It is good for me to be near God.
When I am not—when I move away from his presence—my eyes, like the Psalmist, are easily fixed on lesser pursuits. Lesser things. Littered and lower things. Things of the world. Things that will never lead me into the folds of heaven, but rather things that will keep me temporarily tethered to earth. When I go there … look there … live there, my heart and my mouth are prone to fruitless wanderings that often lead me to believe,
“Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure; … ” (Psalm 73:13).
Very loosely translated (and I would encourage you to read Psalm 73 for yourself):
There are those who are seemingly more fruitful than me, richer than me, happier and healthier than me and who, by all outward appearances, don’t seem to possess any tangible relationship with Jesus Christ. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, yet I have little to show for it. How can this be? When does my commitment to my faith start being fair? When will the scales tip in favor of faith? Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure.
Indeed, when I go there, my heart is prone to fruitless wanderings. But, when I go to God, when I enter into holy truth, I gain a higher perspective.
“When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (Psalm 73:16-17)
Final destinies. This is when the scales begin to tip in favor of faith. When I begin to measure my earthly commitment to God in terms of the eternal gains that will come to me because of that commitment, then I, like the Psalmist, re-establish my faith’s foothold. The backdrop of an eternity spent in God’s presence is the best benchmark for measuring daily gains, because at the end of the day … at the end of my life … what I have with Jesus will always be more than what they have without him. No amount of health, wealth, pleasure, and prosperity will be enough to surpass the inescapable, certain reality of God in my forever.
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” (Psalm 73:23-24).
I have the steady hand of God in mine. He holds me; guides me; strengthens me; hides me. To have the hand of God—to hold the Holy and to be held as holy—is to live a kingdom inheritance on this side of eternity. The treasure stored beneath the visible is the treasure that will lead me into the folds of heaven. What glory! What gain!
Surely, in faith and with hope, I have kept myself pure. Surely, it is good for me to be near God this day. Surely, it is good for you to reside there as well.
Hold onto the Holy, ye pilgrims of faith, and give thanks for the hands that hold you in return. As always…
Peace for the journey,