Where the eternal role of worship is one that is probably mentioned most often, and usually by those inclined to be worship leaders or worship focused pastors, in this post I’d like to discuss a role that is not discussed or presented to us regularly. This is the role of the Warrior.
I’ve been away from writing for a while, so let’s jump into the Eternity series. Our last post on this topic was aimed at explaining that we are being prepared now for the tasks that will be given to us at the end of time and in eternity. I quoted from a book called, Destined for the Throne, and if you haven’t read this book, I would suggest you do. If nothing else, it will get you thinking about concepts that you cannot turn a blind eye to; you must take the time to study, discuss and consider what is delivered in this book.
The Book of Revelation gives a pretty startling picture of Heaven, the troubles that await the end of time here in Creation, and a glimpse into eternity. With just a quick glance through the pages of Revelation, I’ve found four roles that we can consider ourselves being prepared for in our currently daily lives that we will only later fulfill. Let’s take a look at them.
Having taken some time to get the idea across that our everyday actions have the potential for eternal consequence, and having given some time for it all to sink in, let’s move on to the second section of Living in Light of Eternity: our present lives are a training ground for our eternal lives.
I have to admit that for a long time I never would have considered this point. It was first present to me in a book study in my first church. The pastor rallied us together for a seemingly simple discussion regarding a book that I hadn’t heard of before, but has shaped for me a very different understanding of life in the now.
I’m not sure I’ve answered the point regarding everything we do has eternal consequences? I may have, but I think I’ll take the time for one more shot at it. Until we start to believe this is true, we cannot truly buy into the points that follow. I’m going to dig deep here, but it will pan out in the end.
In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus foretells a story of His return, and how He will separate those that ministered unto Him on the earth and those that did not. Now, I’m talking about full-time, pastoral ministers. Jesus spoke of those who met His needs – hunger, thirst, clothing; meeting needs, physical as well as spiritual, is ministering. But He isn’t referring to those who saw Him in His mortal body while He walked the earth. He means the people we pass on the path of life every day; to minister to them is to reach a hand to Him.
I think one of the hardest points for us to lay hold of is that every act of every day has eternal consequence. We look at some of the rote, mundane, and seemingly trivial elements of our daily routines and consider them the warm up before we can step up to the pitcher’s mound and throw the curve balls, sliders and fastballs for the real game. Even then we consider most of the “important” parts of our days to be too regulare too earthly to have spiritual significance.
You could this is a sort of spiritual near-sightedness; or maybe more accurately, near-blindness. We can only see the immidate results of our actions, and therefore have little trouble with living in the present. However, we do so at the expense of not only a fast-approaching future, but also that of our eternal future.
Do you ever get the feeling that life is just a routine that you almost have to suffer through day in and day out? From a basic perspective, your daily life is little different from the lives of those around you: you wake up, maybe eat breakfast, take your shower and make yourself presentable (or at least bearable), off to work, try to eat lunch, more work, eat supper (because you have to eat at least one meal each day), try to spend time with the family/spouse/significant other, or maybe be involved in some kind of ministry, watch 24 or NCIS or Lost, and then head for bed, only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again.
After a while – be it weeks, months, or years – you start to feel like your routine is all there is. It isn’t that you don’t like your job, or your family is terrible, or church isn’t nice; the problem is that it seems empty, pointless, just part of the here and now. But life can – and should – be so much more.
Of course, we say that all the time, don’t we? But who is really experiencing it? How can everything we do in life, be it work or ministry or love, have eternal consequence when we have a hard time believing that these things make a difference in the present?