Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Twilight Years of Life (07/02/09)
By Doug Laird
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What most of mankind dreads, the mature believer anticipates with peace and the joy of the Lord.
Until we are ready to die, we are not ready to live.
I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, came face to face with the possibility of dying soon, but as it turned out, it was not my time to depart. The Lord still had more to accomplish through me.
That experience was not the means for me to discover the gospel message, nor was it the means for me to learn the purpose of life. I was already born again decades before and had been advancing in discipleship, when diagnosed with a stage three cancer.
What the valley experience did provide for me was the opportunity to make personal application of many of the doctrines that prior to it had only been an academic understanding.
Twilight suggests that the opportunity to produce divine good is coming to an end, but oneâ€™s twilight years are not necessarily during what we think of as old age. Death can come at any time.
The attitude that we exhibit about death and our earthly departure will speak volumes to those observing our lives in both the human and angelic realm.
Mature believers do not desire to leave this world one second earlier or to remain here one second beyond what the plan of God requires.
This world and the things of this world are ours to enjoy while we are here, but they are not what the mature believer lives for. Our separation from fellow believers is only temporary.
Heaven should not be the time believers meet their Maker, but rather a continuation of the walk with God that began the day they were born again.
Ecclesiastes 12, 1-6, warns youth of the wisdom of meeting oneâ€™s Maker while one is young, before the days of evil come, should it be Godâ€™s will for any one of us to experience the twilight years of life!
The passage speaks of failing health, decreased physical ability, and the loss of interest and ability in many of the activities of life.
It is a time that many discover their collection, futility, and betrayal of the idols they have made for themselves all their lives.
Idols are anything or anyone who took our focus away from God or the things of God in the course of our post salvation spiritual life. They can consist of unfulfilled desires as well as the things we actually did accumulate.
The older we get, the less we are interested in change, making the demands of life during the twilight years all that more difficult to make the necessary adjustments.
Such realities of old age are very discouraging and depressing for many who encounter them. But, this does not need to be oneâ€™s end of the road experience.
Life without God being in the center of it is meaningless at any age and any stage of life, regardless of what â€śsuccessâ€ť is achieved. This is what Solomon discovered who had the time and resources to try to fill Godâ€™s place with everything else.
Mature believers are never alone nor discontent, no matter what life brings or when it brings it. The peace that surpasses all understanding can be ours at any age and under ALL circumstances, including those of the twilight years.
Although only the minority of believers ever finds it, God has a post salvation spiritual life in mind for every one of us. It includes a specific spiritual gift and an accompanying ministry. It began the moment we were saved, and it does NOT end or diminish until the day He calls us home. There are NO days of insignificance.
If we are in the plan of God when we enter into and live with the challenges of older age, we will be where and doing what God planned for us.
Yes, there are going to be issues in every stage of life that will be forced upon us. The devil has been trying to trip us up all the way. But the greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity for us to do what we were created for, which was and is to glorify God until He takes us home.
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