I have been meditating on the Psalm 16:11 this week, and because of that, the word presence has been on my mind and my heart. I was also reading through 2 Thessalonians and this caught my eye “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
I remember staying home once last year because I was sick. I watched TV all day . . . didn’t read, didn’t pray, and didn’t listen to worship music. I stayed on the couch all day watching TV. I can remember late at night feeling this very lonely, dark feeling. I had filled my day with reruns, nothing of substance, and it felt like I was so distant from God. It was a weird, eerie feeling. It was so empty, so lonely, felt like I had nothing inside. I soon realized that the LORD was showing me what it is like to go through a day without Him, without being in His presence. It was reminder of what it used to feel like before I knew Him, a feeling of distance, of what it’s like to be “away” from God.
This word has just got me thinking . . . if eternal destruction is away from the presence of the LORD, than eternal life is being in His presence! While we think so often of Heaven as things (streets of gold, no more pain, etc.), the real joy of eternal life is to be in His presence. I was so refreshed in the LORD yesterday in my time of prayer, realizing again how true Psalm 16:11 is, in His presence there is fullness of joy. I love what Tim Keller says in "The Reason for God" “We were made to center our lives upon him, to make the purpose and passion of our lives knowing, serving, delighting, and resembling him.” Let’s start our eternal life now by dwelling in His presence.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)