), according to Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, our chief purpose or end in life is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. Simple, right?
Ever since Adam disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit with Eve, ushering sin into the world, man has searched in vain for his purpose. What lie tempted Eve to risk losing perfection and sinlessness? “You can be like God,” the serpent told her (Genesis 3:5). Eve was distinctly created with purpose by God Himself, so why did she desire to be God?
Like us, Eve was human. When she imagined herself as God, instead of created for God, her focus shifted from the eternal (God's glory) to the temporal (her own). Like Eve, we desire glory; we want to be the hero of the story, so we look to jobs, relationships, financial gain, or personal legacy to answer why we exist. However, the Lord solidified our purpose and calling before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10); thus, in and of ourselves, we really are nothing, persona non grata. BUT, in Christ's atoning work on the cross, we are made righteous, given eternal life, and brought into a glorious relationship with the Lord that will last forever (Romans 5:12-20). Now that is something!
Is my behavior consistent with my beliefs?
We're all familiar with the saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” and few would disagree. Many Christians are quick to tout their love for the Lord and commitment to follow Him but treat church attendance as optional and neglect to honor God with their finances. They claim to be Christ's disciples, yet rarely seem willing to deny themselves or forgo personal comfort to live differently from those who make no such claims (Matthew 16:24-26). Beware of "Churchanity,” living off of faith borrowed from pastors and other spiritual leaders, for it neither produces real spiritual fruit nor constitutes a right relationship with Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:21-23).
Living life with an eternal perspective means actively seeking a deep relationship with the living God, not out of obligation or fear but from a heart filled with gratitude and love. Sincere believers read their Bibles and attend church, among other things, because they seek opportunities to know God more and to worship Him in praise, prayer, and song in His holy house (Philippians 2:12), not to tick off a box on a spiritual checklist.
Do I prioritize the eternal over the temporary?
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." In Ecclesiastes, Solomon warns extensively of the dangers of living for this world and chasing after what it offers, using the word “meaningless” over forty times. Instead, wise King Solomon exhorts us to fear and obey the Lord (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Jesus also warned crowds about gathering treasures on earth where they will be eaten by moths and destroyed. Rather, he told them to lay up treasures in Heaven where they will be for all eternity (Matthew 5:19-20).
Even for the most dedicated Christian, it is difficult to continually keep our hearts focused on what's godly and eternal instead of worldly and temporal. Practically anything we want is at our fingertips, making unwise or sinful choices hard to resist, especially with glaring messages such as “You deserve it.” How easily we are distracted by “shiny things"; who wouldn't enjoy driving a new vehicle, wearing fashionable, new clothes, or eating delicious dinners in a five-star restaurant? These things in and of themselves are not wrong unless we seek them over the kingdom of God and use them as substitutes to satisfy our souls rather than a relationship with Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:33).
How is my life different from that of others?
Believers are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2: 9); thus, the choice to live radically different from those around us is not optional. 1 Peter 2:11 reminds us that as strangers and foreigners here on earth, we were not created to fit in. On the contrary, we were set apart, chosen to stand out. Yet, often, we set aside our divine purpose; instead of shining forth as "chosen, royal, special or holy," we merely blend in with the crowd.
As we seek to live with eternity in mind, self-examination of our hearts and actions is critical, requiring constant realignment with God’s Word. A diet devoid of spiritual nourishment—one based on a single verse and a quick "amen"— does not substitute for having the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:2). Every aspect of our lives, from the way we conduct business, respond to conflict, and rear our children, should bear witness to what it means to trust Jesus Christ as Savior and follow Him as Lord.
Maintaining an eternal perspective requires dedication and daily, renewed commitment. Thankfully, the Lord gave us the Holy Spirit to run by our side to help us stay on track. When we call on Him, He guides our decision-making by revealing Scripture that makes God’s will clear and helps us to strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that trips us up (Hebrews 12:1). Covered by our Heavenly Father's rich mercy and abundant grace, may we glorify Him as we look with eyes of faith toward eternity and the heavenly home prepared for us (Philippians 3:13-14).
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