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Day Six - Life Is A Temporary Assignment

Day six of The Purpose Driven Life finishes Warren’s thoughts about “how I see my life shapes my life.” You will recall he said yesterday that the Bible offers three metaphors for life: life is a test, a trust and a temporary assignment. Today we cover the last of these metaphors.

The Bible is filled with teachings on the brevity of life. To make the most of life I need to realize that compared with eternity, life is fleeting. I also need to realize that earth is a temporary residence and, as we covered on day four, is only a staging area for eternity. It is important that I live with a view of eternity, realizing that I am an ambassador here on earth. I am only a temporary resident and as a Christian my real homeland is heaven. When I have this view I will understand why sometimes God’s promises seem to go unfulfilled and prayers seem to go unanswered. In the light of eternity no promise goes unanswered and no prayer unheard and in the end it will all make sense. Of course this realization should also help me place much higher value on eternal rather than temporal factors. Warren teaches that as a fish will never be at home outside of water, so I will never really feel at home on earth. Because I have eternity in my heart and heaven is my real home, I will always feel some measure of discontent with life on earth.

The highlight of this chapter is the following paragraph:

“In God’s eyes, the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success, and power in this life, but those who treat this life as a temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity.”

Bible Passages

Warren quoted the Bible 14 times using 7 different translations and paraphrases. Though some of the paraphrases were a bit lax in their interpretation, Warren did not stretch the meaning of the passages he used.

Question To Consider

Today’s question to consider is “How should the fact that life on earth is just a temporary assignment change the way I am living right now?” I think there is great wisdom in the words Warren used to close the chapter. He says, “At death you won’t leave home - you’ll go home.” The way my life should change is to incorporate this view of earth not being my home. I should not spend my life fighting for more and more possessions. A view of eternity will show me that by serving God faithfully I will be in God’s will more than if I am “storing up treasures on earth” (to borrow a bit of a Christian cliche). While on earth I need to keep my affections set on my true homeland, awaiting the day God ends my assignment as ambassador and calls me home!

Up Next

Tomorrow’s topic is The Reason For Everything