It’s a good question.
When you hear it, you probably think…
Am I living life to the fullest? Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? Am I enjoying what I have, achieving my goals?
But that’s not actually what I’m talking about.
Because chances are, even if you’re doing all those things, you still experience flashes of jealousy, shivers of doubt, raging frustration, inexplicable sadness, and the like. You wonder whether you’re good enough. Old insecurities or anxieties flare up. You find yourself aching over an old wound that you thought was closed a long time ago.
Maybe not every day, but these things happen.
And more often than not, we accept them as part of life.
But are they?
Sure, they’re natural. Mortal.
But are they LIFE?
The short answer is no.
As believers, we need to be continually paying attention to what Scripture says, and reconvening with what our faith actually teaches. And then from there, if we take the next step to walk it out…everything will change!
Follow me, here.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says that we don’t have to lose heart. Why? Because even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. (Something we need to be paying attention to, by the way. It’s a process we’re supposed to be involved in with the Holy Spirit.)
These verses tell us that our afflictions are light and momentary compared to the eternal weight of glory that is being prepared for us! Amazing!
But what good does that do us now if it’s only in the future, in heaven?
We’ve all caught ourselves dreaming of eternity, thinking, “Won’t it be great when I don’t have to be anxious? When my fears don’t exist? When I no longer struggle with pain or jealousy or lack?”
But…is all that meant to wait for heaven?
I don’t think so.
We’re told in the very next verse that we should be looking continually to the things that are unseen and eternal, and those things should be directing our lives, instead of the temporary physical things we’re so often obsessed with.
2 Corinthians chapter 5 elaborates on how we groan through life, wishing we could be rid of this ailing physical body, and put on the new heavenly one. Why?
So that what is mortal might be swallowed up by life!
What a beautiful prospect! Again, proving that mortality and life are not exactly the same. We are also told that God has prepared us for this very thing, giving us His Spirit as a guarantee! Again, amazing.
But then verse 6 tells us we are always of good courage, and the following verses say that whether we are with the Lord in heaven, or here on earth in the body, we are to make it our aim to please Him. The chapter goes on to talk about how we regard no one according to the flesh, not even Christ, and we work hard to commend ourselves as faithful servants of God.
So, it sounds a lot to me like the process of connecting with the eternal begins…now.
We can begin to put on our heavenly dwelling now. If we are to participate in the daily renewal of our inner natures (a necessity if we’re going to not lose heart), then we need to be living our lives alert to the voice of the Spirit, remembering that He’s there to help us with this.
The main question that should direct our everyday lives is this:
How can I let what is mortal be swallowed up by life?
Here’s an example.
Mortal thought: I’m really jealous of that person. Watching them succeed is bringing up all my old insecurities.
Life in Christ: You don’t need to be jealous of that person. Their success doesn’t take away from you, and you will not go without, because you are a child of God. You have no lack. You are on your own journey with God, and He wants you focused on the path ahead of you, rejoicing in everything He’s doing!
This is how we always have courage, even while we’re still in this world, this body, this earth that’s obviously wasting away. This is how we don’t lose heart, even as our outer nature is falling apart. This is how we appeal to others with our faith. This is how we prepare for what God is preparing for us!
Because of what Jesus made available for us, mortality can be swallowed up by LIFE!
Little by little, EVERY DAY!
Now, that’s living.