Augustine, one of the Church fathers of old, once rightly said the following regarding God and man: "Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee."
The point is that God made us for Himself. Think on that. God desires to be enjoyed thru fellowship with his creation. The Westminster Catechism asks this question: "What is the chief end of man?" The answer is this: "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
God formed man for His pleasure and to enjoy Him thru fellowship and worship and the like. The problem is that we have revolted, rebelled, and that fellowship has been broken due our sin. And yet the whole work of God thru redemption is the restoration of this relationship, this fellowship, that God's creation can enjoy Him again rightly, can be rightly brought near and into His presence again.
Thru faith in the gospel, we who were far off have been brought near. To enjoy communion with God.
This is beautifully pictured by the tearing of the veil as our Lord Jesus gave up His life as we see in Hebrews 10:19-20. These verses teaches us "therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us thru the veil, that is, His flesh." A way has been opened up for every worshipper to come to God by a new and living sacrifice. Communion can be had again between God and His creation, God can be worshipped and enjoyed again by His creation.
Does this describe your life believer? God wills that we enjoy Him and commune with Him every moment of every day. That we live our whole lives in the beauty of His very near presence. Does this describe your life and experience as an adopted child of God thru faith in the gospel?
My fear is that this privilege of worshipping and enjoying God is there, but not experienced as it can be or should be or was meant to be. And let me illustrate.
Often times we as a family will buy annual passes to Busch Gardens. With these passes we can go as often as we like, park for free, we don't have to stay all day and wear ourselves out in order to get our monies worth, we can come and go as we please. It is a beautiful thing. The privilege and right to enjoy Busch Gardens is there for the taking with these passes.
But here is what happens: sometimes we get busy and at the end of the year wonder if we stewarded these passes well. As such we debate buying them again and purchasing the privilege again because we are not sure if we got our monies worth. Did we take advantage of the privilege as we should have? And we hate living in this place. Having the privilege and not using it well.
Might that come close to describing how we steward the great privilege of enjoying God purchased thru the gospel for believers? The privilege is there, but we busy ourselves with lesser things and don't enjoy God as we could or should have. And nobody wants to get to the end of their life and feel this way. And so I challenge us otherwise today.
Through the gospel and faith therein, the greatest gift is God. Being brought into the very near presence of God. He is the reward and prize. Even in the Old Testament, the beauty of the Tabernacle was that God's presence was there. Above all else, this was what made it special.
God's presence. More than a theory, more than simply a truth or fact, but something to be experienced and lived out. May our Christianity be more than simply owning tickets to some paradise, but rather be the joy of going there and living and experiencing this privilege. Don't stop short of enjoying God and His very near presence every day.
Don't be content or settle for anything less than experiencing God's presence and living beyond the veil. Don't stop with simply the judicial verdict of being declared righteous, but rather press on and live out this privilege as a child of God, experiencing Him as Father and the communion that comes with this privilege.
Know God this way, thru experience. Beyond the veil. Intimate. Daily communion and fellowship, worshipping God and enjoying Him forever. Don't settle for simply being able to talk about what others have experienced in the presence of God, but rather experience this personally for yourself.
The world needs to hear and see from believers who personally live beyond the veil. For that is truly compelling, more than simply having read about something and can communicate facts. Experience this. Gaze into the Person and Presence of God for yourself, let your face be set aglow from His presence, and live here.
For this testimony of personal experience with God and people seeing our faces on fire for Him and having this communion written all over our lives is much more powerful than simply communicating facts. Going to Busch Gardens and giving first hand accounts is much more fun and powerful than simply telling what everybody else can know without experiencing it.
Don't settle believer and live near God in the outer courts. Live beyond the veil and enjoy God forever. Personally.
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