2 Cor. 5:6-11
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
There is a plot line we have seen many times in movies, plays, books and even the scriptures. The king has a trusted official who is at his beck and call, and that official behaves pretty much perfectly in the king’s presence. He is obedient and does his job well, and he is known for courting the king’s favor as a result of his loyalty. However, the official is very different once he is out of the king’s presence. At those times, he shows who he really is. Every time this plot line appears, there is someone who unveils the official for the self-serving charlatan he is, and the king must cut him loose. It is a true cautionary tale for the Christian who desires to serve the King of Kings.
The parallel for us here is not quite exact but still applicable. Yes, we serve a king who desires our loyalty. Yes, there will be some who behave one way when they feel they are in the Lord’s presence and another way when they feel they are not. The difference, however, is that God still sees everything. Although we are not physically with him as we will be then, He still sees and knows all now. The senseless deception is that we ever think that we can keep anything from him. Unlike the authorities we serve on Earth, we cannot choose whether to be transparent with God because we always are. What pleases God is for us to recognize that He is always there and behave faithfully always because of this. The absence of which Paul speaks should not affect how we live for God.
I would say that a great lesson or perspective of this passage is that we always should live as if we are in the real presence of the holy Lord. We should walk and live daily as those who are now in the audience of the king. After all, his Spirit and his kingdom are within us, so He is with us. The fact that we do not see or hear him as we see and hear those who live in this world should be of no consequence. To honor God is to live in a way that honors him because we want to honor his presence within us regardless of what He sees or knows. Father, increase our faithfulness so that we can live daily as those who are always in your presence, focusing on pleasing You.