S20P9 – The obstacles to faith: self-preservation

Luke 9:24
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

It has been the hallmark of humanity’s struggle against itself. If we truly lived a finite existence in a finite world, the idea of self-preservation would make complete sense. If I had only a short time alive with a guaranteed end, then I would want to make that time last as long as possible. For those who have no hope for eternity, holding on to this life with both hands for as long as possible is paramount. No mortal man desires to come face-to-face with his mortality at the toll of the final bell. This, however, should not be our mentality if we have hope in eternity with Jesus Christ.

A core philosophy driving self-preservation is the belief that we are merely finite beings. The bible, however, indicates otherwise. While our physical selves will one day pass away, our spiritual selves will live on beyond that day. Self-preservation focuses on the temporary and makes no room for the eternal. It has as its measuring rod only those things which are temporal. As children of God, we are called to focus on the eternal. Knowing that this life is not all there is, we are able to give it to Jesus Christ for his purposes because a greater future awaits us. If our goal is to preserve this present life, we do that at the expense of the greater life that awaits those who are willing to lose what they presently possess in exchange for God’s future reward.

If I have come to know Jesus Christ as my savior and have committed my life to him, there is nothing for me to preserve. I know that I have a perfect eternity waiting for me no matter what happens in this life. In fact, I await with great anticipation the day when my future existence in glory begins. This is not to say that we should wish away our lives in this world, but it is to say that we do not fear the day that this life ends. We know that we have more awaiting us. Father, help us to focus on the eternal, and to understand that we are fully preserved by You and have no need to try to hold on to that which will fade and pass away.