To gain an understanding of an eternal focus, this example should help:
Ever go camping?
The smell of the trees and dinner cooking, snuggling into a warm sleeping bag and roasting marshmallows, talking until it was late, watching the fire die down. It was a time to stop the relentless to-do list and just relax and enjoy what God has created.
While you were camping, how much time did you spend landscaping around your tent?
Did you put in a pool?
How about a nice covered patio?
No? Why not? Oh, not staying long enough for those things to be a benefit? Just there for a little while?
Spending all our time and energies only focused on our lives here on earth makes as much sense as spending all our time landscaping a weekend camping site.
Our home here on earth and in our bodies are only temporary. We are just camping out here and Paul even called our bodies “tents.” However, there is much to enjoy during our stay, camping is just one of many, many things.
There are relationships that we treasure, tastes that delight, fun and friendship, hard work and play. The list of things that God has made available for us to enjoy here are endless –
We are made for eternity, so while we may enjoy our lives here on earth, maybe we should focus more of our energies on gaining an eternal focus.
Christ said for us to “store up treasure in heaven.” Those are the only treasures that will last. Moth, rust, and thieves can destroy anything we build here. Everything we see, everything we work hard for here on earth will one day be gone.
Live simply here now and richly later in heaven.
Changing our focus
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Our time here on earth is preparation for then.
Here we learn to love the Lord with all that we are. Here we mature, learn to trust God in all things, and daily choose Him over all this world has to offer.
We weren’t made for this earth we were made for eternity with the Lord.
If we can correct our vision to be eternally focused then we will be able to see what it is we are really living for.
We do that by spending time with God, time in His word where it tells us about who we are and what the future holds. We are being shaped to look like Christ through the circumstances and choices we make here.
We need to make those choices for eternity’s sake.
With that focus in mind, we can look at our lives here and ask do we have an eternal focus and, if we do, what do we really need while we are here to serve God and prepare us for the next life?
We have our whole lives here on earth to live for eternity.
What do we really need?
Answering the question of what we really need is essential to living a simple life, but let me expand on it first.
What is really necessary to fulfill God’s design, call, and purpose for your life?
For example, maybe serving Christ means it is necessary to have an $85,000 education to become a lawyer who will defend assaults on Christian living. In that case, your wardrobe would have to be appropriate for a courtroom too. It might be necessary to take clients to lunch and so an expense account would be required as well. These would all be legitimate needs for you to serve God as He has called you.
Maybe you are called to work in the “blue collar” section in American life. Your clothing would probably not include a power suit and your education would probably be much less expensive, but your mission is no less important.
The question is again what is necessary for you to simply be the person God called you to be?
What material things are necessary for you to fulfill His plan for your life? What are you doing with the resources that He provides for you to serve Him?
Our lives are about Christ, what He wants for us and what He wants to do through us. Everything else is a distraction and probably unnecessary.
“I work with individuals to actually find themselves in Christ and have their lives truly function well in Him. Often I am serving those most hurt by the world – those who have experienced severe trauma and abuse and helping them to find complete healing from the pain and the memories.
I have seen the Lord heal hundreds. Nothing has been too difficult for Him.”