Question: How do I know if I’ve become too comfortable in this life?
Answer: I don’t think it is any small thing that Scripture repeatedly reminds us that we are “temporary citizens” on this earth. God’s Word constantly urges us to embrace the glorious truth that our real home is in heaven. 1 Peter tells us that ..we are “aliens and strangers”on this earth (1 Pet 2:11, NKJV). The most awesome reality we can ever fathom is this; we are just passing through this fallen, sin-stained place! Because of the finished work of Jesus Christ , we’re headed toward our ultimate home in heaven! (Jn 14:1-3) Time is short, my friends!!
As you read your Bible, it isn’t hard to see what our Lord Jesus’ passion was centered upon! His whole life was passionately directed toward obtaining our ultimate citzenship in heaven! For the endless joy that He (and we) would experience in heaven for all eternity through His perfect, all-sufficient, atoning sacrifice for our sin, He willingly went to the cross:
” for the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb 12:2)
So how can I tell whether my passion is focused more on this world than the next? Well, one way to check is to examine your “thought life.” Are you regularly longing for heaven or somewhere else? Is your mind regularly focused above or below? What are you pouring your life into?
When we “set our mind on things above” (Col 3:2), it transforms the way we view and react to the things of this life. It brings a liberty and release from the burdens, disappointments and cares of this life and frees you to love and serve with passion! It increases your desire to leave this world and be where the Lord Jesus is, seated at the Father’s right hand.
So, in answer to your question, how can I know when I’ve begun to “set my mind on things below“?
Here are a few indicators that perhaps your heart is distracted and ensnared by the things of this world, and not the one to come:
1. Are you storing up treasure on earth or in heaven? (Matt.6:19) Is amassing personal material wealth a priority? I’m not talking about striving to provide for your family as completely as you possibly can. What I’m saying is this, is pursuing financial wealth a singular priority, a consuming passion? Does it constantly drive your thoughts and efforts? Look at your checkbook. Where is your money going? How much is being invested in this world versus the next? (Your heavenly 401k never loses value!!)
2. Where are you investing your time, talents and spiritual gifting? (Matt.5:16) Are you spending most of your “free time” pursuing ‘creature comforts:’ entertainment/recreational pursuits, shopping endlessly to purchase every new style of clothing available, sports, kids’ activities, video games, buying every new electronic device that comes on the market, going to sporting events, movies, television, etc.? Are you using your earthly skills and abilities for the kingdom? Are you excited about serving at FBC? Is it generally a joy-sapping or joy-building experience?
3. What would others say is your “ultimate” passion in life? Your favorite sports team, your job, your wife, kids, car, friends or are you perhaps looking forward to retirement? Or is it the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church?
I would highly recommend a book called, Heaven: God’s Answers for Your Every Need by Randy Alcorn. It is a wonderful little book on what Scripture says about “heaven.” One of its best features is that it attempts to answer, from a biblical perspective, the most common questions that we, as believers, have about our ultimate home!
- What does heaven look like? What will we eat food in heaven?
- Will we remember our earthly life? Will my wife and and I be married in heaven?
- Will we get bored? What will we be doing up there?
- What about our unsaved friends and relatives?
Pick it up! It’s a great read. It will stoke your heart and set your mind, passions and energies on things above !