Have you ever wondered, ‘Why does God want Christians in heaven, with him, forever?’
As Christians, we may feel that we ought to withdraw from God because of our imperfections …but God beckons us to him – and to explore him. Why does he want us so close to him? The reason is identified in the Westminster Shorter Catechism which states that the main purpose of life is to glorify God…and to enjoy him forever. This is our eternal privilege; to enjoy admiring, exploring and experiencing the glorious aspects of God.
Throughout the NT, glimpses of the glory of Jesus – his godness – are often provided in terms of bright light, as if to express the intensity of his magnificence. In his birth, a star shines the way to him and God’s bright light surrounds the shepherds. In his transfiguration, a bright light envelopes the disciples. In his current exalted state, Jesus dazzles the inhabitants of heaven (Rev. 21:23) as he did Saul (Acts 22:11).
However, his glory is also seen in his death, because in that event, his love is most clearly expressed. His glory is not only demonstrated in magnificent light but also in the pain of darkness where he took on fragile weakness. That was just as much an expression of his godness as anything else he’s done. Because everything he does manifests his glory.
It belongs to him; it’s what defines him. And our privilege is to be on the watch for manifestations of his glory, his godness. And the more we’re aware of his awesome majesty, the more we’ll slip naturally into worship.
We can learn how to do this from the angels – after all, they live in God’s presence. And their awareness of his character stimulates their worship. Consider what they say in Revelation 7:12 – ‘Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and ever’.
The first word, ‘blessing’, means ‘happiness’ – to bless someone carries with it the idea of making that person happy. The angels are engaged in an activity that is intended to give God pleasure. The way they do this is by thinking about his attributes and his worth – which inevitably leads them to worship him.
You see, worship starts with wonder…wondering about God. And though he’s beyond us, he beckons to us to explore him – and he delights to help us in the process.
Enjoy this anonymous imaginary conversation between God and a Christian to remind you of his willingness to walk with us – so closely…
When I said to the Lord, “I’m so short of where you want me to be”,
He gently answered, “That’s okay. That’s all the farther you and I can walk together”.
When I said to the Lord, “My mind is corrupted”,
He gently answered, “That’s okay. Use mine for a while”.
When I said to the Lord, “I don’t know how to love”,
He gently answered, “That’s okay. I’ll give you free lessons”.
When I said to the Lord, “I’m so tired of fighting”,
He gently answered, “That’s okay. Satan’s down for the count”.
When I said to the Lord, “I don’t know who I am”,
He gently answered, “That’s okay. I know who you are”.