It’s Time to Prepare
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned through this unusually snowy winter, it’s that Newport News Public Schools works hard to make decisions that are proactive. They prove by their decisions to close schools and conduct early dismissals that safety of students is a priority.
(Maybe a little snow is not a big deal for those who live in locations where the white stuff is a winter normal. But, trust me, southeastern Virginia doesn’t do well when challenged to combine wintry weather and driving. Just a few weeks ago we drove home from Georgia and hit bad road conditions as soon as we crossed the Virginia state line. We saw cars in the ditch and piled up on the highway in several locations. Officials here are wise to suggest we just stay off the roads!)
Anticipating my daughter’s early arrival home from school had me thinking about the proactive measures I take in life. Like our school system anticipating an afternoon snowfall, am I planning ahead and being proactive in my decision-making concerning the future?
How about you? Do you tend to be proactive, or are you more likely to wait for a situation to arise and then be reactive?
The starting place for proactive planning is the consideration of our future destination. Eternity is at hand! Most people do not consider the outcome of their temporal life unless they attend a funeral or face a life-threatening illness. Those are sobering times, and eternity comes to mind more frequently. But look upon these Spirit-inspired words of the apostle Paul. He says to examine yourself as one already dead- dead to the lustful ways of the flesh!
Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4).
So the kingdom of God should be the priority of the Christ-follower. Our values should prove our prioritization of eternal things. Such a mindset affects how we view ourselves and others in matters relating to:
The Spirit: This is the eternal part of our being and is often malnourished because we invest more in our physical nature. To prioritize the spiritual man, we study God’s Word and learn to apply the eternal truths to our lives. We make disciples who do the same.
The Physical Well-Being: We discipline the flesh for its health and strength to serve us well in housing the spiritual man. The flesh serves us in our spiritual pursuits; we don’t serve our flesh!
The Mental Well-Being: Neglect of eternal values in reference to mental health is a dangerous state. The mind can run away from the centrality of Christ and create multiple strongholds for the believer. A Christian who remains imprisoned within a jail cell that his mind created for him still will be welcomed into heaven when he dies; however, his impact upon the earth will be minimal because of the powerless state experienced under the enemy’s deception. How many lives did he rescue from darkness prior to his going to heaven? Very few. He too was in the clutches of fear, mental torment, despair, sickness, etc.
Relational Health: Our prioritization of eternity means that we deal with heart issues instead of prescribing quick fixes for the skirmishes that disrupt relationships.
Financial Well-Being: Wealth entrusted to the expansion of the kingdom of God goes amazingly farther than wealth invested in our personal kingdoms. Believers judge for themselves their prioritization of expenditures. We are wise to stop justifying expenses and to start spending in step with the Spirit who counsels us.
There is more investigation of our lives than what I can offer in this post. The point I hope we take home is we should prepare now for what is to come. Investment into eternity is our number one priority, not just on days when we must focus on the stark reality of life and death, health and sickness. Everyday. Everyday we weigh the eternal value against the desire to satisfy something of temporal importance.
Changing my focus,