“Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee” (Genesis 13:17).
As Abraham lifted his feet and walked through his land,
As Abraham lifted his eyes and the starry host scanned,
So you too, Christian, walk and now scan all that God plans to give you in Christ, the Seed of Abraham.
So often we think that we are too busy to enjoy life, and to poor to do anything about it. And yet how much would it cost us, as Christians, to walk through the heaven of heavens, and to survey our eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus? How much time would it take for us to count the blessings tied to a promise? For all the time we devote to worrying, surely there must be some time to savor the favor of God! Silly creatures, aren’t we?
Richard Baxter, the Puritan pastor, used to spend one half hour every day thinking on nothing but heaven. Having recovered from a near-death experience, his first book was on heaven, The Saint’s Everlasting Rest. It is the contention of Randy Alcorn, the current-day author of a book on heaven, that Christians do not view heaven as a real enough place, and thus we tend to live earth-centered. In a sense, we need a Copernican revolution around the Son! Could it be that we do not view heaven as real simply because we have not walked around it enough in our minds?
One way to do this is through prayer. Fifteen years ago, I was introduced to real prayer through an older man in the congregation who used to grab the pastor’s hand and my hand with his big hands and then start praying with mention of God as Creator, and as wise and faithful and gracious. It was then that I began to realize how rushed my prayers were, as if I entered the house of God with little more than a nod and rushed right into the kitchen to hound His fridge. Stop! Look God in the face. Examine each attribute that comes to mind and recount it to Him with concrete example. Then look around at each room, at all the promises, before sitting down at His table for a meal. Is this not the way of the Host?
Another way to do this is through a good sermon, or through a good book. Recently, Spurgeon’s All of Grace was feeding my soul with delicious gospel food. For example, did you know, Christian, that your righteousness is more secure than if Adam had never sinned? Having been justified by the blood of Christ, you are now reckoned righteous by imputation, forever. In contrast, if you stood righteous before God through sinless performance, there would always be the chance, ever so hypothetical, that you could fall. Is not the grace of God amazing?
Finally, so much of it comes down to what we choose to look at. We all have downtime in the day, in which we choose to ponder on something. How much sweeter would our lives be, if we purposely used our commute to think through the promises of God! If we walked the length and breadth of the land of God.
Not only the land of God. Someday we will live in the City of God with God. Hear well the exhortation of the psalmist:
“Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death” (Psalm 48:11-14).