(Originally published 9/16/13)
I have a pretty long to-do list this week. I have projects to get to that I’d really rather not touch and work that at times can seem tedious and pointless. And sometime soon, I really need to go on a prayer walk.
So I’d rather not do ‘Monday.’ That’s the way I feel most Mondays. The weekend’s over, the workweek beckons, and it’s time to conquer the world! Or rather, make my weekly vain attempt to poke it with a stick.
When I look out on weeks like the one I have before me, I start to feel overwhelmed and a little claustrophobic. The walls start to close in on me, if you know what I mean.
Then I remember what 1Cor.15:51-54 says:
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
I so often get distracted by the battlefields of this world. I try to do so much for God, win so many battles for Him. I fight so hard, in my own strength and often on my own initiative. I carry so many unnecessary burdens.
But the truth is, when Jesus returns, it will not be to fight by my side, or to command my platoon, or even to lead all the Christians into one final, glorious battle. God isn’t returning to fight because He has already won.
When Jesus returns, it will be in victory. He will come with a hundred million angels and every knee will bow. The earth will be filled with the glory of God, and all those who love Him and believe in His sacrifice will be caught up with Him.
God’s return is all about Him and His glory, not what I may or may not have accomplished for Him. All my best efforts before Him are as filthy rags. I cannot earn my salvation and on the day of judgment it will be Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s grace that save me, not anything I myself have done.
I’m not saying that this gives me a license to lay around and waste my time on earth. Rather, the assurance that my forever is secure should fill me with such gratitude that I can’t keep from singing God’s praises, telling others of His goodness, and living my life in a way that glorifies Him.
When my desire to ‘do good’ comes from a heart that is stressed out and eager to do things in my own strength, it’s not really about God. It’s about me and what I can accomplish for Him.
But when I’m just so filled with gratitude and love for my Savior and His grace toward me that it overflows into my life, resulting in fruit and good works, then it’s not the fruit itself, but God Who is being glorified.
When I think that any second now, Jesus will return to take me home with Him, even though I am me, it blows my mind.
When I really stop and think about the moment I see my Savior face to face, about the moment He tells me how much He loves me, anything I set out to accomplish with that end in mind is something I do for the joy of loving and being loved by my Jesus. When I’m dwelling on His great love for me, and looking forward to seeing Him any minute now, then there is no such thing as a chore list, and there is no such thing as a stressful Monday.