As believers, we know that when we die, we will stand before our Creator at the judgment seat of Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:10). This is the place where we are evaluated and rewarded by Jesus in the age to come. The greatest appointment of my life is the day I stand before Jesus, the great evaluator of my life. I will stand before one man, and I will have a conversation. My entire life comes down to what He thinks about me. My entire purpose lies in pleasing Him (see 2 Cor. 5:9–10).
Because of this, I am not interested in what men define as the meaning of life. All that matters is how Jesus defines purpose. If the entire world applauded me, thought I was noble, and praised me by saying I was a picture of what a human should be, it would mean nothing, absolutely nothing, if Jesus did not agree. When I stand before Jesus, it will be just Him and me. No one will be there to tell Him how great I am, how many records I sold or the numbers of people I impacted. No one will be there to tell Him how bad I am and the sins I have committed. In that day what is true will be seen.
The most important thing in my life is what Jesus is thinking. Whatever He is thinking, in that moment I stand before Him, is the most important thing about my life, even right now. When I stand before the Lord, He is going to ask me about how big my heart was in responsiveness to Him. That is what matters. My worth is found in Jesus’ eyes and in His evaluation of me. My worth is defined there and there alone.
Paul said it clearly: “We make it our aim ... to be well pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5:9). To “make it his aim” means it is the primary reason for why he had life on earth. He is not saying, “I made this one of my top 10 things on my to-do list.” No, this was His primary ambition.
Nobody can make this your aim. It must be your choice. This is why it is powerful to the heart of God, because it is voluntary, and therefore it is love. You can be saved without setting your heart to live in extravagance before His eyes. There are many people who know Jesus as Savior and will be in heaven, but they lived their lives without giving much further thought to Him. They are saved and please Him in the sense that they have the free gift of righteousness, but there is another element of pleasing Him that comes when we set our hearts to live wholeheartedly before Him. This is what Paul was talking about.
If you are like me, you have to make it your aim and reestablish it, realigning yourself over and over again. I will realign myself to this many more times, because it is the nature of our weakness to get disoriented and distracted from this aim. Over and over I stop and realign my heart to make this the primary ambition of my life.
When you picture your future, don’t just picture yourself in love with a happy family, lots of money, and lots of friends—the typical American dream. These are good things but there is more to life than this. When you think of 20 or 30 years from now, do you have a dream to be walking in a way, in both heart and action that is pleasing in God’s sight? Do you know what it is to please Him, and have you determined in your heart to do it?
The apostle Paul’s dream was unbreakable. He could be in prison, he could be in front of a multitude, or he could be suffering great persecution. Still Paul had a deep desire to be pleasing in Jesus’ sight, and he kept his eyes on this prize. It was his primary goal, and he often spoke of it and wrote about it. This was the dream that kept him steady through persecution and promotion. He counted it all as loss—the good and the bad. This desire to be pleasing in Jesus’ sight creates humility and steadfastness in a man (see Phil. 3:12-14).
A person who lives before Jesus’ eyes, determined to give Him what He is looking for, is able to become eternally great no matter what this life has given him (see Matt. 5:19). This is true liberation. No one can touch a man or a woman who lives like this.
Their money can be taken, they can lose relationships and positions, and they can be thrown into prison, persecuted or even martyred. Still they will attain what they are aiming for. A person can be uneducated and unattractive, sitting on the back row where nobody notices them. This person has the same capacity to be as eternally great in God’s eyes as the person who is the most educated, beautiful, and seemingly successful in the eyes of man today.
God does not measure as men measure us. Paul knew this. Church history is full of men and women who were free because they lived before Jesus’ eyes even when they were thrown into prison for their faith. History proves that living before the eternal eyes is the power and worth of a person, and anyone and everyone can do it. I love Jesus’ ways!
Anybody who wants to be eternally great can be, and we are not at the mercy of the rise and fall of external blessing and favor. Our confidence is in serving in our assignment before the Audience of One. So we realign ourselves again and again to live before His eyes.
Adapted from What is the Point? by Misty Edwards, copyright 2012, published by Passio/Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group. In her quest to find the purpose of life, the author leads us into discovering life’s deeper meaning and purpose found in the very heart and knowledge of God. To order your copy, click here.
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 5/20/2013
This week as you engage in prayer remember that you are living before the eyes of Jesus and all that matters is pleasing Him. Begin prayer with worship and allow yourself to be enthralled by His presence and perspective in every area of your life. Recognize and acknowledge that in Him you live and move and have your being. Ask Him what He would have you do and put action to what He shows you. Continue to pray for revival to explode in our churches and spread throughout our nation and the world. Lift up our leaders and pray that they would seek God’s wisdom for the decisions they need to make. Be faithful in your prayers for Israel, the persecuted church and the spread of God’s kingdom. Acts 17:28; 2 Cor. 5:9-10