We talked about meditation on the Word, because the truths I hope to share are deeper, wonderful, truths that are well worth learning and internalizing to the fullest extent.
I think we can often come to an initial, partial understanding of the basic concept and think we've "got it," when we're really only scratching the surface, or, we come to understand and appreciate to a degree, but don't fully "get" the life-changing significance, and we assign these things a relatively low priority, or strictly abstract and theoretical status, and don't let them become the integral part of our overall mindset and decision-making paradigm God really intends them to be.
I believe God designed meditation on His Word to take up the slack for these reasons. Through the habit of meditation on Scripture, we allow the Spirit of the Lord to expand our spiritual vision; reveal further truth, or deeper layers and additional nuances of these truths, and gently, but firmly drive them deeper into our memory banks, permanently infusing them into our consciousness, so they can make the kind of difference in our day-to-day lives we really need them to make (Psalm 1:2-3; Joshua 1:8; Colossians 1:9-10; 3:16; I Timothy 4:15-16; II Timothy 2:7).
Furthermore, spending time mulling over the Word in communion with the Holy Spirit gives Him the opportunity to deeply persuade our hearts THAT THESE THINGS ARE TRUE. Through chewing on them, thinking them through in fellowship with the Lord, WE BECOME CONVINCED OF THEIR REALITY; God gives them substance in our souls; our Faith is greatly enlarged, supported and strengthened (Romans 10:17; Heb. 11:1).
Perhaps most important of all, when meditation is properly done, you are spending quality time "face to face" in intimate fellowship with our precious Lord in His own element of choice -- the Word of God (Psalm 138:2).
Having said that, I think we're ready now to get back to our main subject, our present residency in Heaven.
To underscore the importance of our heavenly perspective, then, I pass on to you these VERY significant words from the great J. B. Stoney, made all the more impacting by the fact that he wrote them from his deathbed, reflecting back on his entire life and ministry:
"In pondering over my life, I can now see how much happier a time I should have had, and how many sorrows I should have been spared, if Heaven had been more definitely my resting place.
One is apt to look for SOMETHING in this place on earth while passing through it. I feel now that it is marvelous grace that I am as much entitled to be with the Lord Jesus in THE HEAVENLIES, as I am to be saved by His work on the Cross.
If we were more attached in heart to the Lord Jesus, we should long to be with Him WHERE HE IS. We often look for Him to help us IN OUR CIRCUMSTANCES DOWN HERE; but having learned His help down here, we should seek Him IN HIS OWN PLACE -- dwelling in heart and spirit WITH HIM THERE. Do not be too ready to lend yourself to the sorrows around you without first entering into the joys which are yours IN HIS PRESENCE THERE."
Kids here now. More later, Lord willing.