Eternal Blessings; October 9, 2017

Psalm 21:6 Surely you have granted him eternal blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

This Psalm says it is “Of David,” but the way it is written seems more like it was written about him than by him. However, there are many examples of people writing about themselves in the 3rd person, so this could be one of those. In either case, this statement could be made about any child of God. The devil does all he can to keep us from realizing that God’s blessings are indeed eternal, because the better we grasp that, the less we are tempted by the strictly temporal things of the world. We also have trouble focusing on God enough to grasp and appreciate the joy of simply being in His presence. We see many cartoons of heaven with people running around on the top of clouds with wings and halos, doing things like carrying harps or playing ring toss with their halos, but all of those miss the biggest point of heaven, which is simply the joy of being in God’s presence with absolutely nothing to get in the way. Now that is an eternal blessing! We use the expression, “heaven on earth,” but hardly ever accurately. True heaven on earth is when we are so aware of God that everything else fades to insignificance and we are filled with such joy that it can’t be expressed in words. We aren’t built to experience that continuously here on earth, but even a taste of it makes anyone hungry for heaven!

I have gotten whispers of that joy many times in anointed worship services, and that’s one reason I’m delighted to worship with other believers. However, my most intense experience of it was in a small prayer meeting of four people. (Incidentally, they were an American Catholic priest, a German Catholic priest, a Japanese Pentecostal pastor, and myself.) I think we had been singing a praise/worship song together (in Japanese) but my memory of that is blurred by the intensity of what happened. I felt such joy at the presence of the Lord that I literally told Him that if He wanted to keep using me here He’d better back off, because one more drop and I would be translated out of this plane into heaven, because my physical body couldn’t take it. That was certainly an unforgettable experience, and it has given me a hunger for heaven that makes me almost disappointed that I’ve already outlived my father by five years! That’s not at all to say I’m suicidal; I’ve been there, and this is nothing at all like that. However, the end of my physical life is something I look forward to, rather than dread. I delight in being used by God here and now, and like Paul, I am confident that He will keep me here for a while longer because He has work for me to do. (Philippians 1:21-26) I can’t give anyone such an assurance by my words, but I pray that those to whom I minister would receive it directly from God. I need to seek to make our worship services conducive to God manifesting His presence, and people being open to experience it. When that happens, we won’t be able to keep people away!

Father, thank You for this clear reminder. I pray especially that those with me in church leadership would catch this vision so that our worship would be more and more what You intend it to be, for our eternal blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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