What anxiety and care and hard work we put into temporal things – some of which are fine or even noble, some of which are wrong. I am mindful of how little I’ve really prayed, how little I’ve dug into God’s word, what pitiful and anemic efforts I’ve put into obeying Christ to the denial of my flesh. I really believe, when I stop to think about it, that concern for the health of an eternal soul (either mine or someone else’s) far outweighs concerns about food or entertainment.
Why is it we so easily tend to care more for earthy baubles than for the state of our eternal soul or the state of the souls around us? We see earthly things with our senses. This seems the first explanation but not sufficient in itself to explain such monumental mistakes in priority.
- Our bodies betray us. I am tired and lazy. I don’t want to put out the effort to climb above what I can reach out and touch now. Do we take the effort to use the means of grace given to us? This includes bible reading, prayer, church, etc (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
- We greatly undervalue Christ. When I really start to think of the worth and wonder of my Savior, temporal things seem of much less concern (Matthew 13:44). And strangely, at the same time, I find I really start to enjoy temporal things more when truly enjoying Christ.
- Our sin nature tends toward temporal thoughts. Essentially the old man, the lusts that dwell deep within, our old nature, is a fool (Jeremiah 17:9). Often we care for stuff to thrill or interest for a day more than for the things that last forever.
- The devil actively works. He strives to make temporal things more exciting than spiritual things. Let us not underestimate this enemy, who wants to see us sink to hell and burn in eternal misery and regret, holding onto dumb stuff we thought mattered. He is quite happy to help us be distracted from concern about the state of our souls and the souls of our loved ones (1 Peter 5:8).
These obstacles to our eternal perspective should strengthen us to work harder to lift our eyes above this carnal world. Pray God will miraculously and continuously do his good work of overcoming foolish nature and wake us up to see Truth.
Lord, please wake our souls to the importance of eternal things in our life and in the lives of the people we love. Help us care enough for our soul to do the work of digging into the Word and fighting with the flesh. Help us care enough about our spouse and children’s souls to make the effort to present your word to them, even if it seems inconvenient or weird. Help us care enough about our neighbor’s soul to witness, even when we fear ridicule. Help us keep our mind fixed on you, and to keep an eternal perspective as we go about our lives on this temporal earth.
|Daniel Chodowiecki, Von Berlin nach Danzig|
“May I maintain a supreme regard to another and better world, and feel and confess myself a stranger and a pilgrim here…
Give me large abundance of the supply of the Spirit of Jesus,
that I may be prepared for every duty,
love thee in all my mercies,
submit to thee in every trial,
trust thee when walking in darkness,
have peace in thee amidst life’s changes.
Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief and uncertainties.”
-Valley of Visionprayer on True Religion.