The Lord is trying in this life – during our time on Earth – to prepare us for the age to come, to guide our investments for the most heavenly gain, and to secure the greatest opportunity for service in the kingdom of God for all of eternity (Matthew 25:14-30). We have limited time to benefit from God’s good work in us, individually and corporately.

Faith is given in measure (Romans 12:3). God is a generous giver, but I dare say He is not wasteful. Perhaps we receive in proportion to the measure we give back in surrender, submission, sacrifice, obedience, etc. Our participation with Him requires time and attention. We do not understand the opportunity cost of earthly distractions, or we are simply foolish Christians (you can think immature, if you wish).

…we have such a short time to prepare for such a long time. By that I mean we have now to prepare for then. We have an hour to prepare for eternity. To fail to prepare is an act of moral folly. For anyone to have a day given to prepare, it is an act of inexcusable folly to let anything hinder that preparation. A. W. Tozer

For example, why do we labor to make more money than we need on this side of eternity? Not to dismiss the potential value of inheritance, but how much is enough? Only God knows what will benefit or harm those that remain. As with all important decisions, we must leave our vocation and its length in God’s hands. We are in desperate need of spiritual ears that recognize God’s voice.

Personally, I will be 60 years old this year. Jesus has been my savior for almost 50 years, and I have been submitted to the Father’s work for more that 35 of those. That seems like a long time. Still, I have not matured as much as I would like. I have allowed too much distraction and compromise.

I wonder how much I have missed and squandered. Paul encourages us to run the race to win. I feel as though I must pick up the pace if I am to finish anywhere near what winning looks like. Based on the promises and expectations revealed in Scripture (e.g., John 14:12), I am under-achieving by a considerable margin.

By the way, we are not competing against others for the winner’s prize, but with ourselves, with what God has determined is our potential (one, five, or ten talents).

This may be heard as a “do more” injunction. That is a dangerous notion (and I am not exaggerating). The Bible’s encouragement is to know God more and to participate more in what He is doing. There is an “even more” life (Romans 5:8-10). Seeking God with our whole heart requires time and attention, not more doing.

Lest we err in the opposite direction, this is not a call to passivity. The road that leads to eternal life is difficult. We must strive to enter the narrow gate (Luke 13:24). We must be diligent to add to our faith and make our call and election sure (2Peter 1:5-11).

Too many assume that God moves us along regardless of our participation, or that He will graciously overlook our negligence as stewards. I am not in that camp and I fear for those who are (either by personal choice or deception). The advantages we have been given will be to our shame and destruction if we do not repent. The time apportioned to this generation is swiftly running out. Our life is but a vapor.

“How?” is the key. How do we join the Father’s work, the Son’s making, and the Spirit’s efforts toward our transformation? The “how” must be God’s way; it must be in His will.

This is impossible for those who do not recognize His voice, in at least one of the ways He makes His voice known. Faith comes by hearing. Without faith, even the most fantastic work is dead (i.e., of no eternal value; see Matthew 7:21-23). Listening prayer is essential.

We are wasting God’s grace. Exile appears imminent. What more will it take to get our attention? How much and how many will be lost in the meantime?

Please let me know if this has touched you in some way, and I can be of assistance to you. In the meantime, God bless you with conviction and courage for the narrow gate and difficult path.

Humbly yours and forever His,