Life is all about growth. We live and we learn. We have the opportunity to mature and develop into productive citizens, hardworking family members, and humble servants to the one and only living Lord Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Edwards, an 18th Century revivalist preacher and acclaimed theologian is famous for saying, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs!” Second Corinthians 4:18 reads “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” How often do we wake up considering eternity before we start the day? Unfortunately, our greatest resolve will come when it’s time to die. It’s then that many of us will wish we had done more, prayed more, gave more, served more, and been more.
Jonathan Edwards was asking God for an eternal perspective. He desires for eternity to be woven into his mentality. It’s as if every thought is first baptized in this eternal perspective so it can be judged accurately and acted on righteously. He desires for every thought to be weighed against eternity. Compared to eternity, our lives on Earth are but a vapor. We’re just sojourners passing through a sin-filled world on our way to a heavenly paradise.
Second Corinthians 5:10 reads “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” That verse is a bold reminder of the eternal consequences of our earthly actions. While salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, our works are our evidence of what we say we believe. James 2:17, 18 reads “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’” If eternity is the set of the grand stage, then this life is the dress rehearsal. It means something.
I’ve found myself asking God to stamp eternity on my eyeballs as well. Because of this reality, there are some things that have become real for my life. I desire to share some of the truths with you.
When eternity becomes real:
- Strongly consider everything and everyone around you. Simply put, I don’t have time for certain things anymore. When your eyes are fixed on the prize, you don’t have time to consider the distractions around you. And, the distractions are many. I recommend surveying your life and “…[laying] aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) And, I’d like to add that you should not make any apologies for the decisions you are led to make. Consider this; eternity is but a heartbeat away.
- Weigh everything on eternity’s scale. I caution you to look beyond the surface issues to discover the real problems. Forgive freely, and consider the weightier matters. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to do more pleasing for me or God? Will God be glorified by my actions or repulsed because of them?” Consider yourself last, be the first to ask for forgiveness, and give to those in need without asking. It won’t matter who won the argument when looking back from eternity? Place all of your offence, insecurities, rejections, frustrations, and annoyances on that scale, and realize that they are all featherweights in comparison to the golden weight of eternity.
- Clear the stage. I love Jimmy Needham’s song—Clear the Stage. He sings, “Tell your friends that this is where the party ends/Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social.” The song is about clearing away any idolatry and making room for the One who deserves it—Jesus Christ. If you have any idols in your life, destroy them! If anything or anyone is more influential to you than God, REMOVE IT, HIM, OR HER NOW! Eliminate them once and for all, and do not allow them entrance again.
- Fulfill your ministry at all costs. Apostle Paul encourages Timothy to fulfill his ministry (see 2 Timothy 4:5). Paul was a worthy candidate to encourage the younger Timothy because he finished his course. His life was poured out as a drink offering. He sacrificed all he could. He gave everything he had. He was hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (see 2 Corinthians 4:8, 9). He was beaten on multiple occasions, stoned and left to die, shipwrecked three times, ridiculed, mocked, persecuted, left cold and naked, found himself in hunger and thirst, and snake-bitten, but he was determined to fulfill his ministry! Although he was heavy-pressed, he was God-directed! He endured, and we must endure as well. If you’ve been called, preach as if you’re on fire; pray is if it is your last prayer; sing as if it is your final song; go as if you’ve been commissioned!
- Walk as a barefooted priest, and speak as if every word is your last. Your steps are thoroughly considered when your feet are bare! You are cautious about where you are willing to move, how far you are willing to go, and why you choose to stay when you walk as if every step is sensitive. You are quick to consider your words when the next one you speak could be your last. No wise man or woman would desire for his or her last words to be foolish or drenched in anger! You’d be quick to reconsider every statement you make and every promise you give before speaking. Take this to heart and live this way because eternity is but a heartbeat away!
Cry out to God and pray this prayer with me, “God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs! Let me see life through the lens of eternity. Let me see that I’m living on borrowed time, and my life is not my own. I have a responsibility—a ministry to fulfill—and I intend on fulfilling it to the best of my ability. I will not quit! Whether I’m afflicted like Paul or stoned liked Stephen, I will not give up this fight. I REFUSE TO COMPROMISE! I can and will do all things through Jesus Christ who gives me strength! My life is His, and I look forward to the day I stand before Him. I only pray that my faith is sure and my works are pure. Let this prayer flow from my heart to Your Throne, and may Your anointing rest on me and Your conviction pierce my heart until my final breath. Amen.”