In 1985, I graduated from high school, packed my bags, and flew the coop.
I’d dreamed of this moment for so long. My heart longed for freedom.
Yet, just a few short weeks later, I suddenly felt restless. I longed for home.
This dissatisfaction with my circumstances was the beginning of a new understanding for me.
Yes, this world promised fulfillment and fun, but somehow it was never quite enough.
…I longed for more.
I finished college, got a job, and decorated an apartment.
…and I still longed for more.
I spent two decades praying for God to place a husband under my Christmas tree, and then one magical day, I wore a veil and walked down an aisle.
…and I still longed for more.
I’ve learned that worldly fare always leaves you hungry.
Can you relate?
Solomon certainly can. He had it all — an offensively large bank account, the keys to the kingdom, and more women at his disposal than probably Hugh Heffner himself.
He had it all, but it was never enough.
For the last eight weeks, I’ve studied Solomon’s treatise on life. Ecclesiastes is a timeless classic that is relevant to our day. Donald Trump really needs to read it. He is a very Solomon-esque man. Don’t you think?
Honestly, studying Ecclesiastes is not for the faint of heart. The book can be downright depressing at times, but if we listen and learn from Solomon, we might just avoid living a life filled with regret.
So let’s imagine that you and I are meeting Solomon for a cup of joe at Starbucks today. What wisdom would he share?
If you are note taker like me, here are the highlights.
Top 10 Takeaways from Ecclesiastes
- Keep Eternity in View: I need to keep my eyes firmly focused on God and remember that no matter what happens here on earth, God is going to make all things new one day and get rid of sorrow, sin, weeping, and pain. My life doesn’t “end” here on earth on the day I die. In fact, I will one day be absent from my body, but fully alive and present before my Creator. My job is to keep looking forward and to invest in the 2 things that will outlast this life — God’s Word and the souls of men.
- Trust God: I might not fully understand God, but only pursuing Him leads to true satisfaction. Rather than focus on results, I need to focus on relationship. I need to remember that I don’t have a complete understanding of how God is orchestrating things. From my finite viewpoint, I may see events in my life as purpose-less, but one day when I get to heaven, I will have the complete picture of how God was working in ways that I did not see with my human eyes. In the meantime, my job is to stay faithful and to not lose heart. The wise choices that I make today, may help to point another person to Christ and save them from an eternity apart from God. As Galatians 6:9 encourages, I should not grow weary in well doing.
- Work Hard: There are no shortcuts in life. When I “cut corners” in any area of my life, I end up either on a dead-end street or going around in circles and just wasting valuable time and energy. As I yield my life to God and surrender all that I do to Him, I find purpose and meaning in my work and in my play. I cannot forget that I am here to know God and to make Him known. Placing God at the center of all that I do is how I find true pleasure and joy.
- Learn to “Roll with It”: I waste a lot of precious time wondering “why” and asking God “what if,” when I should be making every moment count by asking God “what do you want me to do now in this situation, Lord?” Rather than trying to change my circumstances, I need to adjust my attitude and focus on how to bring Him glory through my response each moment of my day.
- Be a Giver: This world’s values will drain me of all joy and make life a chore. I need to remember that God is a giver, not a hoarder. To be like Christ, I must serve, not be selfish. When I find myself feeling weary with life, I need to stop and re-examine where I am putting my focus. Am I starting to feel entitled? Am I focused on my flesh, rather than yielding to my spirit? A good heart check every so often is important.
- Cultivate a Thankful Heart: My choices do have consequences, and more importantly, my heart attitude will determine how pleasing I am to God. Am I thankful for the gift of life today? Am I thankful that I get to partner with God in His redemptive purposes today? Am I willing to take up my cross and follow Jesus knowing that the suffering I experience now will be but a shadow when I experience the glory that is to come in heaven when I see Him face to face? If things don’t go my way, will I trust that God has a greater plan?
- Choose Wisely: “Wisdom speaks quietly” but changes the atmosphere. When we live wisely, our heart is tender to the Lord, and this impacts our countenance so that we radiate God’s Light to those who are hardened by sin. Rather than fear man, I need to fear God. Man has no power to defeat God’s purposes in my life.
- Stay in the Word: In Proverbs 2, Solomon encourages us to be wise daughters who “receive” God’s Word and “treasure” His precepts. We are called to perk up and pay attention leaning forward with anticipation so that we do not miss a single syllable of what God has to say to us. We are to pray for wisdom and search for it like a pirate who is greedy for treasure. As we continue to study God’s Word, seek to know Him more, and grow in our love for what makes His heart happy, He will teach us to tremble for Him above everything else in this world.
- Make Each Day Count: How will my life today reverence my God? How will I choose to say no to this world and yes to God? Consider the brevity of life and “live like you am dying.” Create a legacy with your life. Invest in moments that matter in light of eternity.
- Fear God Above All Else:
- Surrender to His sovereignty
- Respect His holiness
- Honor Him with a humble heart attitude
- Remember He is a Righteous Judge
- Obey His voice
Something to think about…
I’m sharing “Keep Eternity in View” with like-minded friends at Faith-Filled Friday.
Have you written something thought-provoking, challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂
As a courtesy, please link back to 3-D Lessons for Life in your post. Grab and share the Thought-Provoking Thursday button to spread the word. Use #ThoughtProvokingThursday to share your post and connect on Twitter.
Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up! Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.