I long for heaven.
My heart burns for the day when King Jesus descends from heaven with a loud commotion, the dead in Christ rise, and the living are caught up in the air to be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
In many ways, it seems like our lives will only truly begin on that day. We’ll have new, sinless bodies. We’ll be able to see our God in fullness. We’ll be able to know a perfect existence without tears, without pain and without evil.
The desire in my heart for this kingdom to come is so great, but I wish that desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth was even greater. I find that my passion for spreading the gospel, feeding the hungry, visiting the imprisoned and praying for the sick pales in comparison to the way I pine for the next life.
Wait well for heaven
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to see the importance of not simply waiting, but waiting well.
As I wait for the end of days, is my heartbeat in line with that of Christ? How can I focus more on what God promises to do in the present age than what He will do in the future? How can I be heavenly-minded and yet be a vessel for earthly good?
Cling to the Promise
What we hold to and meditate on in our waiting will affect the state of our souls in the process. Instead of replaying anxieties or fixating on the future, we can stay grounded in the Word of God for us right now.
Hundreds of promises in scripture point us to the character of God, who is not only gracious, compassionate and kind to us at the moment of our conversion and on the day of Christ’s return, but also every second in between. When we grow weary, discouraged and even impatient with this life, simple meditation can soften our hearts and open our minds to receive divine grace for today.
The Lord promises to renew our strength when we wait on Him (Isaiah 40:31); to instruct and counsel us (Psalm 32:6); to fight for us when we are still (Exodus 14:14); to meet all of our needs (Philippians 4:19) and to give us rest and an easy yoke (Matthew 11:28-29).
Let’s repeat God’s precious scriptures day and night, so that they are written on our hearts.
Enter into Rest
Christ desires to give us rest, but it’s not always easy to enter into. As we cling to the promise of rest, there are practical ways to reflect this in our habits.
In The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer highlights four strategies modeled from the lifestyle of Christ as demonstrated in the gospels: stillness and solitude, Sabbath, simplicity and slowing.
Through reading this book and applying it to my life, I realized that my mind was constantly in a state of hurry, even when I didn’t have anything important going on. I felt obligated to say yes to all minor requests, I ignored Sabbath rest, and I denied my soul the opportunity to be still. As a result, I felt drained, disconnected and discouraged.
Now when I find myself returning to that emotional and spiritual space, I have a guide to help me enter into rest. Maybe I need to spend a day of Sabbath enjoying the ocean, which always brings me to see the glory shown in God’s creation. Maybe I need to say no to some requests in order to focus on what really matters. Or perhaps I just need to spend time in silent prayer, resting in Christ’s finished work.
Reap a Harvest
The Christian life doesn’t start with doing; it starts with what Christ has done. After reflecting on these things and being filled with His Spirit, we are then ready to be poured out.
From our position of beloved sons and daughters, we love and serve our neighbors sacrificially, yet cheerfully. There are many in South Florida who don’t yet know the love of Christ, and through us God will plant seeds and reap a harvest if we persevere.
Let us seek the welfare of our earthly city (Jeremiah 29:7) as passionately as we await the coming of the heavenly Kingdom. Indeed, when we do this, we acknowledge that the Kingdom, in a way, is already here.
If you’re a worship leader interested in getting involved with Village Hymns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at villagehymns.com/get-involved. Krislyn Placide is the Worship Directo at New River Fellowship.
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