Why would I ever live my life as a 25 year old thinking about heaven?
Last night, we had the opportunity to continue a study of the book of John with one of our contacts. One of the ways that eternal life is described in the Spanish versions of John 17 is “joy complete.” Of course, this is kind of an abstract concept, and our contacts always have questions on why the Bible puts it that way. My partner Nancy describes it as having a major goal such as a degree or I would say even marriage, and when that goal is accomplished, the joy they have is complete and full. Jesus talks about finally reaching the goal of heaven, and how our joy will be complete and full. What a concept!
Then I began to think, “What is the main goal of my life?” I can say that I want to please God with all my heart, and that I want to serve Him. However, being 25 years old, I can’t say that I think about heaven too much. Selfishly, I want to live for a lot longer. I want to accomplish many things. I want to do many things for God. If I were honest, I would probably say that I am avoiding heaven for as long as possible. I don’t want the story that has been written so far to be all that is written about my life!
God has been showing me how immature that is, because my life should truly be based in how much I desire heaven. It should be a part of my daily life. We pray in the Lord’s prayer that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven, so if we are not thinking about heaven, are we really bringing the whole of God’s will to earth? It should be our life’s goal to make earth look as much like heaven as possible. Therefore, we do not have an earthly mindset, but a heavenly one as we live on the earth. That is why the Bible says that we are strangers in this land, however we are not simply passing through. We are transforming the land in which we live as ambassadors and soldiers for Christ. It is our heavenly mindset that causes us to do everything possible to make sure that no child goes hungry or lives without a family, that no woman lives any longer under the control of a pimp in a brothel, and no man is enslaved in a rice field, working the long hours of his life away in anguish. It is our heavenly mindset that causes us to invade our cities with a heavenly love that expels all domestic abuse, alcoholism, and drug use. It causes us to tell every person that we meet about this transformational grace that we carry in our lives and our testimonies, knowing that this same grace can transform each and every one of their lives too.
Our minds should always be consumed with this picture of heaven. I began to wonder last night what it will be like to live 50 or 60 years (or who really knows?) with this picture in my mind, working with everything I have to bring heaven to earth. If that is my only life’s goal, how incredible will that moment be when I am standing before the throne of God, joy complete? What will it be like to hear those words I have lived for spoken over me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?
I am thinking a lot about Daniel these days, and in Daniel 10:12 it talks about his prayers being heard in heaven and the angels being witnesses to them. Could it be that through the depth of my prayer life, I would already be known in heaven when I arrive? Is it possible to already have experienced heaven so much that arriving would be like finally coming home to stay? In all that I have read of the Scriptures, that is absolutely Biblical. So therefore, I don’t have to avoid heaven like the plague because I want to do more for God here. I can experience heaven through my relationship with God now, bring it here to earth, and someday stand before the throne of God, finally home. Joy complete. What a moment.
So what are you living for?