2. Realize how short and fragile life really is. This is a jagged little pill for invincible evangelicals to swallow. We seem to live and act like we’ll never die and like we can VISA-card our way out of most of our situations. However, death, adversity and vulnerability have a way of bringing us back to reality. Hopefully, this current grating trial will cause us to be living on this earth with leaving this planet ever in mind.
When one lives with one eye on dying and has the realization that after the big dirt nap there will be a face-to-face with a holy God, it has a way of making certain that we live a life worthy of Christ’s death. It doesn’t mean we cease to be full of life, hope, vision and dreams, it just means that should life get cut shorter than what you’d envisioned, you know it is well with your soul.
3. Bank treasure in heaven. I’m all for making and banking as much cash as I can. Why? Well, hunting is expensive, Miami is expensive and I’d like to leave my kids some money that they can misspend. However, at the end of the day, truth be told, most of the things we lust after are about as important as Hillary Duff’s latest album. Therefore, in all of our getting we need to get things that will follow us beyond the grave. I’m talking about being rich in good works and standing for truth in a day of lies, hype and spin.
You know what I mean . . . eternal things, like being compassionate and merciful both to those who share our beliefs and to those who don’t. And making certain that above all things we leave a legacy of justice, mercy and faithfulness and not just of Gucci, Mercedes and ridiculousness. By allowing calamity to realign our priorities we will be better prepared to embrace that which endures versus that which amounts to manure.
When (not if) the trials come, we can be certain that they will reveal our courage, call, commitment and convictions. They will show what we are truly made of instead of how we might appear. The lesson can be brutal for individuals and nations if we’re caught spiritually napping.
Regardless of how disheartening the difficulties can be, they should not send us into a tailspin. Rather, they should bring out the best in the believer. They can, if played correctly, bring us back to the biblical basics of faith, hope and love. If engaged properly they can serve us by shaking us down, shaping us up, softening our hearts and steeling our will in a right direction. And that’s exactly what I am praying for during this historical moment.
* Logon to www.ClashRadio.com and get a copy of Giles’ latest teaching DVD, Ruling in Babylon, filmed before a very live audience in Cape Town, South Africa. Also, check out his interview with Annie Jacobsen, author of the book, Terror in the Skies: Why 911 Could Happen Again.