What is it you look forward to, what event in your life, whether a continuing pattern or an upcoming event, makes your heart beat a little faster, your steps a little quicker, the smile to stay on your face a little longer, what are you anticipating?
My thoughts moved into this area as my beautiful wife and I were beginning our preparations to return to our house after a long anticipated vacation began to draw to a close. We treasure the uninterrupted time that we are allowed to take together on what has become a yearly event for us, one that surrounds our anniversary. We leave no forwarding phone number, no cell phones join us on this adventure, not even the veterinarian who is watching over our old furry friend and our other “family” members knows how to contact us, or even where we are. We are alone together for nearly two weeks and our anticipation of this event is nearly overwhelming as the weeks and days draw closer before we depart. Oh, if we could only say the same when it is time to return, for though it is a wonderful place that the Lord has blessed us with, it is also where the daily grind, as it were, must be continued.
I am fairly sure that by now you have considered in your mind an anticipated event in your own life that brings a similar satisfaction, a time and place that was worth the wait, worth the sacrifice it took to obtain it, and possibly you can understand the way home, though blessed it may be, is always longer than the way you have waited in anticipation to arrive for so long is.
For every single born again believer a final event, if you will, called the judgement seat of Christ, (2nd Cor. 5:10) where we all will give an account of why we did what we did, and did not do what we should have done, is coming. You will stand there alone, no excuses will be allowed, no pretenses accepted, “I don’t know” will not be an allowable answer, so the question is for this inevitable event, how would you best describe your anticipation? Will you be ashamed, anxious, nervous, will you be welcomed, but only as if by fire, (1st Cor. 3:15) will you be ashamed to even lift up your head to Him, (Ezra 9:6) do you have treasures in heaven prepared as gifts for Him. Is your anticipation of this incredible event that will most definitely occur one of fear, do you believe it to be so far away that you have given it no real thought, or are you a child of God who just cannot wait for this glorious moment, the moment you stand before Christ to finally be rid of the pressure of all sin from your being, to finally be glorified in Him from whom all things consist.
I look forward to that moment most of all, that wonderful time when my precious Savior removes all doubt, all disbelief, everything in this fleshly temple that has hindered the work that I have desired to do for Him, to expunge the last vestiges of self. Not one Christian should ever desire to be in the presence of the Lamb just so that they can escape this sinful world, so that the pressures would disappear, but it should be just the opposite, we should want to be there because that is where He is.
Unless you can comprehend the prize that is Christ, (Phil. 3:14) that He is the only reason we serve here, unless you can say with all honesty “To live is Christ, to die is gain,” (Phil. 1:21) that this statement is one you truly believe and desire to live, then the anticipation of that first moment when you fix your eyes upon Christ will be one tempered with dread, not praise and honor. There will be no questions of our actions that concerned only the temporal, God is no respecter of persons, (Rom. 2:11) everything that you did for the eternal, for the glory of God and for the Lamb, will be examined, and the actions of the heart will far outweigh the deeds done. A willing heart will show more than required service rendered, the joy for the One who has given the strength to do the deed, will outweigh the deed itself.
As you have heard me say in previous letters to you, there will be many on that day who will hear only “Welcome,” and not “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” After our salvation, I can think of no more of an anticipated moment in my life, the moment I am blessed and honored to stand before our Lord Jesus Christ at my own personal judgement time. I want to tell Him how sorry I am, sorry for not being all He created me to be, sorry for all the numerous times I was not an obedient servant, for not doing what I should have done, and doing what I should not have. I want to beg Him to forgive me for the vast majority of my life that was wasted, and I want to thank Him in person for doing what He did not have to do for me on the cross.
This moment my friends, should be the most anticipated, eagerly awaited event ever for you, one that we should run towards, never away from, one that with great humility we should approach, for it is in this last moment the final vestiges of sin will be removed from us for all of eternity, we will finally and truly be free. How could anyone not look forward to that with every desire of their heart.
Trust in Him, lean on our Lord, ask Him to help you to seek Him for who He truly is, the one who loves you more than anyone ever could or will, and your anticipation will grow daily for the most wonderful event in your life that is to come, to be in His glorious presence forever more.