The priorities of the human mind amaze me. The way we embrace delusion for reality, and temporal over eternal many times. Even the most strategic businessmen—who are well acquainted with waiting patiently for a reward—do not necessarily know much about storing up eternal wealth. Also, many people in the faith do not behave as though there is another world coming. One more important than the one in which they find themselves.
The reason a carnal businessman cannot plan for eternity has nothing to do with strategy and discipline. If it would, he would have it handled. And if putting a label of Christianity on your life would automatically give you zeal in this regard, then the church would face no problems.
So where does that leave humanity? We cannot pull ourselves up by our own boot-straps in the eternal economy—if I may call it something so mundane. If we try to do that, we will always be fighting our carnal nature while trying to do things of eternal value. Besides, the Bible says our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment anyway. (See Isaiah 64:6)
We cannot outsmart our nature. In the same way people attempt to alter their gender these days without success—so will our attempt be at acting like a creature with eternal value—if we have not mortified the flesh. But since I have written about that recently I will not rehash it too much.
Dying to ourselves is only the beginning though. Following that, there must be life, given by the power of the resurrection of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit within us who gives us the power to do things of eternal value. He gives us a new nature. He is the representative on earth of a triune God who is eternal.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. –ESV
So the Spirit of God knows the thoughts of God, and provided you have been filled with His presence, by His baptism, you now have God’s thoughts within you. But the Bible makes it clear that when we receive the baptism it is with the Spirit and with fire. Sometimes we forget about the fire part. It is not pleasant while it purifies us, prunes us, and shapes us. But it is necessary in order to bear fruit of eternal value.
And as the old things are burned away with this fire, it makes room for God’s voice. Now this fire is welling up in power within us—giving us burning desires and boldness for the things of God—things of eternal value.