Life is short. It is like a breath. It is gone in an instant. Eaten up like paper in a rushing river. So YOLO BABY!
Just kidding. Yea, life is short. As James says, life is a vapor, a smoke. It is here and it gone. But that doesn’t mean that we must do things that make us happy. In fact we are told in the Psalms to number our days.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (ESV)
We don’t number our days so that we can learn to enjoy every moment. We number our days to get a heart of wisdom. We reflect upon and count how many days we may end up living so that we may be wise in our use of them. And wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord, seeking to do what pleases Him.
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Ecclesiastes 2:26 (ESV)
Seeking to please the Lord is the task of every human being. This is not just a Christian thing. If you are not seeking to bow and please the God of the universe, who reveals Himself in the Bible, then you will be gathering and collecting for all of that to eventually be given to one who pleases God. Your life will be vain, but God will use even the vain life you live for a purpose, but not one that benefits you.
The fact is that Scripture demonstrates that no human can please God because of our sinful nature, which is why He spoke of our need to be cleansed from sin. Using the sacrifices of the old covenant God demonstrate the ultimate and complete sacrifice that was to be made in the new covenant. This sacrifice was Jesus Christ, who absorbed in Himself the wrath of God. Jesus cleansed His people from sin and He gave His righteousness to his people so that they could be cleansed fully from any judgment that could be used against them. We humans are wretched creatures, who are weak, pitiful, worthless, and a stench in the nostrils of God. There is no human that has gone before God and sought Him on the basis of their own merits, for even as righteous as they may have been, they too were a stench in the nostrils of God.
Apart from Christ, we cannot please God. But in Christ, we rest on His pleasing act, and trust Him to please the Father and to transform us into something that pleases the Father. We truly are a bride who is being washed, cleaned, beautified, and transformed by our groom. We only must trust the groom and submit to Him, seeking to please Him, knowing He has laid His life down for us.
We only live once. Our lives are a smoke, a vapor, a mist. So it’s true, You Only Live Once. And because of that, we ought to count our days to get a heart of wisdom, a heart that seeks the pleasure of God.
The ironic thing about that is as Jesus says, “He who seeks to keep his life will lose it. But he who loses his life, for my sake, will find it.”
When you live your life for Christ, you will find joy. When you live your life for yourself, you will find death.