There isn’t any bright, patent-leather world that’s always shining, no matter what you do…you have to make your own world, and your own place in it.”
–Louis L’Amour (Tucker)
“For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
–Romans 8:38-39 (HCSB)
I think we have lost the practice of enjoying the Lord. Instead I believe that we think the Lord enjoys us. Just look at the way to perform on Sunday in church, especially during the time of music. We can hop around, or mourn with great tears that flow. Let the lights go down, the music go up, the performers get their thing on, giving it up to the Lord and we think we’re all right.
Either that, or we think the Lord has us for a few minutes on Sunday. The rest of the week is mine. Sure, sure, in the sweet bye and bye, I’ll have time to be with Him, and enjoy Him there. However, the Lord wants us to enjoy His presence now. Here is the now, and also in the sweet bye and bye. If anybody understood the meaning of worship it was David. Take a look at the second half of Psalm 16 (HCSB). This is a good one to contemplate all week long, hmmm, maybe even into the sweet bye and bye.
7 I will praise the Lord who counsels me—even at night my conscience instructs me.
8 I keep the Lord in mind always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely.
10 For You will not abandon me to Sheol; You will not allow Your Faithful One to see decay.
11 You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.
One time, several years ago, we were talking a midnight stroll with several others during a couples retreat. It was a hot, muggy night in the Piney Woods of East Texas. The paths were well marked and there was some chatter amongst the couples there when out of nowhere came a shout of warning: “Annie! Don’t take another step!” The only light in the crowd was a lantern held by a man who was walking behind us. He was alert and with the light he saw, coiled on the path where Annie was about to place her sandaled foot–a copperhead.
We travel through life the same way. The Lord walks with us and at times He has to holler out our names. Maybe we are having fun, being frivolous, or simply not paying attention, but He is ever alert and with His Light He hollers and we look down–the “serpent”. Even in the darkness of night we are guided by Him. Whew, it was close. With the light, the copperhead slithered off into the grass. Relief, and then nervous laughter. It should be that way with the Lord. Because of His guiding light we should have joy and not be shaken. We can lay down at night safe and secure.
As we travel through life we will have many crossroads in our paths. Junctions where we must make a choice for the road stops. The Lord will reveal the path of life to us. We then rejoice for we know that He is with us on that path to our heavenly abode. Derek Kinder said, “To have Him is to enjoy not only guidance and stability, but resurrection and endless bliss.” Because we know Him we will be able to enjoy Him in the sweet bye and bye.
One other thing to note in this passage of Scripture is a prophetic message about Jesus. Look closely at verse 10. It was a verse that must have been a treasure for Jesus. It would have been one in which He would place His life, His faith, and His death upon. “You will not allow Your Faithful One to see decay.” Jesus could go to His death with confidence, and joy, that death and the grave could not hold Him. He would rise triumphant from Sheol.