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Our PRESENT Heavenly Resid...

August 12, 2016

I mentioned I wanted to expand a bit on the "key perspectives" I listed on my recent posts. Right now, I'd like to talk about the idea of our PRESENT...

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Not Just a Future Fixation

June 20, 2019

Clearly the Lord does mercifully alter our circumstances to make life easier and more pleasant for us.

Sometimes.

We need to know He loves us SO much, He really would do anything on this earth to accommodate us, if it were truly in our very best interest (Psalm 103:13; Romans 8:32).

More often than not, though, it is us He wants to alter, to adjust our hearts and minds towards the circumstances He quite strategically allows in our path.

But WHY must it be so stinkin’ hard?

WHY does He continually allow the things that break our hearts, if it’s true that "He loves us so?"

We have set forth several reasons in the past:

We know He wants to stretch our faith, increase our dependence, enlarge our capacity for compassion on others through the compassion we experience from Him (II Corinthians 1:3--4).

He wants us to learn to glorify Him in all circumstances, draw nearer to Him and KNOW Christ more intimately through our pain; to be driven to the Word and to prayer, and to be "exercised" by searching questions as He tries our motives and probes the secret places of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12-13).

He wants us to trust His eternal purpose in conforming us to His Son.

But, in addition to all this, I'm convinced He just does not want us to hold on tenaciously to the temporal things of this world, or love our lives here such that we settle in comfortably and consider this our "home" (Micah 2:10; Hebrews 11:13).

In other words, He does not want us too happy in this place!

I've said it before: this life is NOT "the main event" as far as our Heavenly Father is concerned, and it ought not to be the priority focus for us, though the ties that bind our hearts here seem to have such an incredibly unbreakable hold (John 11:33-38).

Eternity is REAL.

We who believe in Christ live in two realities simultaneously (II Corinthians 4:18).

And it's kind of a no-brainer that the Eternal is more important -- in fact, infinitely so.

 

"He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal" (John 12:25).

 

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

 

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:17-18).

 

"For here we have no continuing (enduring) city, but we seek one to come" (Hebrews 13:14).

 

"And they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).

 

Every day, the things we experience work overtime to convince us of the lie; that this temporal earthly life is what matters most.

We are bombarded relentlessly and mercilessly by physical and temporal stimuli; the pleasure and the pain, the elation and the sadness assault our senses SO intensely they demand our complete, undivided attention on the here and now.

We only even make time to contemplate "eternity" when for some reason or other the barrage is suddenly shut off long enough to afford us a few moments of total BOREDOM . . . uh, I mean "peace." 😃

Who has the time or energy to think about eternity?

I think this why God must stop us in our tracks, knock us to the ground and utterly dash our fondest hopes of finding our happiness here in this mortal life on planet earth.

He must persuade us once and for all with extreme prejudice that this is NOT our home, and this temporal life, a "vapor" at best (James 4:14), is not to consume our attention or remain one second longer the object of our heart's devotion.

And a boatload of persuading it normally takes.

For most of us, it means He must break our hearts, not once, twice or even a few times.

He must shatter them in a million pieces until they are hopelessly beyond repair.

Sorry if this sounds terribly dark or cynical.

I believe it is actually very encouraging and hopeful. It is to our greatest benefit to have our gaze fixed steadfastly on Christ, on Heaven and on Eternity.

Our Lord is so very jealous that our hearts be firmly FIXATED on ETERNITY, NOW, for our own sakes!

That we not be of those "who mind earthly things;

For our conversation IS in Heaven" (Philippians 3:19-20).

Meaning the true stuff of our lives ("our conversation") is not in these temporal associations and enterprises on earth.

 

Biblically speaking, Heaven is NOT merely a hope for the distant future, nor even just a "citizenship" that receives the occasional intellectual nod of theological assent.

The same Bible that tells us God created the heavens and the earth assures us it is the present possession of every believer, right here, RIGHT NOW.

Heaven is to be WHERE WE LIVE, by faith, in our hearts, minds and souls.

Far removed from the brutal ravages of this savage, pitiless world, and lifted up into the present company of our dear Lord Jesus.

 

O, how blessed the man or woman for whom this tells the tale:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God;

Set your affection on things above, NOT on things on the earth;

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Colossians 3:1-4)

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