Psalm 49:10-12 “Even wise men die; the stupid and senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses are forever and their dwelling places to all generations. They have called their lands after their own names, but man in his pomp will not endure; he is like the beasts that perish.”

Observation: This passage speaks of the utter foolishness of men trying to make their mark on the world by working on goals or projects or priorities that were not set for them by God. Everything else, no matter how diligently we pursue excellence and success, will be destroyed in the fires of a God who burns up all works of man’s devising. The only lasting mark we can make is when we do His work in His way. Everything else is rubble.

Application: My perspective is profoundly more limited than God’s, so I have little ability to anticipate all the ways in which my labors may be reduced to rubble. I am like the child who, never having experienced the force of the tides, is building a sand castle at seashore. There is an inexorable power heading toward my diligent efforts that will utterly wipe away any trace of my having labored in the sands, but I am oblivious to it.

In the same way, God is saying that all the things I put my hand to are like that childish sand castle.

It is so easy to look back on my life and shamefully realize the many things I have done that God wasn’t in. The more frightening thing is to examine all the things to which I currently give my life, my time, my money. How much of my current efforts are more kingdom-oriented than those of the past?

To make eternal impact requires constant reevaluation, constant pleas for the Lord to make His view known, and unrelenting willingness on my part to agree with God’s view of things.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that You would find me spending my life more wisely today than was the case yesterday, and that tomorrow I’ll be more effective still. Cause me to be clear-eyed and of good hearing as You evaluate the commitments of my life, for I know that my story is only written in this life, moment by moment. When the wrath of Your judgment is released, when Your glance of fiery righteousness falls upon the work of my hands at the end of this life, I pray that You will be pleased. Show me how to walk that narrow road day by day.