If I might very hastily divide this glory into its constituent elements, I think I should say it means perfect rest. â€˜There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God;â€™ life in its fullest sense; life with emphasis; eternal life; nearness to God; closeness to the divine heart; a sense of his love shed abroad in all its fulness; likeness to Christ; fulness of communion with him; abundance of the Spirit of God, being filled with all the fulness of God; an excess of joy; a perpetual influx of delight; perfection of holiness; no stain nor thought of sin; perfect submission to the divine will; a delight and acquiescence in, and conformity to that will; absorption as it were into God, the creature still the creature, but filled with the Creator to the brim; serenity caused by a sense of safety; continuance of heavenly service; an intense satisfaction in serving God day and night; bliss in the society of perfect spirits and glorified angels; delight in the retrospect of the past, delight in the enjoyment of the present, and in the prospect of the future; something ever new and evermore the same; a delightful variety of satisfaction, and a heavenly sameness of delight; clear knowledge; absence of all clouds; ripeness of understanding; excellence of judgment; and, above all, an intense vigour of heart, and the whole of the heart set upon him whom our eye shall see to be altogether lovely! I have looked at the crests of a few of the waves as I see them breaking over the sea of immortality. I have tried to give you the names of a few of the peaks of the long alpine range of glory. But where are my words, and where are my thoughts? Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
For meditation: We cannot comprehend the glory of our Christian inheritance (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2), which is the opposite of what we deserve as those who â€˜have sinned, and come short of the glory of Go’ (Romans 3:23). Are you justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and able to rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2)?
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Let us learn to cast our hearts into God. Bernard of Clairvaux
Guard the inside
If you’re typical, you think of guarding your heart in terms of keeping things out. Corruption, false ideas, temptations — all are to be held at arm’s length, never to be allowed in the inner depths of your affections. But there’s another side to this vigilance. We are to keep things in. In fact, if we can master that, the corruptions and temptations will often take care of themselves.
Think about it: The things that can assail a heart from the outside are innumerable, far too overwhelming to manage. But the things we are told to keep within — the spirit of Jesus, the humility and gentleness, the servanthood and sacrifice, the worship and thankfulness — these are one Spirit. Most religions tell us to avoid the bad; God tells us to embrace Him. We are better equipped to focus on His character than on the enemy’s devices. Nowhere are we told to live against the sinful nature and hope that the Spirit will show up. We’re told to live by the Spirit and expect the sinful nature to have no power. We often get confused about that.
Too many Christians guard the way into their hearts to keep things out. That may be appropriate at times, but try a different approach. Guard the way out. Stand at the inside of the gate, and be careful about what may be leaving. Once in a while, we get a life-altering glimpse of true worship. By all means, keep it in! From time to time, we’ll see a picture of true servanthood. Don’t let that picture go! Hold on to these things! Treasuring the wellspring that God has birthed in your heart will leave little room for those corruptions you once obsessed over. And the wellspring is a much more pleasant preoccupation.