I’m currently reading the expository of Psalm 1 by Charles Spurgeon. I quoted here one sentence he used in explaining Psalm 1 as below:
“Well may the saints long for heaven, for no evil men shall dwell there, ‘nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.’”
He said “may the saints long for heaven”, triggered me to do further thinking. Why didn’t he say: the saints belong to heaven? He was actually wished that saints could have the longing feeling for heaven. Shouldn’t a saint already belong to heaven? Why Spurgeon still wished they would long for it?
I had a writing about Heaven I did months ago. I was receiving the Holy Communion in the Church and had this thought when I was praying: If I wanted to, I could live with You o God, now, in this present time. But I guess I was never really willing to…”
I thought about heaven – the place which men eager to find but regrettably not eager to live in. In my prayer I reached the confession “IF I WANTED” – IF only I wanted to – I could surrender all and live with God – live IN God.
And what is heaven other than living with Go? True and upcoming heaven is when you die and God resurrects you and gives you the eternal life – eternally living with God.
The main idea of heaven is to live with God, to be with God, living in His presence and being in Him.
But it seems there are not so many people acknowledge this fact, and eager to reach this ultimate being with God. We too often associate heaven with a place of happiness and freedom of all pain. A place where our beloved persons went when they pass away. A place of all glory and light and joy – and we fail to remember that God is the source of those good things we will receive there.
If God doesn’t dwell in heaven – will we still feel the joy? If God is not the centre of heaven – is still a place worth to long for?
We have lost the main idea of heaven – that is being with God. This failure to remember the essential things about heaven fails us to remember that heaven is not only a future but also a present.
When Jesus gave in His life in the tree of Calvary – the curtains that divided the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place were torn into two – as a symbol of the wall between God and men was destroyed. By that we were enabled to live with God and even live in God. God was not a blur image anymore – He was real, and we are able to know Him through His Son.
But does this fact encourage us to live with God?
Living with God is a promise of deliverance and strength, of hope and joy. Yet we still choose to live without Him and/or outside Him.
The present Heaven is the life we’re living now, when we put God as the centre of our life. When God become the centre of our life, we would pour out all our love, energy, mind, interest, in Him alone.
Spurgeon was wishing: well may the saints long for heaven for no evil men shall dwell there. Who are these saints he talked about?
Aren’t we all supposed to be the saints he mentioned? All of us who have believed with heart and confessed with mouth that Jesus is Lord? When He died, He has washed away all of our sins and turned us into the Saints – He has made us holy.
As saints, do we long for heaven? Is the heaven – the reunion with God – the thing that fills our mind?
Whoa, watch out there, you start to sound so extreme. God as the main thing in my mind? Are you out of your mind?
I’m an IT manager – I can’t have God as the main thing in my mind. I got software to develop, deadlines to catch up.
I’m a mother of two. They’re the precious gift from heaven – I can’t take my eyes away from them, I must make sure they’re OK from time to time. God in mind will be much too much consuming to me.
I have a precious talent. You know that I’m a good pianist – I need to practice at least four hours a day, and the rest of my time I must spend in the office. Are you trying to tell me to leave my talent to think about God?
We’re good Christian. We go to church every Sunday. We pay our tithe, and we do some part at church. You know that we sometimes become ushers in the Sunday service? You know that we join the choir?
Hey, I’m not saying that you should leave all the life your living in now to become in God. David was a king himself – he’s not some mumbo-jumbo theologian who lived only by preaching. I don’t think he even preached. I believed he was busy with wars, politics, royal issues he must settle. Yet the Psalms expressed his greatest hope, his greatest wish to be with God, how he longed for God, how he doubted God and found his confidence again in God.
He’s different from Saul – who in the same length as a king but has separated his task as a ruler and left the whole “speak to God business” to Samuel alone. As a ruler, (I think, ok I admit I haven’t done my homework researching this) the Bible never recorded that he was long to contemplate the words of God as David did. It is clear that Saul and David had very different approaches in doing their ‘earthly job’.
As the beginning of the Psalms Book, David clearly stated how he obtained his life full of blessings in Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Let me close this very long post with more quotes from Spurgeon:
“The law of the Lord” is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, in David’s day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses!
How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures.
How few among us can lay claim to the benediction of the text! Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you—Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand—your best companion and hourly guide? If not, this blessing belongeth not to you.
When you claim Jesus as your savior, and acknowledge that He has turned you into Saints in His holiness, as Spurgeon wished, do you long for heaven? Do you long to live in God in your daily life? Or you’re one of this worldly Christian who weekly go to Church but daily neglect God and says, “Heaven? Worry not, it’s only a Sunday away!”