"There has to be more than this!”
Thoughts like this tend to permeate my heart and mind following a significant event in my life. My mission trip experiences in India, Jordan, Tanzania and recently, in the Dominican Republic, opened my heart to the practical work of Jesus Christ in a specific daily way. Bible study places me into a face to face engagement with God’s Word. In a holy way, my soul was captured forever the minute I opened God’s Word on a daily basis. Over the years, I have developed deeper connections with significant Christian leaders. Without their consistency in my life, I recognize that I would never have gone on a new path without God’s leadership in my life. I am not someone who can simply pay lip service to Jesus. I can give you my personal testimony about what it means to honestly be led by Jesus Christ to do good work at Wheatland. Jesus has a new and exciting direction for all of us to go. But, vision casting what Jesus Christ has called us to do is impossible without his leadership and his Spirit.
I’ve often witnessed how positive experiences can be a catalyst toward long-term change in our lives. Sometimes we experience Jesus in a very personal and meaningful way. His action in our life is so significant, we cannot live the way we were living any longer. The robust nature of a spiritual intervention is designed to turn our lives upside down. However, I think we all can be tempted to settle for going through the motions in life or living out of habits or belief systems we developed over time. It’s just so much easier. Same. Same. Same produces more of the same, same, same.
What if there is more?
Solomon was someone who I believe asked God for more and he got it! Solomon is often credited with writing the book of Ecclesiastes. I encourage you to read it. I think the Book of Ecclesiastes revealed Solomon’s heart and soul. He had everything he could ever want. In the midst of being incredibly successful by all the world’s standards, Solomon placed this little gem: "I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:10-11NIV.
Achievement has its immediate rewards. But, what if at the end of the day what we achieve doesn’t really matter? The next pastor will do greater things at Wheatland. The next person to take your job will do greater things than you did. The next invention will nullify almost everything we think is important today. Everything we put our hearts and minds to will one day pass away-the house we live in will crumble, the people we love will die, the society we desperately worked to improve will degenerate to it’s lowest possible human behaviors again and again. Solomon recognized the impact that God had by placing something that does have significance in the middle of our heart. Eternity.
We will all die. Death is certain. What I believe about death and eternity will ultimately determine how I live. Eternity challenges me to consider what I invest my life in and how I work to make God’s will known. One day I will answer for the life I lived. None of us move into the next life in an artificial sense. Everything will be known. We must face who we are and what we’ve done. This is why we work together to help others realize what’s at stake and how a spiritual intervention must turn our life upside down in order for Jesus to put it right side up.
What happens when we die? This is the question I hope generates some incredible conversation. More importantly, my prayer is that you take this message more seriously than ever. More and more people move away from the truth and grace of the gospel because no one really engages with them about faith and life matters. People’s eternities are on the line. What we believe about death and eternity matters. One of my greatest anxieties is that people I came into contact with didn’t understand the impact they could have on the lives of others. At the moment when they are led into the place of judgment, God sits down with them face to face and asks, “Why didn’t you do more?” The only answer they give is “No one ever told me how serious the consequences would be.”
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention. Matthew 7:13-14 The Message