Living the fullest life imaginable involves a lot of pretty cool things. We can explore every corner of the world. We can touch the lives of others in deep and profound ways. We can reach the pinnacle of academia—using knowledge gained to invest in a deeply satisfying career. We can investigate all five senses to the fullest. We can choose to form deep and lasting bonds through friendships or marriage and family. Where does God fit in?
Anytime we’re less than eagerly looking to and praying for God’s Kingdom to return on this earth, we’re focusing too much on what we see around us in life.
To truly live the fullest life imaginable, He must be our first and highest priority. We must anticipate (and orient our lives toward) Christ’s return on earth when He will usher in the first phase of His Kingdom. No matter how many good things this life has to offer, nothing compares to what God has in store for us in His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
God gives His followers glimpses into what His Kingdom has to offer. Imagine a world where no creatures cause harm (Isaiah 11:8). People can go back-country camping without fear of being mauled by a cougar or bear. Children can run around outside without parents worrying they will be the subject of an Amber Alert (Zechariah 8:5).
We are told by Christ to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Talk to any Christian and he or she will tell you readily that this can be a difficult perspective to sustain at times. We are physical beings. What we see, hear, touch, taste and feel—our experiences—often seem more real to us than anything we cannot see, though we are called to have a deeper focus (Hebrews 11:1).
God wants us to live full lives. He encourages us, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). In other words: Live life to the fullest, work hard and enjoy the results of that hard work! But the ultimate purpose for which He created us can be found at the end of the same book: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Each of us has to trust that by putting God first, by seeking and praying for His Son’s imminent return (Matthew 6:10). By acknowledging our own limited perspectives compared to His, we will then have an opportunity to experience greater things than even the most amazing experience this life has to offer.
To drive this point home, let’s check out an event that happened a long time ago yet still resonates today. Jacob and Esau had a tumultuous brotherly relationship from the beginning (Genesis 25:25-28). I can remember reading about their interactions as a young child. Even from a young age I was absolutely appalled by the account in Genesis 25:29-34 where Esau gives up his birthright (his full inheritance!) for one measly, albeit tasty, pot of stew simply because he was ravenous. As an adult, I can appreciate the nuances of the situation more. Esau was shortsighted. He traded his ultimate reward for something finite and limited.
We can easily do that today with how we live our lives. Anytime we’re less than eagerly looking to and praying for God’s Kingdom to return on this earth, we’re focusing too much on what we see around us in life. We’re essentially saying that we would rather enjoy the things we can experience today than looking to God and obeying Him fully and receiving our inheritance—one that will last for eternity. The things in this life can be our “pot of stew.” It’s a sobering thought.
We all struggle with maintaining proper vision and focus; we are human. But, with God’s help, members of His Church have been successfully doing just that for a long time. Account after account in the Bible proves that. It takes our continuous studying and applying the principles and commandments found within those pages to be able to look beyond this life, to be able to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him” In doing so, “He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6), helping you to look beyond today.
Enjoy life. Make good choices. Embrace the many good things that God has created for us to experience. Just strive to remember that the awesomeness of God’s soon coming Kingdom will surpass all of these things in ways none of us can even yet fully fathom.