Who is closest to God? The one who meditates concerning Him.
- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)
One thing I have asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in his temple.
- Psalm 27.4
The Apostle Paul was persuaded that the believer's high calling and upward prize were to be achieved in Jesus Christ (Phil. 3.14). For that reason, he explained, "I press on toward the goal..."
Undoubtedly his "pressing on" involved long seasons of meditation on the beauty of the exalted Christ. You can't read very far in most of Paul's epistles to see that he had Jesus on the brain (cf. Eph. 1; Col. 1; Phil. 2; 1 Cor. 15; etc.). Paul saw Jesus enthroned in glory, and seeing Jesus in His beauty, throughout the day, was the primary sustaining and motivating aspect of Paul's life (cf. 2 Cor. 4.6).
How was he able to keep that vision of the exalted Christ before him? By "pressing on" toward that high calling and upward prize through focused meditation. "This one thing I seek" the psalmist declared, fully convinced that there is nothing more important that a person can do in his life than to dwell in the Lord's presence and meditate on His beauty.
So, is this your practice as well? Is your life commanded, organized, sustained, and directed by the beautiful vision of the exalted Christ, reigning in glory at the Father's right hand? Do you see this with increasing clarity each day? Are you conscious, at every moment, of being close to King Jesus - with Him where He is - and therefore determined to represent Him well?
Well, not if you don't spend some time meditating on the Lord. It's that simple. Jesus is exalted. He is reigning in glory. He is beautiful. And Scripture gives us enough of a glimpse of Him to allow us to press on to know Him in His beauty, increasingly, day by day.
But will we? We're going to be press on toward something, my friends. Something is going to strike us as supremely beautiful, supremely worthy of our continuous attention and our clearest thoughts. We will press on toward what we consider to be most worthy and most beautiful.
And if that's not Jesus, exalted at the Father's right hand, then may I simply advise you, you are headed for supreme disappointment.
He alone is beautiful, truly beautiful. Take the time to contemplate Him in His beauty, and you will see what I mean. In fact, if you'll write me, I'll send you a brief study designed to help you begin to flesh out your own portrait of our beautiful Savior, free of charge.
So that you can get on with pressing on toward what really matters.