Resolved, Never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
This one didn’t come easily to me, but upon much meditation and silence before God I think I understand the benefit of it for us all.
A couple concepts sort of stack on to each other in this, so let’s just jump right in.
The first thing I want to draw attention to is that this resolution calls into question the concept of urgency. We need to be living as if it were “the last hour of [our lives].” This means that there should be a manner of which we live that shows that there’s no room for complacency; that we can’t afford to just drift and allow the time to just trickle away as we go about indulging ourselves in everything that comes our way. This is calling us to focus on the brevity of life, and start thinking in light of eternity.
Now what exactly does that mean, “living in light of eternity”? It’s a phrase we hear every now and then.. but have you ever stopped to really meditate on the implications of that? If you are thinking about eternity, you will realize that the life we’re living right now is but a vapor, a brief and extremely minimal piece of time which, in the time-line of eternity, boils down to next-to-nothing. With this perspective, we should be striving to have as great an impact as possible on the people we encounter, the way we discipling ourselves, the modes of glorifying God, and the motivations of our lifestyles. To meditate on eternity has significant implications on the way we live our lives–and it’s not often easy to wrestle with the things that would come up–but I would argue that it’s extremely necessary for us to remember.
[for more resources on this I recommend listening/watching K.P. Yohannan’s sermon: Christ’s Call to Radical Obedience found here: http://ow.ly/4EPku%5D
The last thing I want to bring up in regards to this statement is when Jonathan Edwards mentions “never [doing] anything which I should be afraid to do.”
Now from my interpretation, being “afraid to do” isn’t so much focusing on the fearsome or hesitance of being ‘afraid’, but I think he’s essentially wanting to examine “should I really be doing this?” or “is this the best use of my time?” In asking these questions, we naturally are forced to think if what we are doing is beneficial, and if there is something else we could (or ought to) be doing. Now I don’t want to get into a legalism debate here, but with the little time we have on this earth to have an eternal impact of lives [even the thought of God transferring a soul from eternal death to eternal life is astounding, but because of us?!] we ought to be living with an awareness and an urgency about everything we do, with minds always sharp and prepared, and always attentive to the need and the opportunities around us.
May we live our lives urgently seeking to advance the Kingdom, aware that this life is but a breath, but opportunities to impact lives eternally are in every minute of it. May we seize these moments and bring glory to God in all that we do.