What Does Living for Eternity REALLY Mean???
The doctor took a deep breath and said five little words that would change my life forever.
“It is a chronic condition.”
Now, to be completely honest the reality of those words didn’t really sink in during that moment. I was too happy about finally knowing what was wrong with me.
But after many years, those words now mock me with their permanence. Because this illness is going to last for the rest of my life.
While the enemy would love to use my suffering to bring me down. To keep me trapped in a place where I can’t stop the tears and am overwhelmed by my fears . . .
God knows He can use my suffering for good.
To remind me that my joy, hope, and peace cannot be found in living for this broken world . . . but rather by living for eternity.
- 1) Living for eternity means . . . we fix our eyes on Christ.
- 2) Living for eternity means . . . we take every thought captive.
- 3) Living for eternity means . . . we change our perspective on life.
- 4) Living for eternity means . . . we ponder the reality of eternity.
- 5) Living for eternity means . . . we look forward with hope.
What does it mean to live for eternity?
Living for eternity means remembering this life is not all there is.
It means to live every day knowing we weren’t made for this place. And that someday, our Savior will come to take us away.
To bring us home to Heaven.
Where there will be no more suffering. No more pain. And no more health issues.
Can I get an AMEN?
Why should we live with eternity in view?
But why should we live with eternity in view?
Well, the truth is our enemy wants to keep us distracted. And he knows pain is a great way to do that.
Because pain can cause us to take our eyes off God so that we become totally focused on our painful situation. The circumstances that are breaking our hearts.
And when we focus on the negative, it is a lot easier for us to become discouraged, disheartened, and depressed.
To become overwhelmed by worry, anxiety, and fear.
Which is exactly what the devil wants.
But God wants something better for us.
So, He calls us to live with eternity in mind.
Because He knows the way we view our future with Him will have a significant influence on how we live our lives today.
Living for eternity helps us do these five important things.
1) Living for eternity means . . . we fix our eyes on Christ.
If you hold up a finger and look at it you will notice that everything around you (in your peripheral vision) becomes blurry.
But if you look away from your finger and around you . . then you will notice that everything around you becomes clear while your finger all of a sudden becomes blurry.
In the same way, when we focus on God while we are still aware of the painful circumstances surrounding us . . . they don’t take over our vision.
But when we take our focus off God, then our circumstances come clearly into view while our view of God suddenly becomes blurry.
The word “focus” means to “pay particular attention to.”
When we shift our eyes away from what we can see physically and instead focus on the One who can see all things clearly and perfectly . . . we find that our circumstances aren’t quite so big and scary anymore.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”-2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
2) Living for eternity means . . . we take every thought captive.
Living for eternity isn’t always easy.
It is a choice we must make daily. It is a mental habit formed by steady, repeated effort over time.
We cannot live with eternal hope without taking every thought captive so we can discipline our minds to stay focused on Christ.
We must bend the mind and train it to habitually think about Jesus and dwell on eternal things.
And while this can be a hard thing to do . . . it is possible.
Doctors have discovered that our brains are still moldable even in old age.
The term for this is “neuroplasticity”. It is the ability of the brain to modify its connections or even rewire itself.
When you think a thought over and over again, the distance between those two neurons shrinks which makes it easier and easier for those electrical signals to get through.
Think of walking along a well-worn path through tall grass. It is easier to stick to the path.
When you try to walk away from the path and straight through the tall grass it can be hard. But if we keep at it, eventually we form a NEW path.
When we try to change our thought patterns, it is like trying to step away from the easy path and attempting to walk through the tall grass.
Everything in us will want to go back to that old path. Our old ways of doing things.
The old pathways of giving in to fear. Worry. Anxiety. And trying in vain to control our lives.
Because those paths are easy. And convenient.
But they don’t help us.
However, if we keep at it. If we keep trying. If we keep asking God to help us.
We can learn to take a new path.
Where we choose NOT to dwell on the circumstances we face in this world. And instead, choose to think about Jesus and the glorious future awaiting us.
Which helps us live with peace, hope, and joy. No matter what.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”-2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
3) Living for eternity means . . . we change our perspective on life.
The definition of perspective is “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”
Our culture likes to push a very limited perspective. We have sayings like “you only live once”, ‘live life to the fullest” or “live like you were dying”.
These sayings can help us think about what is important in life.
But they can also cause us to panic.
Especially when things are going wrong.
If this life is all we are living for, then when life gets hard it feels overwhelming and devastating.
Now, while it is true that “you only live once” it is also true that your one life does NOT just include your life here on Earth.
It also includes your life in eternity.
And it isn’t until eternity that we will find life easy, comfortable, and perfect.
Until then, as Jesus warned us in John 16:33, we WILL have trouble.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33b NIV-John 16:33b NIV
But Jesus invites us to shift our perspective. To trust Him. To not focus on our troubles . . . but rather the truth that He has overcome them.
So, our eternal destination is secure.
God has told us exactly how long the pain and suffering of this life is going to last.
It’s going to last a lifetime.
But one lifetime on Earth is rather small when compared with the forever of eternity.
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”-2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT
4) Living for eternity means . . . we ponder the reality of eternity.
The word ponder means “to weigh in the mind, to think about or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply.”
We need to ask ourselves:
- How often do we think about eternity?
- How often do we consider what Heaven will be like?
- How often do we take the time to weigh in our mind the reality of what FOREVER really means?
- How often do we think quietly, soberly, and deeply about our future home?
We are often stunned by the beauty of this world. And yet in Heaven that beauty will be multiplied by millions.
And not only will it be stunningly beautiful.
Not only will it be wonderfully perfect.
Not only will all the pain and suffering of this life fade away.
But we will be surrounded by our brothers and sisters in Christ.
People of every nation, tribe, and tongue. All worshipping our King while dancing, singing, and celebrating.
Heaven is going to be the ultimate party!
“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.”-Colossians 3:2 NLT
5) Living for eternity means . . . we look forward with hope.
I was reading a book one day where the author was talking about eternity when he asked, “What are you looking forward to with Jesus?”
It’s a great exercise.
Maybe you are looking forward to going rock climbing without needing any ropes.
Horseback riding without the fear of falling off.
Swimming in the ocean without worrying about sharks.
Or maybe you are looking forward to laying out under the stars as Jesus tells you all about the day He hung them in place.
As for me, I am looking forward to walking with Jesus. Without feeling light-headed and dizzy. Because I will have a perfectly functioning body.
Thinking about Heaven and the things we are looking forward to doing when we get there . . . gets us excited about it all.
We can find the strength and energy to get through our hard days when we remember what is awaiting us.
When things are out of our control, remembering eternity is what gives us hope.
And hope changes everything.
Live for Eternity Meaning
The phrase “live for eternity” means to remember that someday we will leave this world behind and be taken to our new home. For the rest of eternity.
Eternity means FOREVER.
Our time there will never end. And everything will be perfect!
Every day we have a choice.
We can choose to let the negative things of this life distract us. To let the pain of living in this world cause us to feel discouraged and disheartened.
We can choose to live for eternity.
We can keep our eyes focused on Christ knowing that because of Him . . . we have a hope no one can take away.
And by living for eternity, we will find it changes everything . . .
For me, personally, it has completely changed my outlook on my disability.
Because before whenever I saw someone walking down the beach.
I would look at them jealously while grumbling to myself and thinking “Why would God allow this debilitating health condition to come my way?”
But now, I can close my eyes and dream about the beautiful future awaiting me in eternity.
As I smile and whisper peacefully . . . “Someday.”
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