I felt a lump com up in my throat as I reread that. Not because I had written it very well or in a particularly moving way. It was just, wow. That was written at the beginning of the summer: so much was said, so much thought through, so many commitments made.
So many promises broken.
I cannot afford to look back at what I’ve failed to do, since in the long run no Christian will ultimately fail, because Christ didn’t fail. And I realize that most of you are in the same boat. As the new schoolyear starts, with all the excitement (for me at least) of getting back into the swing of learning, there seems to be the nagging question of “What happened to summer anyway? Did I just throw away three entire months of my life?” And then the whole here-we-go-again-feeling, wondering how exactly I can get by and still come out ahead
But we cannot simply be left downcast. We still have a great hope, to which we must cling, which we must pursue.
“Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.” Isaiah 33:17
Ours it is to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. To look past what’s here, looking ahead to Christ, and living in His eternal Kingdom. But what about today? Christianity would, it seems sometimes, be quite enough if we just had to look to what’s ahead; but we’re not allowed to be content there. Our goal, desire, desperate longing, so that we feel we would die except this be granted to us, is to see the King is His beauty while below: to treasure His presence in our everyday lives, and more especially in the quiet places where our souls go to rest, and that nobody else sees. To linger with the Lord, in prolonged and happy fellowship.
But that does come at a cost. Because we told to lay aside our besetting sin. That means everything that we try shove aside as harmless that we no is wrong: that sin we’re willing to risk, thinking there is a line we can tread and still not stray from the path.
That’s relatively easy, it seems, compared to what else it says: every weight. We can guess what that means. To really want to live in the Holy of Holies, making much of Christ’s sacrifice and dwelling ever in the presence of God by faith, we must often lay aside the “non-essentials” as Tozer called them. Not the bad things, but that which is like a heavy pack on our back, often being checked through, and distracting from God. Or rather, the things we “settle for”. The way away from these things, strangely, is to do that for which we seek to lay these things aside. To enter the very presence of God, and to lay before Him everything, and beg Him for Christ’s sake to strip away all that we cling to, or that keeps us from running hard after Christ. Often, its the thing that ones to us, and that we lay aside thinking that “this could not possibly be it”. We are allowed so many privileges and enjoyments, but things become dangerous whenever we look at them through the lens of “can I enter the presence of God daily while retaining this? Because if I can, I’m keeping it.”
Oh, God! we want to live in and enter Thy presence day by day. In light of our worth, the glimpses are quite enough. But since Christ has bought us with a price, we dare not be content with the outer courts: we want to enter the Holy Place, making much of that righteousness which has been imputed to us; to confess sins, and acknowledge their pollution of our souls. But to see the imputed righteousness of Christ of such worth, that we with boldness may enter into the presence of the most high and holy God. Let the vision of the King in His beauty of such worth, and so desirable, that all our thoughts, blogs, relationships with family, peers, co-worker, those of the opposite sex, all our reading, meditating, every action, may be centered around gazing on this Beauty. The Chief among ten thousand has stooped to make us His own; let us not despise this stooping by contenting ourselves with less then all of Him. We are all afraid of our words, our promises, because we are so prone to break them. But we have great confidence in Christ’s grace. We seek day by day to enter Thy gates with thanksgiving, and Thy courts with praise. We know we shall be granted this, because having given us Christ, you will withhold no good thing. We rejoice through Christ. Amen.
I didn’t set out to write that out; but there it is. God help us.