Just as the seemingly cliche, stereotypical Christian testimony goes, “I was raised in a Christian home, went to church every Sunday, and I lived a pretty normal life…” (If that’s something how your testimony starts as well, join the club. If not, go you!) I learned a ton of the stories in the Bible before I was like seven years old, I knew at least a few verses off the top of my head, and I even went to a Christian School for the first like, half of my life. Though my truest story hadn’t yet developed through hardship and triumph and maturation, as a good story does… I had a pretty sturdy faith and I knew that I was saved, which is what matters, I suppose.
I say all of that to give context to this little principle that I’ve heard for quite literally my entire life. It goes something like this…
“When it comes to sharing the gospel, it’s not your job to save a person, but to merely plant a seed. Sometimes you’ll meet a person who’s had that seed planted for a while, and in that moment, you have the opportunity to reap the harvest of someone else’s planting, and lead them to Jesus. But most times, you’re never gonna see the result of what you do. And you’ve gotta be okay with that, cause that’s how faith works.”
I agree pretty thoroughly with that, and I’m fairly certain that you might too. The gospel is actually pretty easy to understand, and when you allow yourself to see the truth in it, there’s such life. In fact, truly all that we have in this life, is the hope that we have in the gospel. But when it comes to the responsibility of sharing it, we find such relief and solace in the fact that we don’t actually have to see the result of it in order to consider your “ministry” a success. Like, as long as we do our part, are consistent in our endeavor, and whole-heartedly believe that it’s gonna happen, we walk away from a moment of evangelism with a metaphorical little smirk on our face, accomplished.
But why is it that in the “less important” things in life, we’re not okay with that same outcome?
When it comes to the most grand choice that a person can ever make in this life, we’re willing to release eternity back into the hands of the Eternal. We know that it’s truly beyond our capacity, our realm of understanding, and our ability to influence… so we’re all good with being patient and waiting on the Lord to do His thing in lieu of our obedience.
Lemme ask you this: Is there really a difference at all between the eternity of our future and the eternity of where we go after our bodies die?
I’ll give you the answer: Nope.
We’d like to think of eternity as something that happens after we die. But here’s the lovely thing about eternity… it’s always been and it always will be. That’s why its the realm in which our almighty God works, because His grandness cannot be contented by our notions of understanding and belief. If God were truly only as big as we believed Him to be, what power would He actually have? Not very much. So, let’s hop on a little logic train here. If we know that God has always been, currently is, and always will be… and we believe that He’s currently still very much at work in our existence, right now… and eternity is the currency that God works in… *Buckle your seat-belts*
Eternity is RIGHT NOW.
Mind blown. But y’wanna know why that matters? Because, you’re willing to relinquish the eternal aspects of salvation back to the Creator, but not the rest of the things in this life that are equally as eternal. That “seed” being planted is just as much God’s responsibility as the innumerable possibilities for your future that you refuse to give up to the Lord. Your faith in an invisible and intangible being is just as much eternal as the relationships with people that you choose to invest in. Your attitude is something that’s just as much eternal as the angels and demons that exist in this reality.
So if that’s true, there are two things that we must then accept:
- We need not worry, fear, or stress over anything because the Most High is at work in our lives, and moving in ways that we will never understand.
- EVERYTHING we do is just that much more important, because every moment of our existence is acting in the eternal.
So basically, we need to simultaneously care more and care less. Caring less, in the way that we must let go of what is not meant to be in our control in the first place — Caring more, in that our actions have a very direct ripple in the current eternity that’s at hand, and we must be so very aware of what we do, say, think, and believe. That mantra of “Well, we’re just planting the seed of the gospel…” is pointless and hypocritical if the rest of your awareness of the eternal doesn’t also reflect that. We must have that same trust and faith to give our finances, test scores, health, families, and futures to the Lord, not just the things that we very apparently cannot understand. We think we can “manage” having a great career, and so we do not yield it so easily… but in fact, that’s one of the very things that we must trust the Lord in and learn to think about in an eternal fashion.
I know right now, I struggle to find that eternal purpose in the things that I make. I vlog, photograph, write, strum, sing, video… and a couple other mediums that consume most of what I do with my time. But I don’t really see much happening with any of those things. I make things every day, consistently improving and growing, stewarding the talents that He’s given me. But I know that though fame, success, prosperity, and the outpouring of heaven aren’t presently visible, I’m investing in that thing that I cannot see, but know exists. I know that my efforts to be faithful through difficulty is going to be rewarded in faithfulness from the Lord, because that’s how He works. Eternity is in motion all around me, and I have an opportunity to shape the world around me through creation… what a joy that is! Honestly, though I’m not a millionaire or a Hollywood producer or some famous songwriter, I live a full and “successful” life because I know that my faithfulness is what matters, not what people expect from me. What is it that you need to shift your thoughts about today? What area of life are you allowing to dictate in the way that you live, and the fullness of life that you experience? I bet you know exactly what it is. Take heart, friend. You can do it, and you can be free of the burden of expectation that you’ve chosen to gladly accept. Find freedom in the ultimate power and might of the Holy Spirit that courses through you.
It sure isn’t easy, and it sure isn’t popular. Caring about holiness because our actions matter SO much isn’t sexy… and choosing not to have a “10-year plan” because you daily trust the Lord’s ways is just as difficult. Two separate endeavors in the same journey. But the challenge is so very worth it. To be aware of eternity, the realm and measure in which God functions… is our only hope in living consistent lives that truly reflect the nature of the God we serve and love.
BIG IDEA: Eternity is RIGHT NOW — make sure your existence reflects that.
I pray that in this day, you’d be freed of the things that you feel pressured and burdened to have “figured out”. Just because you’re not an expert parent, have a five-year plan, pursue an amazing career, or have the perfect spouse lined up, doesn’t mean that you’re failing. In fact, it proves emphatically that you’re human. Let those illusions of expectation fall away, and allow yourself to be transformed and renewed by the way that you think, through the Holy Spirit. Let the reality of eternity give you an abundance of hope and a surge of peace… but also a new drive to live a righteous, loving, Jesus-like life. The pressure of salvation doesn't fall to your shoulders — hallelujah! But, the mantle of loving like Christ did, and pursing souls over the carnal desires of this world is your responsibility. Be encouraged, friend… Christ is the hope of this world, and the joy of all those that follow Him. Let Him fill you with that joy in this day, and choose to let the Holy Spirit refresh you in those areas that feel hopeless. You’re amazing, and it’s a joy to do this journey called life with you. Keep moving forward, friend.