A furniture store commercial caught my attention the other day. Not because I need furniture, but because of the push they made at the end to get people to come into the store. It went something like this:
Buy now and pay nothing for 60 months!
Okay. I see at least two things wrong with this. One, if you don’t pay anything for 60 months, you haven’t purchased anything. You’re merely putting someone else’s furniture in your house. Two, Anybody who can’t make a payment on a couch for five years probably shouldn’t be buying it to begin with. (I realize there may be a few odd exceptions and my husband and I have used credit before. But let’s roll with the illustration.)
This commercial is an example of the “live for the moment, instant gratification” attitude our culture fosters. And it’s so easy to conform, because our human nature likes to live for the here and now. To gratify all our desires immediately and to live the easy path of least resistance.
But people of faith are called to swim against that cultural tide. In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, these great heroes of our faith showed us how to live with our eyes on eternity instead of on today. Moses really stands out as an example of living with an eternal attitude.
By the world’s standards, Moses had it all. As the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he had money, power, and status. He could have lived his entire life in lavish luxury and comfort, being waited on hand and foot by countless servants. But he turned away from it all to embrace something with far greater eternal value. Here’s how Hebrews 11:24-27 puts it:
24 It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. 27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
Moses purposefully chose eternal reward and his relationship with God and God’s people over the “pleasures” of the world. Suffering for Christ was of more value to him than all the “treasures of Egypt.” Because Moses kept his eyes on the “One who is invisible,” he was able to keep the lure of the present in perspective. He lived by faith and for eternity.
Moses and the other members of the Hall of faith were not perfect people. For instance, Gideon hesitated to obey and both Samson and David allowed lust to lead them astray. But Hebrews 11:13-16 tells us all of them had a faith stronger than death because they lived this life with eternity in mind. Here are a few characteristics of their “eternally-minded” faith:
- Looked beyond this physical life to the complete fulfillment of God’s promises
- Had a deep trust in God no matter the physical circumstances
- Spent their earthly life investing in their eternal future
- Remembered their true home was with God
God created us for eternity; His purposes are eternal. Living with eternity in mind will greatly impact our here and now. For instance, an eternal perspective will help us keep life’s trials in perspective, welcome God’s refinement, and teach us to depend on Him. Like Moses, we will “live by faith” with our eyes fixed on “Him who is invisible.”
How would embracing this kind of eternal focus impact a situation in your life right now?
“People of faith are called to swim against that cultural tide.” Discussing Moses’s faith at @DoNotDepart: http://wp.me/p1Su7F-313 #ByFaith – Click here to tweet this.
How Moses kept his eyes on the eternal to live #ByFaith: http://wp.me/p1Su7F-313 from @KathyHHoward at @DoNotDepart – Click here to tweet this.