2 Corinthians 4:16 – “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” NKJV
I recall as a young Christian and minister one of the senior ministers in the area pulled me aside and said, “Son, always remember that from the time you were born you began to die in the natural. But from the time you were born again you begin to live in the spiritual. Never forget that while you are heading toward the grave naturally your, are headed toward heaven spiritually. Never let the natural take priority over the spiritual.” In the years that have passed I have sometimes had a difficult time acknowledging that I am growing older for in my mind I’m still twenty-something but when I look in the mirror I am reminded of his words.
His words have caused me to continually evaluate life and purpose. His words have helped keep me focused on the objective in life and prioritize. His words have helped me fight off the temptation to become despondent when things appeared to have no solution. His words have inspired me to always LOOK to the author and finisher of my faith. I do not recall why he pulled me aside but he did and his daughter told me at his funeral that her dad loved me like a son and what she relayed that he saw in me I could not see. Of course what he really saw was Christ in me not my talent or abilities but a willing and hungry heart. I wanted to be what God wanted, do what God wanted, and go where God wanted. It was and is a consuming passion!
LIVING is not just a chronology it is experience. Unless the Lord comes and takes us home first we will all experience that which we call death or as the New Testament calls SLEEP. In the process of making the journey from cradle to grave we should LIVE rather than just EXIST as too many do. For some, when the cold reality shatters their fantasy of natural immortality they become depressed and paralyzed. That is not and has never been God’s plan. If we live as pilgrims in this life and citizens of heaven we can face the eventuality of death with a joyous heart and savor each moment in life. If we are fighting to exist we will miss so much life has to offer and become targets of depression. God wants us to live while we are dying allowing His Abundant Life to be our life in this present world.
DYING for the child of God is not a terror but can be faced with a calm assurance knowing that it is simply a transition from the natural to the eternal. For as Paul said, ‘to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.’ I have talked to the Lord and shared what He already knows that I want to live as long as He will allow enjoying my life, His work, my family and friends. I want to enjoy the experience of seeing His hand touch lives and watch their transformation. I remember what it was like the night I truly came to know Him and as I see others experience His liberation in salvation or some other bondage I experience what they experience vicariously. LIFE lived is thrilling!
May the Lord be with you as you go through this day!