Internal/External + Temporal/Eternal = Active Faith
When it comes to spirituality, we operate in many realms. We need something going on internally that helps us develop a clearer understanding of God. We also need to see external factors present in our lifestyle and habits that not only point the way to Christ, but also reveal Christ’s presence in us. Church people refer to this phenomenon as fruits of the Spirit or spiritual gifts. I like to say we are always a witness. Good or bad, we are always a witness.
Secondly, we must understand God is not asking us to focus on the temporal issues in life. God promises to take care of us – physically, emotionally, and mentally. He asks us to draw near to Him for spiritual nourishment. God calls us to an eternal focus asking us to spend our time and energy on those things which are lasting. We must be willing to ask the tough questions, “What comes after life?” and “What do I do with that information?”
We forget the formula. Too often we focus on the external meaning “what am I doing for God?” In doing so, we fail to concentrate on our internal needs, “what am I doing with God?” Or we have the opposite problem focusing more on the internal by doing everything we can do to learn more about God, but we forget all about our call to action to share what we learn and teach what we know to be true.
Along the same lines, we might focus so much on the temporary matters of life that we become bogged down and burdened unable to see the more important meaning of life – where we will end up and who will go with us? As with any action, we can also have our temporal/eternal focus out of whack. I heard a pastor once say, “They are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good,” when someone in his church failed to operate in the here and now and basically sat back waiting to die.
Here’s the question for the day: Are you operating on all cylinders? If you are, your car is running. If you’re not, you might just be broke down on the side of the road of life.
Balance is the answer. Balance is the key. Try balance more often.
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