We dream about heaven. We wonder about heaven. We try to imagine what it will be like.
One thing is for certain, it will be more glorious than any of us can fathom!
Yet sometimes my dreams of heaven leave me feeling more and more disappointed with the reality of today. When life is hard, when I’m facing yet another battle and fear I won’t survive, I simply long to be in my heavenly home.
Yet God promises us heaven here on earth. We read in a letter written by Paul:
But we are a colony of heaven on earth as we cling tightly to our life-giver, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20 (TPT)
But how do we find that heaven here on earth? How can we possibly feel it in the midst of so much uncertainty in our world? If you read Philippians 3 in its entirety, you will get a clear vision of how Paul suggests we do that. I encourage you to read it for yourself. I came up with an acrostic that provides tools I’ve drawn from Paul’s words as well as my own experience that I hope will encourage you. It’s based on the word heaven:
Hide His Word in your heart
Enter into His righteousness
Attack the negativity with positivity
Victory is His
Experience oneness with Jesus
Never forget who you are – a child of the King!
Hide His Word in your heart implies that we, first of all, have to spend time in His Word. His Word tells us:
For our spiritual wealth is in him, like hidden treasure waiting to be discovered—heaven’s wisdom and endless riches of revelation knowledge.
Colossians 2:3 (TPT)
Dive into His Word and find those verses that speak deeply to your heart, those hidden treasures, those words that feel like they were written just for you. Guess what, they were! Memorize them and hide them in your heart. When the enemy comes to call, you’ll be ready! Enter into His righteousness. Like Paul, we can choose to let our passion be to be consumed with Jesus and not cling to our own righteousness. Our righteousness comes from the righteousness of God, not us. And we can claim that righteousness because of the faithfulness of Jesus, not because of our works. Do you realize the freedom in that alone! We don’t have to be perfect and never will be. We are made new by Jesus and Jesus alone. Let the striving cease! Attack the negativity with positivity is a powerful, powerful tool. As you may have heard me say before, Pollyanna had a point! It does our soul good to fight back with positive thoughts when we are feeling blue. “Laughter is the best medicine” is so true. Find something that brings you joy and do it! Victory is His. We need to remember that we are not alone in this battle. God is always with us. We view our situations from our very limited perspective. We can’t help it. It’s what we know. But read the stories in the Bible and remember how things that seemed impossible were transformed into examples of God’s incredible strength and victory. I think about the parting of the Red Sea, the valley of dry bones being brought back to life, and all of the incredible healings we read about in the life of Jesus. It helps me when I stop in the midst of struggles to realize that God is viewing my situation way differently than I am. He sees the end result; He sees the victory waiting on the other side of it, which helps me trust Him in the midst of the mystery. Experience oneness with Jesus. Have you ever sat still and pictured Jesus right beside you? I am a big advocate of solitude and silence, and it has totally changed my spiritual life. One of my favorite places for this is Trinity Heights where I sit literally at the feet of a huge statue of Jesus. I love the visual! I’ve complained about being alone a lot and about my cancelled schedule; but honestly, I need solitude at times. I definitely need silence. We all do because our world is incredibly noisy. When we take the time to enter into His presence, when we experience oneness with Jesus, He provides peace that we can’t find anywhere else. Never forget who you are – a child of the King! You, my friend, are a masterpiece! You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Even when it feels like the world doesn’t see your gifts and talents (and you don't either!) God does. You are exactly who He created you to be. I hope these tools help you experience a little bit of heaven right here on earth. I believe with all of my being that God has hidden heaven right there in your heart and He wants to help you find it! Hugs and love, Jill