Long-View Living in a Short-View World

In January of 2017, I changed the tagline, or brand of my writing and speaking ministry from Disciple’s Walk, established in the 1990s, to Long-View Living in a Short-View World, a phrase that came from my manuscript for The Christ Saturated Life.

Those of us who live life with the long view embrace the idea that we are eternal beings. Yes, we will each die someday, and our physical bodies will decay for a time, but there is a soul within us that is created for eternity. I want the eternity of my soul to be lived with Jesus, rather than apart from him. That’s Long-View Living.

The concept of eternity is ubiquitous in the pages of scripture. I once heard the Bible described as “a book of eternity.” We first see this idea clearly expressed at the close of song of Moses in Exodus 15, immediately after God triumphed over Pharaoh’s army by swallowing it up in the Red Sea.

“The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” – Exodus 15:18, NASB

We are Eternal

The concept of eternity, forever, everlasting, is found in excess of six hundred times in the Bible. To really drive the point home, the concept is amplified forty-nine of those times with a redundancy saying, “forever and ever,” or “from everlasting to everlasting.” The last of these redundancies is seen in the beautiful description of God’s people around the throne of God in the last chapter of the Bible.

“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” – Revelation 22:3-5, NIV

God wants very much for us to understand that he is eternal, that we are eternal, and that it is his desire for us to exist in eternity in his presence.

The Creation is Eternal

Even the creation is forever. It may change form and function over time, but it is established forever and ever. The heavens, the heights, the sun, moon, stars, and waters…

“Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.” – Psalm 148:5-6, NASB

God’s Word is Eternal

Not only are we eternal men and women, and not only is God’s creation eternal … his word is eternal, standing sure and steadfast.

“All His precepts are sure.
They are upheld forever and ever;
 – Psalm 111:7b-8a, NASB

“So I will keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.”
 – Psalm 119:44, NASB

Embrace the Long View

It is easy to fall lazily, or perhaps fearfully to a myopic view of life, one so consumed by the urgencies of today that we cannot even give thought to tomorrow. My challenge to you is to leave both of those behind, to think not only of today, or tomorrow, but rather think well beyond even tomorrow or the day after. Think eternity. Take the Long View.

Even those who refuse God, who deny and reject him and his word, even they will endure their own forever.

“You have destroyed the wicked;
You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins.”
 – Psalm 9:5b-6a, NASB

“And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night.” – Revelation 14:11a, NASB

But not so for us, those who embrace Long-View Living in a Short-View World. We have a glorious future awaiting us, one bathed in love and beauty indescribable.

“But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children.”
 – Psalm 103:17, NASB

I’ll see you there, my friend!

Victoriously in Christ!

– damon

Over to you: Where do you see yourself focusing on the now rather than the forever and ever?

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  1. Peggy Booher on October 25, 2017 at 12:00 AM

    I focus on the now especially at work. For me, it's difficult to keep a long-view in mind there. There is so much happening in a day, and it seems the NOW is what's important, even when I know that's not true. I work in a large store, where there is constant change–from the merchandise displays to who I work with.

    I came to the conclusion that the work will be gone one day, but one thing that will always matter is how I treat people, customers and fellow workers alike. 

    I keep Scriptures in a notebook and refer to them at break time. When alone, I recite Scriptures out loud, to remind myself of the long-view. Even so, it is difficult; the NOW presses in.

    • Damon J. Gray on October 25, 2017 at 12:00 AM

      Peggy, that makes SO much sense.  It is easy to get entangled with the tangible that is right in front of us.  Have you ever read The Tyranny of The Urgent?  I may have a soft copy I could send you.  It's addressing the very thing you are talking about.  That said, it sounds like you have managed to find a way to integrate "Long-View Thinking" into your daily routines.  Yes, you have a flurry of responsibilities at work, but you have a Long View of the way you treat your customers and co-workers as you do so.  You keep the Scriptues close at hand, and in your head and heart. I think you have a pretty clear vision of Long-View Living.  🙂

      • Peggy Booher on October 26, 2017 at 12:00 AM

        Thanks, Damon, for your encouragement. I do have a copy of The Tyranny of the Urgent. Even though it was written awhile back, the message is needed even more now. I should dig it out and reread it on my breaks at work! 🙂

        • Damon J. Gray on October 27, 2017 at 12:00 AM

          Indeed, Peggy! It's a classic.

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