Preserve me from the intoxication that comes of prosperity; sober me when I am glad with a joy that comes not from thee. Lead me safely on to the eternal kingdom, not asking whether the road be rough or smooth.
I request only to see the face of him I love, to be content with bread to eat, with raiment to put on, if I can be brought to thy house in peace.
I wonder how often my focus has been “whether the road be rough or smooth”? Is my focus on the road or is it on Jesus? I think I’ve been too occupied with the road. Isn’t much of our teaching in the church about the road rather than about the Way?
Rough road = not a good Christian life. Smooth road = God’s pleasure.
Where did we get this nonsense? Isn’t it about knowing Him?
“I request only to see the face of him I love…” Is there any other request to be made on our own behalf? I hear the Psalmist crying, “Whom do I have in heaven but You? And there is none I desire on earth besides You.”
“…to be content with bread to eat, with raiment to put on…” I hear Paul writing, “…if we have food and raiment, let us be content.” But we aren’t, are we? We quote Paul’s words, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” yet we seldom catch the context of abasing and abounding, of being thankful, of setting our minds on the pure and holy, of allowing the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
“…if I can be brought to thy house in peace.” This life is a prelude to eternity, it is the foyer, the threshold for the rest of our lives – of which there is – for those in Christ – no “rest of our lives” in the sense of a remainder, of a diminishing time period, or quality, for it is eternal. The “rest” of our lives is not 20 years, or 10 years, or 60 years, or one week – there is no remainder of life – there is only the ages to come in which God is showing His kindness to those who are in His Son (Eph. 2:7).
Do we see ourselves as on pilgrimage? Do we live as if this life is indeed a prelude to eternity? What do our attitudes, actions, words, time, and checkbooks tell us about whether we view ourselves as citizens of this age or of the age to come in Christ?
Christ taught us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Is that just a quaint esoteric saying?