Reformed Reflections

The Reality of Heaven-Study

Meditating on Heaven.
No Twenty-seven

The story is told about a soldier in the trenches, who didn't obey the order "to lie down" during a hail of bullets. He was afraid that his bottle of brandy in his rucksack would break. He lost his life of course. And so there are multitudes of people who can't distinguish between what is important and not, who would rather keep their bottles intact than their souls. How do we keep our souls in tact? Our rushed, noisy, complicated, information overloaded and entertainment saturated age makes it difficult for us to be silent before God and to find in Him our life's purpose. There is so much to distract us from Him. Consequently, spiritual life lacks depth. We can't seem to connect our minds, our hearts and our souls anymore. Do we still take time to seek God in the hustle and bustle of our hectic lives? The Bible shows us that silence is not a mere absence of noise, but a creative opportunity to meet and worship God. We need to withdraw from the world at times to give ourselves a chance to listen to God. Moses did not meet God in the noisy and busy streets in Egyptian cities. He heard the word of the Lord near Horeb, "the mountain of God," where God called him from within a bush, which, although on fire, didn't burn up. God met and commissioned Moses in the silence of the desert (Ex. 3:1-6). The prophet Elijah met God in the desert. God did not reveal Himself to Elijah in a powerful wind, fire or an earthquake. He spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper. A.W. Pink comments: " Though the wondrous wisdom and potent power of God are displayed in creation, yet it is not through nature that God may be understood and known, but through the Word applied by His Spirit." Elijah heard God's Word of grace and encouragement in the silence of the desert (1Kings 19:10-12). I am not saying that we must withdraw from the world and become hermits or seek God in "holy places" or in dreams and visions. God speaks to us through His Word. But we must be in a place where we are able to hear His Word. In the silence we absorb God's Word. Through active listening we hear God speak through His Word. We hear God speak then about the wondrous offer of salvation so rich and free. And our meditation on God's treasure house of Scripture will encourage us in our walk with our Saviour. The purpose of Scripture meditation is not just to enrich our intellect but also to shape us in the image of Christ. As I meditated on the theme of hope as revealed in Scripture, I could only pass on to you glimpses of heaven. So much more could be said about the glorious destiny awaiting all God's people. We read about Mary, the mother of our Lord, that she treasured and pondered the glorious message the angels proclaimed to the shepherds in her heart. Let us ponder and treasure the glimpses of heaven the Scriptures give us in our hearts.