Samantha Wiraatmaja »

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Things That Last

Hi friends, how’ve you been? Long time no see. I haven’t posted much in the public space (here, instagram, elijah list, etc) over the past year, and I thought some explanation was fitting before I share anything else. Just to lay your minds at ease, Alex and I are doing well! God has been very good.

(I know I still owe you guys the complete story of how we met, I’m working on that!)

Over the past year or so, the Lord has kept me in a place of incubation & hiddenness before Him. I haven’t been allowed to share or post much about my revelation and experiences in the secret place, and I know that the Lord wants these things to be kept sacred… for a time, maybe for all time, I don’t know but I’m just trusting & obeying.

It’s been a season of learning, unlearning, relearning, healing, waiting, waiting… and waiting. And of course, a season of much grace, abundant blessing, and much of HIM. If I had to choose one analogy for this season, it would undoubtedly have to be the process of pregnancy and the nesting period leading up to birth. I feel like God has literally gone into full-blast nesting mode over my life this past year,  clearing out the unnecessary things, removing clutter, realigning priorities, feeding me with the good stuff, preparing me to be His womb on this earth. And that’s the job of true intercessors, isn’t it? To be His womb on this earth, birthing His will and plans.

That’s about all I can share of my past year. I know it’s not much, but I hope it did give some sort of account for my relative silence. Now that that’s been said, there is one thing I’m allowed to share and that’s what I’m going to be writing to you today.

I know we’ve stepped into a shift in God’s calendar, and we’re now called to faith & pressing-in while we’re here between the-now-and-the-not-yet. I believe each one of us is called to a realignment in our lives this season.

One of the key thoughts I’ve had through this is: “What can I invest in that’s eternal?” The words of King Solomon keep coming back to me as I take stock on what we spend our time, money, energy, mind & heart space, on. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. We spend most of our lives on things that only last a lifetime, and once we’re gone it’s gone. Is life really meant to chase after such futility? What’s the point of living, of even trying, then? Is this the eternal life Jesus died for?

Holy discontent is good, for it pushes us out of comfort/complacency and into a journey into the mysteries of God to seek the so-much-more. I’ve prayed, waited on (wrestled with) God, had many conversations with Alex, and read the book of Ecclesiastes. I’ve found much comfort in the book of Ecclesiastes as I’ve wrangled with the questions & thoughts on eternity and how that impacts life on earth… or perhaps how life on earth intersects with the eternal. I don’t think I have it even remotely figured out, but I do feel like I’m starting to find some peace and I wanted to share some simple thoughts here.

Below I have listed the things we chase after, and spend much of ourselves in pursuit of. There are 2 ways we chase after each item on the list: the vanity, and the eternal. Vanity is what is temporal, fleeting, fading. Eternal is what lasts forever.

I am not saying that we should just live in the eternal, self-care be damned. I do believe we need to take care of body, soul, and spirit. But what I am hoping to point us to is the focus, the priority, in our lives. Do we give ourselves more to the temporal? Are we investing in the eternal?

BEAUTY

Vanity:

  • Hair: A color job lasts a few month, tops. Hair treatments, hair cuts, hair styles, don’t last more than a few months, and then they have to be done all over again.
  • Skin: It changes from our teens, 20s, 30s, 50s.. the products, care, and treatments we need are ever changing and, dare I say it, ever growing.
  • Nails: How long does a manicure last before it needs to be done again? We cut our nails every week/every other week, and then we do it all over again. Perfect example of temporality and the futility of one’s actions.
  • Clothes: What impact does dressing well have in heaven? Does it matter, in the grand scheme of things, how many nice clothes & accessories we own? Does that impact earth or heaven in any good, long-term way?

(Note: again, I am not proposing that we all let ourselves go and turn back into cavement. I am simply attempting to highlight how much of our time and money go into things that really don’t last)

Eternal:

  • A gentle & quiet spirit: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3
  • The fear of the Lord: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31
  • Wisdom & good judgment: Story of Abigail & David, 1 Samuel 25

 

POWER

Vanity:

  • Fame & popularity: In this day and age, anyone gets their five-minutes of fame and anything goes viral… and is forgotten tomorrow. Fame is too unstable, temporal, and temperamental a promise to stake much of life upon.
  • Influence: The heart of man is fickle. Jesus would not entrust Himself to man because He knew what was in the heart of man (John 2). Even Julius Caesar noted that whose who cheer for you today can jeer at you tomorrow.
  • Control: Is an illusion. No man is control of anything or anyone, only God is. Those who go to war for power and control will spend the rest of their lives fighting to keep it.

Eternal:

  • Doing good to others, even those who hurt us: “To those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life.” Romans 2
  • Jesus Christ: He is our eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). Invest in your intimate relationship with Him. “Martha, Martha… few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10
  • Being faithful to speak the truth, even when it’s unpopular: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4

 

WEALTH/PLEASURE

Vanity:

  • Money
  • Material posessions
  • Luxury
  • Fun
  • Feeling good
  • Entertainment
  • Adventures & experiences

We all know how fleeting these things are. I don’t think I have to go deeper into how the pursuit of these have absolutely no impact on the eternal.

Eternal:

  • Being faithful to stay righteous, even amongst evil: “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4
  • Love: For love never fails. Love remains. When we love God & others above ourselves, we invest in eternal crowns.

KNOWLEDGE

Vanity:

  • Intelligence
  • Learning
  • Discovery

Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge. Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1

Eternal:

  • The word of God: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21
  • The Kingdom of God: “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12

 

Clearly, the list is non-exhaustive. And each of us will focus on different aspects, according to the journey God has for us.

For me, I want to begin to intentionally invest in the following eternal things: the fear of the Lord, wisdom & good judgment, doing good to others even when it’s hard, righteousness, intimacy with Jesus, and the Kingdom of God.

I challenge you to sit before God over the next few days. Ask Him to reveal to you some of the eternal pursuits He would you have you spend your time, energy, and resources on. It is an important exercise for each child of God to have, especially as we are living in urgent days and we need to be building our lives on what is unshakable!

Praying for each one of you, I really do <3

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