Today I was reading in the Book of Psalms and I came across the familiar passage that reads: “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). As I was meditating on this Scripture, I began to think of it in a brand new way. One of my favorite worship songs is “Here In Your Presence” [ you can listen to it here ]. Truly, being in the presence of the Lord is the one thing that brings “fullness of joy”. When I’m lost in worship, lose track of time in a morning devotion, or simply spending time walking and praying, these are the times I’m most at peace and happy. But as I read this verse today, and looked at the second part of the verse “At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore“… I couldn’t help but think of what, or Who, exactly is at God’s right hand:
Matthew 26:64 – Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Mark 16:19 – So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Acts 2:32-34 – This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
Acts 7:55-56 – But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
You see, JESUS is at God’s right hand. If that’s true… and it is… then “At Your right hand [where Jesus is] are pleasures forevermore“. Pretty cool.
One of my favorite Scriptures (so much so that I have it tattooed on my right forearm) is John 15:5 – “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Abiding is all about the most important friendship of your life. Abiding doesn’t measure how much you know about your faith or your Bible. In abiding, you seek, long for, thirst for, wait for, see, know, love, hear, and respond to… a Person. More abiding means more of God in your life, more of Him in your activities, thoughts, and desires.
In our culture… and busyness to do and perform for God, we often are lame at the task of simply enjoying His company. Yet we were created to be dissatisfied and incomplete with less. Like the beautiful Psalm (42:1) states: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God“.
Abiding begins with visible spiritual disciplines, such as Bible reading, perhaps some singing, and prayer. However, it may shock you to find out that we can do these things for years without REALLY abiding. Think about it, reading a book about a person isn’t the same thing as knowing the person who wrote the book. The challenge in abiding is always to break through from dutiful activities to a living, flourishing relationship with God.
I’m convinced that “pleasures forevermore” are really only available to those who understand that hanging with Jesus – the One at the right hand of God – is where it’s truly at. Perhaps this is why David wrote: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). It’s sort of funny how the message today is so often, “do this or do that in order to find happiness“… even in the Church many times we boil happiness down to performing some ritual or formula.
What if it’s not that difficult? What if it’s as simple as understanding what “ABIDING” is… and then doing it? What if it’s hanging out with the Lover of our soul, Jesus Christ?