Then he gives an example of Kevin, a six-year-old boy whose parents enrolled him in music lessons. His friends are outside playing ball, having a good time. For Kevin the lessons are drudgery.
Suppose an angel appears and transports Kevin to Carnegie Hall where a guitar virtuoso is giving a concert. Kevin is amazed at how the musician plays with such skill. Kevin is excited and enthralled by the concert
The vision vanished and he’s back in his living room. “Kevin,” says the angel, “the wonderful musician you saw is you in a few years.”
“Wow?” Kevin responds.
The angel disappears and Kevin is sitting alone with his guitar. The other boys are still outside playing ball, but something has changed. Kevin now has a goal. Direction. And a vision for his future.
Our Christian lives can be like that. Without a vision for our future, we can lose sight of where we’re going. The temptations to join the crowd and just have a good time are ever-present. Or the problems of the present may discourage us and diminish our view.
How can you never lose sight of your heavenly goal?
The answer is found in Paul’s inspired counsel in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
(1) Accept that the Body is Perishing.
In our health crazed culture with an emphasis on the beauty of the body, we focus on the proper diet. Taking vitamins. Getting enough sleep. And exercising. These are not bad. They will probably allow us to live longer. But we still grow older. Eventually, the body will weaken. And we will die. Don’t allow your focus on the physical cloud your view of the spiritual.
(2) Renew yourself inwardly.
As we grow older we should grow wiser; as the outward man perishes, the inward man should grow stronger. As physical strength decreases, spiritual strength should increase.
Focus daily on activities that will refresh, renew and revive your spirit. Bible study. Prayer. Meditation. Fellowship. Worship. Exercising ourselves daily in these disciplines will keep our vision clear and focused.
(3) Put afflictions in the proper perspective.
Afflictions and hardship are a part of life. Yet, Paul seems to suffer more than his share. Imprisonment. Beating. Stoning. Shipwreck. Physical, mental and emotional weariness. Hurtful accusations by false teachers. And a “thorn in the flesh” that wouldn’t go away.
Yet, Paul called them “light afflictions” that were only “momentary.” What a perspective. Paul’s view ought to be ours. Compared to eternity suffering is short; compared to the reward of Glory the burden is light. That’s 20/20 vision.
(4) Don’t fixate on what you see.
Look around. You see the beauty of the physical world that God has created for our enjoyment. Our earthly home. Material possessions. Temporal treasures. Yet, this ought not to be our main focus. These things will soon fade. If we become obsessed with what we literally see, we will lose our vision of heaven’s glory.
(5) Focus on the unseen.
How do you see what you can’t see? Through the eye of faith. We see God on the throne. Jesus our savior on the cross. The Holy Spirit revealing the Word.
We see a day when the saints will be resurrected. When we will be reunited with our loved ones. We see the beauty of heaven with all is resplendent glory and grandeur.
Life’s too short. Eternity’s too long. Hell’s too horrible. And Heaven’s too wonderful to miss. As my friend Dee Bowman says, “If you miss heaven, you’ve just missed all there is!”
Never lose sight of heaven.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman