“Seems impossible that I am so near my senior year at this place, and truthfully, it hasn’t the glow about it that I rather expected. There is no such thing as attainment in this life; as soon as one arrives at a long-coveted position he only jacks up his desire another notch or so and looks for higher achievement – a process which is ultimately suspended by the intervention of death. Life is truly likened to a rising vapor, coiling, evanescent, shifting. May the Lord teach us what it means to live in terms of the end.”
“He makes His ministers a flame of fire. Am I ignitable? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’ Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame. But flame is transient, often short-lived. Canst thou bear this, my soul – short life? In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great Short-Lived, whose zeal for God’s house consumed Him. ‘Make me Thy Fuel, Flame of God.’”
“God, I pray thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.”
From an early age, Jim Elliot understood that followers of Christ must view their time on earth with an eternal perspective. Even as a young college student, he realized that life without God was a cycle of meaningless effort – “as soon as one arrives at a long-coveted position he only jacks up his desire another notch or so and looks for higher achievement.” Rather than chase after the world’s fleeting pleasures, Jim Elliot resolved to commit himself to God’s purposes. He followed his convictions into the mission field, and ultimately to his death. In the eyes of the world, Jim Elliot’s life was unremarkable, even tragic – he never achieved any great fame or wealth, he died very young, and he didn’t live to see the fruit of his own missionary work. But from the viewpoint of God’s kingdom, he led a life of extraordinary power and significance. Today, thousands of Christians look to Jim Elliot as a shining example of genuine faith.
Not everyone is called to be a missionary martyr in Ecuador. However, we can all aspire to receive the kind of faith that Jim Elliot had. True faith in Christ is not exclusive to special people at certain times – any person at any age can receive the gift of faith from God. Likewise, a life of faith can take many forms. John 12:26 says: “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” Serving God means following our faith into the places where he calls us to be, including our classrooms and campuses. When we make our relationship with God the first priority, we can receive direction for our lives no matter where we are. God wants us to experience joyful faith in him that is far greater than our old desires for the temporary things of this world.
“We may often spend a large amount of time praying for our immediate wants and needs. There’s nothing wrong with this – after all, God wants to bless us in every way. But today, focus on praying for a greater sense of God’s direction in your life, including your studies and professional endeavors. Ask for increased faith in God that will inspire you to follow him in the long term. As Scripture says, our Father will honor those who serve him, in this life and into eternity.”