Life on earth is a temporal assignment, we all are familiar with the affix that “nothing lasts forever”. The bible is full of metaphors that teach about the brief, temporal and transient nature of life on earth. Life is described as a mist, a fast runner, a breath, and a wisp of smoke. The bible says, “For we were born but yesterday…..our days on earth are as transient as a shadow”
To make the best use of your life, you must never forget two truths: first, compared with eternity, life is extremely brief. Second, earth is only a temporary residence. You and I won’t be here too long, so don’t get too attached to material possessions because you met them here and you’ll surely leave them here. You see, what actually matters is the legacy you leave behind, the number of lives you touched on earth, that my friend is the only thing that transcends ages. In the bible, David prayed “lord, help me to realize how brief my life on earth will be. Help me to know that I’m here for but a moment more”.
I find it really interesting how the bible already told us everything about ourselves before we were even conceived, severally it compares life on earth to temporally living in a foreign country this is not your permanent home or final destination. We’re just passing through, just visiting earth.
In Abuja, where I live, many people have moved from other parts of the world to work here, but they keep their citizenship with their home country. They are required to carry a visitor registration card called a “green card” which allows them to work here even though they’re not citizens. We as Christians should carry spiritual green cards to remind us that our citizenship is in heaven.
Earlier I talked about ‘legacy”, legacy in this context talks about the milestones you’ve clinched, the history you’ll leave behind, what you will be remembered for, a lasting legacy is one that will continue to impact lives even when you’re not alive. Nelson Mandela of South Africa left an everlasting legacy in his country and the world at large for emancipating his people and standing up to the oppressors. Martin Luther king of the United States also impacted lives a great deal and it became a legacy that will forever affect the lives of blacks worldwide, he notably stood up against black oppression, slavery and racism.
It is fair to say that the best way to live a lasting legacy is to live a life of service to humanity, standing up for the oppressed and going the extra mile for others even if there is no apparent reward because the real reward is in eternity. Your identity is in eternity, and your homeland is heaven. When you grasp this truth you will stop worrying about “having it all, material possessions on earth” God is very blunt about the dangers of living for the “here and now” and adopting the values, priorities and lifestyles of the world, God calls it spiritual adultery. The bible says, “You are disapproving of God if all you want is your own way and the things of the world, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his ways.
Imagine your parents sold all their belongings and struggled so hard to send you to school with the intention that you will do so well and make the family proud but instead, you get influenced negatively by involving with the wrong people, you mix with them so well that you become as they are, you start engaging in fowl activities and end up getting expelled or worse getting in jail, all your parents worked for becomes a waste, all their efforts would be in vain and above all, you would bring an everlasting seal of disgrace on the family name, you’d be no different from a traitor, you lost focus and conformed to the ways of the world.
The bible says, “We are Christ’s ambassadors” but sadly, many of us have betrayed our king and his kingdom, they have ignorantly concluded that because they live on earth, it’s their home, well hey, it’s not!! The bible was very clear about that “friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it and don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.
We are living in a completely brainwashed generation, we have been fooled to believing that life is all about the material wealth you possess, we have been deceived by what we see on television, the lives of the celebrities are all we want to emulate instead of the spiritual life of Jesus Christ our savior. With all the fascinating attractions mesmerizing media and enjoyable experiences available today, it’s easy to forget that the pursuit of happiness is not what life is about. Only as we remember that life is a test, a trust, and a temporary assignment, we are preparing for something even better. The bible goes on to say “the things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow, but the things we can’t see now will last forever”.
The fact that earth is not our ultimate home explains why, as followers of Jesus, we experience difficulty, sorrow and rejection in this world just as he did. It also explains why some of Gods promises seem unfulfilled, some prayers seem unanswered and some circumstances seem unfair. Well I’m here to tell you this is not the end of the story, in order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life-longings that will never be fulfilled on this side of life. Earth is not our final home, we’re just passing by, we are created for something much better.
Fishes are not happy living in a fish tank, they feels trapped and restricted, give them a chance at open waters and poof! They gone. A bird can never be comfortable living in a cage, they’re created to fly, birds can’t fly in a cage, and that’s why they escape the slightest chance they get.
You should never feel completely satisfied on earth because you were made for more. You will have happy moments here, but nothing compares to what God has planned for you. I couldn’t agree any less with what C.S Lewis said, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless”. The bible says, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
It is fatal to think Gods goal for you is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it, the abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance, and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in career or even ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns.
Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison, john was faithful, yet he was beheaded. It almost seem as though the fate of the righteous ones are always fatal but I stand to tell you dear friend that this only goes to say that here is not your home and you have something better waiting for you in eternity. The bible even told us to rejoice in times of tribulations. People are quick to ask why bad things happen to good people, well look at the life of Jesus, all he did was help and heal people and yet he was crucified but now he’s the king of the world.
You see, the end of life on earth is not the end of life, in Gods eyes the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success or power in this life but those who treat this life as a temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity. Your time on earth is not the complete story of your life. You must wait until heaven for the rest of the chapters, and before heaven comes judgment. You will not be dead two seconds before you begin to question yourself “why did I place so much importance on things that were so temporal, what was I thinking, why did I waste so much time, energy and concern on what wasn’t going to last”.
When life gets tough, when you’re overwhelmed by doubt or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth it, just remember you’re not home yet. At death you won’t leave home, you’ll go home!! So live life not for yourself alone but for others, pass the test of life and make it to heaven where was meant for you and gather memories that will go with you anywhere.