Ministry of Pleasing God is one of the top-most priorities that we are to do. In our everyday life, we are to please God in everything that we do. All things is for His glory.
We have done discussing the ministries that every prisoners of Christ is to do. Those ministries are more like personal ministries that each one of us should be doing especially that it involves personal matters like proving oneself of high integrity, not distorting the word of God, not deceiving anybody, etc.
In this chapter, we will be discussing ministries that are much more likely a corporate work.
The tent that Paul has been referring here is the body. As we have discussed previously, Paul used the metaphor body to be the jars of clay. He described it as to be fragile, breakable, passing away. Today, Paul used a different metaphor comparing the body as the “house”, a “tent”. Let us see how Paul described a heavenly body and the physical body.
The Eternal Tent
The building from God is not made by human hands.
As Paul emphasized here, the house coming from God is not made by human hands. Paul is talking about the spiritual body. It is totally different in nature from the body that we have physically. The spiritual body does not come from human’s genetic structure, but was completely spiritual.
Our physical body is made up of dust (Genesis 2). Yes it is God who also made our body. From dust He formed man. And this is why it is fragile; it was formed out of dust and to dust it will go back. But this heavenly body that Paul is talking is totally different and the Bible didn’t mention how it was made and what it is made of. What we only know is that this is a spiritual body, and it does not decay.
The building from God is eternal.
Eternity, this is what the glorified body was made for. It does not decay and it does not wear out through the passage of time.
Just today, I have read over the internet about a certain jellyfish that is said to be the only immortal animal in the face of the planet. The jellyfish turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish is able to go back to what it is from the beginning. It is like a full grown man who is able to become a baby again and then become a full grown man all over again which means that in its life cycle, death is not a part of it except if intentionally killed.
There are times that people are having misconceptions concerning life. Some people refrain from participating in life’s activities because after all we will all die. Life is good, and we should not be wasting it. One said, “Live like Christ is coming today. At the same time, live as if you are still going to live for another 50 years.” This simply means that while living on earth, it is very important that we give our life fully to God but at the same time, we need to be prepared as if we will still be waiting for him for another 50 years. That is why we still have to work for food, shelter and clothing.
But when our time to go back to the Father has come, our life then will become eternal. And such new life and new body will give us the freedom from pain.
Becoming Confident of Pleasing God
Presence in the body is absence with the Lord
Presence in the body is absence with the Lord and absence in the body is presence with the Lord. This is the confidence that we have in Christ. And so therefore, as Paul continuously encourage us to be confident in pleasing God.
Our being present in the body is very temporary. And therefore, whatever hardships that we are experiencing because of Christ should not hinder us in pleasing God.
The passage does not also mean that we are to inflict ourselves with pain in order to please Him. But if such pain is inevitable as inflicted by other people because they hate the truth, then let it not affect our service to God. All these difficulties are temporary and lo when our time has come, we will be with the Lord forever.
One of our dearest professors in seminary just died. Everybody was convinced that he had lived a good life in service to our Master by example and by physical effort. Even in old age and have retired in seminary, he still chose to serve God by pastoring a Church in Baguio. A few years back when his body is rapidly deteriorating due to diseases, he was hospitalized and was rushed in ICU several times. And now, he finally rested in peace.
On the interment, which was yesterday, a tarpaulin was made for him saying: “Congratulations, Dr. Silbor”. He has finally reached the goal. He finally reached where we will all be. And he had lived a life pleasing to God.
Living by faith not sight
Living by faith not by sight, is one of the most important things that every minister should learn especially those who serve God in the ministry. Living by faith means we will continue to serve God whatever happens. There is no such thing as backing out from the ministry. It may only be in different ways, but literally, there is no backing out from serving Him.
Being confident in Him who commissioned us is being dependent on him. Thus, no whatever trials or temptations that will come, we will be able to overcome it. We are therefore to practice our faith and allow it to grow especially in times of trials.
It’s like Peter when our Lord asked Peter to join Him walking in the water. He felt safe and secure because it was Jesus who is saying it. But when he started to see the big waves, he starts to go down. And this is exactly what God wants us to be aware of. We need to focus on him.