I really struggle with American evangelical conservatism (EC) on so many levels, and lately the topic of living in the hear and now juxtaposition they vacillate between. EC’s are very set on “now is the time for salvation,” sharing the gospel in any way shape or form no matter the platform, “the world is going to burn anyway,” “Jesus is coming back soon so it doesn’t matter” mentality that is in stark contrast to the American Dream of saving and building the best life you have now. It just grates at my nerves every time when I’m around someone who sits in this part of the Christian faith. On one hand, recycling, taking care of the earth, planning for the future here on earth is not even an option, not really honoring that “stewardship” God has granted us on earth (Genesis 1). On the other side of the coin, it’s all about saving up Dave Ramsey style, living in your large home and making the best for your kids by enabling them to want more and more. There’s almost an overdose of Christianese that goes around, fluffy gospel conversation and opportunities that are everything but intentional. I am a by-product of this, stemming out the 90’s American church, and it continues on (at least hear in the southwest). I want to fight this SO hard for my son and the future generation, not just to be radically different from my parents, even though the rebel in me feels that, I also see how my parents are just an extreme swing from their parents, and so on and so forth. I really believe we need to balance this “living in the now” but still being responsible for the generations that will live on before us. I think it’s the lesson I have had to learn growing up.
I use to work at Starbucks. Yes, it was a fun and jolly job, but there were very humbling moments that were good for me. I’m grateful I went through those long and boring days of mopping floors, cleaning toilets, making drinks over and over again, and dealing with lots of customers, friendly and unfriendly. I could of just skated through that job, but I felt the conviction of the holy spirit to give 100% then, yes because God’s standard of integrity, but also because being “faithful in the little things” is a call from Jesus (Luke 16:10). And God USES those little things to teach us so much more than we can learn from an online course, or an e-book, or a tweet. There’s something about getting your nails dirty, experiencing the emotional and physical labor, day in and day out for over 5 years. Yes, that job was a stepping stone. Boy did I know it! But I learned tiny little things that only experience can give you. That was invaluable, and I know it’s how I got other jobs so easily because I could claim that on my resume. That experience did not guarantee me every job I applied for, but it fashioned and formed me to be a better human and possibly employee in the future.
I know our time on earth does that for us. No, being a good Christian doesn’t guarantee our salvation. Only the grace of God through Jesus does that. But it prepares us for heaven. “For this momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 That’s right! The more we worship and remain steadfast here on earth, the we are prepping for an eternal “glory.” The more we are faithful in the little moments, giving grace to others, worship through our lifestyles, and love our neighbors, the more honor and glory goes to God even before we enter into our eternal paradise. Why not enter heaven deeply, madly in love with God? Why not get ourselves on a jump start to His glory and honor? And why not intentionally live our lives here on earth to bless God, those around us, and possibly lead others to Him? Isn’t that the point? Otherwise, what is this Christian life all about?
By taking care of the earth (Where eventually heaven comes down to) and treating all things and people around us with respect, we will give God ultimate pleasure (Matthew 22:34-40), He will find even more favor and respect for us (Is. 66:2), and we will be filled with joy (Prov. 21:15; Neh. 12:43; Psalm 68:3).
Do you find yourself living moment to moment for Christ?