There are many stories about people having a “near-death experience,” and although each person tells a slightly different tale about his or her experience, there are some elements that almost all have in common. One is seeing some kind of light that beckons to them and gives them a sense of peace, pleasure, and well-being. Many individuals said they felt torn between moving into the heavenly light and returning to their earthly bodies. At our core then, it would seem that we are souls more than beings, and souls want to be close to God.
Life is meant to be lived on earth and there is a danger in trying to escape the physicality that our earthly life entails. God could have chosen to keep our souls in heaven – in a completely spiritual realm. But He chose to send us to live on earth because it is here that we can fulfill our mission.
Even though God placed us in a physical world, it is our duty to live a life of holiness. We are required to infuse our physical lives with spiritual meaning and dedicate our physical actions to God’s holy purposes. A purely material world is never what God intended. The physical world is meant to be the springboard that propels us toward God.
In the same way, seeking the Lord is not a quick and occasional encounter, but a wholehearted effort to know Him more intimately and follow Him more closely. Those who unreservedly pursue this kind of fellowship with God are determined to spend time with Him; they also want to forsake anything that could hinder growth in their relationship with the Lord. God’s committed followers boldly claim His promises and trust Him to fulfill His Word. Their experiences with the Lord bring amazing satisfaction yet cause them to hunger for more of Him.
The apostle Paul was a very successful man whose work ethic is made clear in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Every customer you serve or every child you hug, every place you clean or every deal you close can be an act of worship when it is done for the glory of God.
Such single-mindedness is what the Lord desires of His children. The Lord loves to see real commitment that changes lives. To live for the Lord means to give oneself to Him, body, mind, and spirit. The Christian life is meant to be a pursuit of God. To walk through the door of salvation and stand still, never drawing any closer to Him, is to miss the treasures that are available in Christ. Those who seek Him soon discover that knowing Him is the greatest reward of all.