Living in the Light of Eternity challenges us to look beyond the temporary to the eternal; to look away from ourselves to the needs of others; and to look at our present circumstances in light of the bigger picture—the eternal picture. But it doesn’t aim to create a guilt trip about how we’re living compared to the rest of the world who needs Christ. Instead, it highlights a number of biblical principles that can serve as a foundation for coming to our own conclusions about what God is calling us to do individually. There isn’t a one-size fits all answer, but there are some baselines for us to begin as we learn to seek God’s will for our lives.
This is an easy, enjoyable read. In fact, I’ve read it twice now.
Let me share this brief excerpt that I found particularly challenging for where I’m at spiritually:
God wants us, in our life and ministry for Him, to stand on emptiness.
What is emptiness? It is a void, a vacuum, total nothingness. It is like holding onto something you cannot tangibly feel. Your eyes see nothing but still you follow. Your feet step out onto what looks like thin air. Standing on emptiness means we are stripped of not only tangible things but intangible as well. Everything we are, everything we trust—our own know-how, abilities, talents, strength—all are gone. Nothing we do for the Lord can ever come from our own resources.
Many people around the world strip themselves of material goods in order to seek internal peace. In India more than any other country, thousands teach and practice asceticism after the example of Buddha, the wealthy prince who left his wife and child and wandered around the country for the rest of his life meditating.
But this is not what I mean by standing on emptiness. What Buddha did, and what many do today, is only the attempt of the self to gain salvation. In biblical terms, the Lord wants us to come to a place where we are drawing on nothing but Him so that, as the apostle Paul said, “this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). There is no way we can say, “I did that.”
Jesus told the crowds, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
Then there was the rich young ruler who lacked only one thing to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him, “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Like 18:22). The young man went away troubled because he loved his riches more than he did eternal life.
Throughout the Bible we see God drawing His people to a place where they were suspended over empty space, where they were challenged to operate out of faith and total dependence, where there was nothing tangible to cling to but Him.
–K.P. Yohannan, Living in the Light of Eternity
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