“The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”—1 John 2:17 NASB
Thoughts of the world passing can be somewhat terrifying. In my mind it conjures images of an asteroid hurdling towards earth about to send all of us the way of the dinosaurs. Put yourself in that moment for a second. Suddenly there is a breaking news interruption, all broadcasts are paused to inform the general public that in an hour a chunk of rock the size of Texas will be making a bullseye impact on our sorely divided world. In the blink of an eye, all the stuff that seems so important would no longer matter. The only thing that would matter to me in that moment would be being with the people that I care about and knowing that I’d see them again in just a few.
I used to struggle with the idea of the world passing away. In the last year, that has changed for me, though. Actually, back in the beginning of August, I sent messages to a few folks I hold dear about a conviction I had regarding: ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done…’ It hit me that I was praying for the wrong thing. We are instructed to pray for God’s kingdom…and for it to come. Basically, we are taught to pray, by Jesus, for the passing of this world as we know it. I mean, I think on some level we all want Jesus to come back, we all look forward to eternity with God but in our hearts are we really wanting Him to come back right this second so that all the crap of this fallen world is finished? I can honestly say that until August 8th, 2019, such a thought had not really matured in my mind.
Don’t misunderstand me, though, I am grateful for the next part of the prayer. Thy will be done. Because, while I am good with knowing that He could take me at any second, there is that part of me that prays for as many folks as can be saved coming to know the gift of salvation and the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Because, my mind goes back to what if all we had was an hour before an asteroid hit? How would I spend that last hour with my loved ones? I think that I’d be sharing the Gospel with the people that live around me. Because, I believe that those who do the will of God will live forever and above all else: I want to go out doing the will of God.
We all struggle with some form of lust, desire, craving or longing that is not necessarily right in God’s eyes. I am learning that my biggest area of struggle today is actually anger. I started praying through Psalm 139 because my church is examining it and it has been eye-opening for me. I get angry over people’s pettiness. I get frustrated with people’s unforgiveness. I get livid over people cherry-picking Scripture to make it support whatever they are trying to push. I get mad because people need to be bigger, smarter or the most successful person in the room at the expense of others. But, then, as I usually do, I take a look at myself and I know that I have been guilty of some of the same things and I see just how much I need Jesus. I see just how much I need grace and mercy.
Yet, one day this world and all its lusts, its pride, its egos, all its pettiness, bullies, and nonsense will be gone. It will pass away, be it the Second Coming, World War 3, or our bodies giving out in some manner. It could be today. It could be thirty years from now. The real question is: how are you going to live, until that end? By doing the will of God, accepting Jesus as Lord of your life, and living in His love while loving others? Or by doing what the lusts of this world dictate? Before you answer that for yourself, just keep this in mind one choice lives forever. The other choice passes away.
Until Next Time