Journal Entry // January 1, 2023
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (ESV)Revelation 21:3
The beauty of heaven is pictured in this statement shouted with a loud voice from the throne of God. The loud voice begins by telling us to behold the scene that is to be set before us. This is a call for us to slow down and take notice of this momentous sight. The call to behold something is a call to stand in awe of something long-expected and glorious. The voice is declaring that what is about to be proclaimed is worthy not only of our intention but our undivided focused attention on the sight. What is this momentous sight that we are to behold? This call to attention is none other than the announcement that God himself has made his dwelling place among men. We are to behold this amazing sight in heaven of the Lord God of all creation among his people. He is in our midst. In heaven, our God will dwell among us and we will have unhindered fellowship together.
Today, I can experience a foretaste of that day to come. I can experience a veiled fellowship with Jesus. What I mean by this is that my experience with Christ at the moment feels a lot like the different phases of the moon. As the moon waxes and wanes in its course through the sky during the month, I experience a different brightness and intensity of light being cast down upon me. During a full moon, I get to experience the fullness of the beauty and the presence of the moon. As it wanes towards the new phase and waxes back to the full phase, I see and experience different levels of brightness. Then when the moon reaches the new phase, it appears as though the moon is now hidden and its radiance is diminished. Yet, the moon doesn’t actually change at all during this time. The moon is exactly the same each and every day. What changes is my perspective and relationship with the moon. So it is with my fellowship and communion with Christ. During my spiritual journey, I will experience moments where I feel the fullness of Christ in my heart. There will also be moments where sin blinds me to the presence of Christ and it seems to wane in my heart that may even lead to a feeling of the absence of Christ being present with me.
What the loud voice tells me to behold is that these feelings of waxing and waning closeness with the Lord will be a thing of the past. In the new heaven and the new earth, there will be only the fullness of the presence of God among us. What I am to behold is the very thing that my heart and soul long for. I long for the day when I can be in the unhindered presence of the Lord. No veil will be necessary because he will cleanse me of all my sin and guilt. He will make all things new. He will give me a purified body and I will be in the presence of God at all times. In that day, God will make his dwelling place among man, and God himself will be with us. He will walk among us as he did in the garden with Adam and Eve. On that day there will be no more barriers and we will all behold the presence of the Lord. And it will be glorious.