The writer of Ecclesiastes deduced that the entire world was nothing but filled with vanity. Sadly, when we are not in Christ, life is indeed full of vanity. Life is meaningless when we attempt to do it our own, making plans and enjoying the fruit of our labor when our days are numbered. For those who are in Christ, we can rest with remarkable assurance that our lives are not meaningless. We live in the light of God’s beautiful face, and He works through our actions. If there is no transcendent God, then all we do is wander in this land before we are placed in the grave.
Living life with the perspective of Coram Deo (Before the face of God) in mind allows to walk with ease. The transcendent (and immanent!) God provides a context of meaning for each one of us, if we place ourselves within His ongoing story of redemption. A Tabletalk devotional once wrote that “life lived with reference to Him—under heaven—is never an exercise in futility.” Life lived in Christ is a non-negotiable.
Those who are in Christ are called to live in the reality of knowing that they are “under heaven.” This reality ought to stiffen the spine of the Christian, prompting them to become more serious about not only learning the will of the Father but then also performing that will. According to God’s abundant grace, we do not have to grow fearful of missing the mark. We do not have to fear being wrathfully tossed aside when we fail, instead we can rest assured that God embraces us when we fall. His Spirit is there to help us to walk and be conformed into the image of Christ. We must not take this grace for granted, instead we must live our lives in devoted service to our King.