Monday, May 06, 2013
Today’s Topic: It’s Better Up Ahead
Today’s Text: Proverbs 23:17-18 (ESV) 17 Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day. 18 Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.
I’m not a huge fan of the opening weekend of fishing season. Don’t get me wrong, I really like to fish, but I don’t get really excited about it until spawning is over. This year more than ever I’m glad I don’t have a love for opening day, because I’m even less of a fan of ice fishing.
Fishing trips with my sons, my brother and his son, and my best friend are my favorite. The last two years have been similar, as we fished on two lakes we had never been on before. Actually, I had been on them, but only to scout them out to provide everyone else with the best possible experience.
When we got on the lakes for the first time as a group, and headed out from the campsite, it was fun to watch and listen to the guys in the boat as I drove. “That looks like a great spot.” “Let’s try that spot, it looks perfect.” “Slow down, I want to try over there.” Onward I sped, promising them that up ahead was something even better.
How often in our lives are we distracted from what has been promised by what looks good right now? The answer is obvious: it happens all the time. We are compelled by our need for immediate satisfaction to look around, when the greatest gratification is to be found in the glory that is to come. We settle for less than has been promised even though the Guide has been where we are and promises something better up ahead.
I was convicted of that truth this morning when I read today’s promise from Charles Spurgeon’s devotional called Faith’s Checkbook. Here it is:
When we see the wicked prosper we are apt to envy them. When we hear the noise of their laughter and our own spirit is heavy, we start to think that they have the best of it. This is foolish and sinful. If we knew them better, and specifically if we remembered their future, we should pity them.
The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out envy of men.
The deathblow of envy is a calm consideration of the future. The wealth and glory of the ungodly are a vain show. This pompous appearance flashes out for an hour and then is extinguished. Is the prosperous sinner the better for his prosperity when judgment overtakes him? As for the godly man, his end is peace and blessedness, and none can rob him of his joy; wherefore, let him forgo envy and be filled with sweet content.
This line truly captured my heart – The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. Let that be our perspective today and every day. Let nothing of the present distract us from the promised glory that is ahead.