Glory Begun Below

“That very year they began to eat the crops that grew in Canaan.”
(Joshua 5:12)

Canaan, the promised land.  Journey’s end which was sought after for so long.  Today, a short distance over
the Connecticut line from the hustle and bustle of New York City, away from the accumulated trash along the
roadsides, lies the town of New Canaan.  Well appointed homes rest in wooded areas where deer roam
through extensive back yards and birds sing from the treetops.  It’s hard to believe that this land of tranquility
can exist so close to the Big Apple but it does.  No wonder it’s called New Canaan, and it’s a modern day
reflection of the hopes and dreams of the Israelites many centuries ago.

We have all heard the expression “forever with the Lord” particularly at funerals, and it probably stems from
Luke 23:43 when Jesus told the thief on the cross that “today you will be with me in paradise.”  But forever
isn’t supposed to start at the point when you pass from life into death, aka the next dimension.  The “forever”
started long ago (or maybe not so long) when you first trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  No only
did He save you, He promised to keep you securely in His fold.   

To guide us into achieving this result we have two important forces which support our very coming and
going.  First, there is a large part of the Heavenly host which has tarried here on Earth to protect and serve
us.  Shamefully most Christians have given their ministering servants (angels) nothing to do, so they’re
standing around with their arms folded waiting to serve and protect us, but they’re never called upon to do
so.  Something like standing at a water fountain but not understanding how to turn it on and dying of thirst
when it’s right in front of you.  The New Testament believers got it, but this truth has gotten lost over time.

Secondly, the Holy Spirit protects out inheritance in the Kingdom and diligently tries to guide and speak to us
in matters spiritual, but again there is little to no awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence.  Our sensitivities to
the Holy Spirit’s connection every moment of every day is all but null and void.  Not at death’s door, but here
and now our “forever with the Lord” has been set in motion, called forth by our almighty Creator from
unconditional and incomprehensible love.  Our glory has begun below, yet we recognize it not.

We cast our jealousies to the celestial beings who abide in unbroken communion with our Creator, who live in
the resplendent glory of God’s very presence, and somehow we have convinced ourselves that none of this
is available to us.  Yet Jesus said that He would bring us perfect peace here and now.  It is our privilege to
sing praises to the eternal Lover of our souls and move into the area of perfect peace if only we will let go
and allow this promise into our lives day by day, moment by moment.  

Earthly ground becomes holy ground under the feet of those who dare stand tall in God’s presence calling
God’s glory into being here below, sensitizing themselves to the Holy Spirit and putting their guardian angels
to work.  Every saint’s desert can bloom; their own land of Canaan, their land of promise fulfilled.