“And the world and [the desire for it] are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.”
~1 John 2:17 (NRSV).
This is not a hard truth to understand but it’s a hard truth to live, particularly in this ultra-modern, high-tech, post-information age. A year or so back there was an exposé screened on television depicting the modern gaming phenomenon. One new product had made its manufacturer $200 million on the first day of its release. It’s easy to fall in love with our gadgets and gismos.
Or perhaps it’s the substances of life that have gripped us; oh how we love them. Further still is the sports field, the halls of fame, the music, any host of worldly joy.
We all love something(s) in this life — the creation and not the Creator.
The Limits of Those Grips
There comes a time when we best release the grip these things have over us — if our love has gone beyond the upper reaches of reason.
The enemy just loves it when we go to the edge and, without so much as knowing it, plummet to our spiritual demise into an abyss apart from God in that aspect of life. His objective is achieved. He rests satisfied that he’s diluted the power resplendent in the Spirit of God, for that moment in time.
Whenever we see ourselves falling for this trick and losing our self-control over things in this life we’re best blessed to resist the devil, turn about face and repent.
Those Living Forever
These are the ones who are not won to anything particularly, barring the will of God, which is bound to be quite a different living reality for the fly upon the wall to observe. These are different people. They, like Jesus, don’t always run how we’d expect them to run. But there is generally always the wisdom of God about them.
They live forever not because of heaven or anything like that — besides that they’re saved for heaven at physical death — but because they’re living free and in harmony with God’s will now.
“Now” is the applicable word. They’re ‘living forever’ now. They live the eternal life that Jesus spoke about in John 17:3 — the true knowledge of God is eternal life. The knowledge of God has us attuned to his will.
Being Honest with Ourselves
Every single one of us has handles with which the devil can but easily grip and manipulate, taking us further and further from the guiding Spirit of God. Our key task is to be honestly humble about these inherent weaknesses.
God’s not condemning us for them, and if we’ll allow God, he’s turning these things into trophies of his grace whereby we’re freed of the bondage a day at a time.
More honesty means more humility, which is then securing more praise for God’s wondrously abundant grace, and this brings us dearly to the life that was always promised us: the eternal perspective.
With this perspective firmly in our sights the world honestly doesn’t stack up... it really is laughable. But then we’re all relatively quick forgetters, which is just another reason to fall in love afresh with the grace in God.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.