The Day of Reckoning
Revelations 22:14 Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
Shortly before my father-in-law’s death, my brother-in-law asked him if his life seemed to go by quickly. I was not present for the exchange but the answer, repeated by my brother-in-law at the funeral, brought tears to my eyes. He replied simply, I blinked and it was over. Time passes and the end comes for us all. We will all face our own day of reckoning.
Jesus, in this passage, reminds us that just as there was a beginning, there will be an end and that only God holds both in his hands. He is the alpha and omega, and thus, He is the only one worthy of our faith. He is the only one before whom we will stand on that day of reckoning.
In the day of recompense, what will the verdict of my life be? I know that as I have placed my faith in Christ, I am seen as forgiven for all time. I know that I am saved and that my eternal destination is heaven. Still, the question I want to be able to answer without shame, is, What was my life about? Will I look back at a life of addiction, selfishness, lust, pride, anger, resentments, and greed?
A friend and I were recently talking about the nature of addiction and how it is often an ever-repeating cycle of relapse and failure. I have seen this in the lives of others and I have seen it in myself. I have failed and failed again. This is the nature of our flesh. I refuse however to believe that I am destined to live enslaved to this flesh nature for the rest of my life.
I know that I will always feel the gravity of the flesh, but I am not doomed to obey its corrupt desires. Paul insisted upon this when he wrestled with the horror of his own behavior, Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thankfully, he immediately provided the answer, Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:24,25).
It is through Jesus that I have this new spirit life providing me the alternative to living for my self. Daily now, I have this choice, to follow my self into corruption or to follow the spirit into life. As long as I choose to follow him, I am daily delivered from my own tragedy and corruption.
So, daily, I will continue to do whatever it takes to abandon self and follow Christ. This is not always easy. Some defects of self have to be ripped painfully and violently away. Sometimes I have to forcefully turn my gaze to God. It is not always easy, but it is always worth it to choose to do what is right. In daily following God, I know that at the end, I will not look back on my life with regret.