Friday night I was blessed and honored to celebrate the marriage of a brother in the Lord. I was blessed because I had been waiting with him for the desire of his heart to be met. Years ago he shared his desire and yet it was several years before the Lord brought forth His promise. So even though we had been out of communication, and he had moved to another country, I watched and took note of what God was doing in His life. I interceded and waited to see God’s promise fulfilled.
At this celebration I was particularly touched by the families in attendance who had adopted children from other races and countries. There were a variety of colors and ethnicities blended into one family. When engaging in conversation with attendees, my desire for international travel resurfaced. I painfully pushed it back down where I kept it carefully hidden in my heart. As the night came to a close I secretly watched the couple being honored and just thanked God for His faithfulness.
On the way home I struggled with my own desires; particularly to marry and travel internationally. And then Holy Spirit reminded me…this world is passing away. I say He reminded me because years ago I had this understanding during another really tough waiting period, but somewhere along the way I forgot and my heart began re-attaching itself to the things of this world.
At surface level it may seem that the things of this world are worldly, meaning sinful and bad. But the truth is the things of this world are anything that we can only experience this side of heaven. Anything that is temporary and perishable is of the world.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
And so marriage and international travel and having kids and getting a promotion, and everything else I’ve desired that pertain to this side of heaven are all temporary. They are all worldly. So I was led to repentance. God is putting things in their proper place in my heart. He is helping me place proper value on experiences, people, and events that happen in this life.
On Saturday I received news that one of the brothers in our fellowship had crossed over. It was sudden. He was young and healthy but those things didn’t matter. He was now with the Lord. This news again confirmed to me that this world is passing away.
If we hold tightly to this world we will pass away right along with it.
If we hold on to anything more than Christ, we will have lived foolish lives rooted in selfishness. Only those who do His will will live forever. Only those who hold tightly to Him, cleave to Him, live their lives unto Him, will have an eternal legacy to leave throughout the generations.
Psalm 145: 16-19
The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
1 Cor 7:32-35
But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me