KEEPING HIS MISSION BEFORE US BY KEEPING HIM BEFORE US: HEAVENLY REALITY
- Looking Up
- His Kingdom will one day fully be realized on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10). He has a throne room that exists in the heavens right now and is a real reality described in the Word of God for us to tangibly grasp and pray around.
- If we keep Him before us, then His mission will remain before us and our lives will be shaped around it. Why? Because we realize that the things above will become the things of this earth, and they serve as a reminder to what is coming (our hope of glory).
- Thus, we are compelled to live toward that Kingdom, displaying it, and it comes near to us and the reality of it lives in us. (Matt. 3:1,2; Luke 10:8,9; Matt. 4:17)
- It no longer is ethereal (up there somewhere floating and distanced from a real reality) and untouchable. The more we sit in the place of prayer, “seek first His Kingdom,” and meditate on His Word, the more we will come to life in our inner man and do the works of the Kingdom and preach the gospel of His Kingdom!
- It causes trembling, the fear of God, humility, compelling and doing out of a place that is clearly marked by the unseen realm and w/our hearts intact.
1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Col. 3:1-4
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Matt. 6:33
16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (come and go), but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:16-18
- Father In Heaven
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name… Matt. 6:9
- Before we can pray for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we first must shift our eyes to the Father who is in heaven. If we don’t see the Kingdom and His will (which is revealed in just looking at His established government in the heavens), then how can we pray that it would come and then declare it?
- Jesus took his disciples right to the throne of God in teaching them how to pray.
- Throne Room described in Ezekiel 1, Daniel 7, Revelation 4 and elsewhere.
- Perspective is everything. I believe Jesus was telling his disciples that they needed to become familiar with the beauty of God’s throne and with the One who sits on the throne (1 John 2:15-17;25).
3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. John 13:3-4 (lived the practical out of heavenly reality)
When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You…” John 16:1
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Heb. 11:13
They endured because they saw Him who is invisible. Heb. 11:27
1let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus…who FOR the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. Heb. 12:1-2
- I believe one of the biggest obstacles hindering the Church from praying is a lack of true revelation concerning the nature of God.
- There is a lack of the knowledge of God, and not understanding His majesty and holiness. The high and lofty exaltation of God in our hearts and minds needs to be restored.
And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW You (the Father), the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3
- Where we see who He is and fall at His feet. Like Isaiah, where we say “Woe is me! I am lost…” in seeing His true nature. Or like Daniel who grew faint at His sight.
- When Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, His goal wasn’t to give us something to memorize easily as a religious prayer. But He wanted to root our prayer lives in the clear and increasing revelation of the One who sits on the throne and of our relationship to Him.
- Rev. 4 describes the seat of government in heaven, and chapter 5 you see where authority rests…in Jesus. But we must understand Rev. 4 in order to feel the full weight of Rev. 5.
1After these things, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. Rev. 4:1-2
- I believe the cry in this verse of “Come up here…” is, in a sense, a cry that God gives to His Church to get vision of the heavenly realm, so that we might be gripped with eternity’s values and realities in order to prepare for Second Coming.
- The result of being brought into the right understanding of God is faith. Faith is seeing, knowing, and understanding the realities of Heaven. Faith gives us boldness and confidence to live in the unseen, and to call “those things which do not exist as though they did” (Rom. 4:17)
- Jesus wanted to root people in this reality before He told them to ask for anything. Before He said “Let your Kingdom come”, he has a call to heavenly reality. We are called to “ask” (in prayer), but we must be seeking to know Him and His reality, in order to set that asking in it’s proper place. Knowing the One we are asking is more important than the asking itself.
- I am becoming more convinced as I study that the prophetic cry of the hour is for the church to set their lives on heaven. Heaven is the least spoken on reality in the Church and yet I am finding that it was the driving force of the early apostles.
- Pilgrims Passing Through
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. Ps. 84:5
I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. Ps. 119:19
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 1 Pet. 2:11
20Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself. Phil. 3:20-21
- Successful business leaders say that the one of the most powerful ways to become successful is to journey decades into the future to find out where they want to be, and they work their way back from that starting point. It’s when believers understand where they have come from and where they are going, that they are empowered to live life on this earth truly as strangers and pilgrims.
“Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan preacher, often spoke of Heaven. He said, ‘It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven . . . to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?’… In his early twenties, Edwards composed a set of life resolutions. One read, ‘Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can.’”
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
- Four of the most critical chapters in the Bible are the first two and the last two.
- It’s as we are filled with a vision of heaven now, that we begin to long for that city, that Kingdom to come to the earth.