I Can Only Imagine ~ blog
While I was in church yesterday during the worship time, I felt the Lord impress upon me to write about Heaven. Later this month I will turn 66 and I must admit I find myself thinking about it more than before.
My focus for the past 13+ years has been to study and learn everything I can about sexual addiction. Much of my writing has been about encouraging you in this struggle and dealing with the issues it has brought into our lives. But for this week I want to focus ahead and think about where we will spend eternity.
Why is this important for us? Because sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the pain and struggle our sexual brokenness has created it is hard to keep working at it. It is a battle and it is a daily battle. There are days of purity and sobriety interrupted by temptations. We feel the pull of sexual lusts. Sometimes we give in by crossing our boundaries and having a fall. Sometimes a fall becomes multiple falls and we are back in the pit of shame, fear, and guilt and life sucks all over again.
However, it is good to remember that this phase of our lives is only temporary. I am talking about the phase of life we are in right now. It began the moment we were born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ. It will end when our bodies die and then our soul and spirit will go to heaven. But what is it going to be like when we get there? What can we look forward to? What can we know for sure about heaven?
Let’s start in John 14:1-3, where Jesus tells His disciples these amazing words after He broke the news that He was leaving them.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
Ok, so let’s forget about this whole mansion’s thing. Jesus is not building a mansion for you in heaven, it simply says a dwelling place. So, apparently, we will have places where we will dwell or live. We are not just sitting in the clouds strumming harps. But that is not the best part of the verse. Notice carefully what Jesus says next.
He says not only is He going to prepare a place for us but that He will come again and receive us to Himself. So, like when does that happen? I believe He is telling us that when our body dies our soul and spirit leave the body and Jesus is right there to meet us and take us to heaven.
I remember one time when I was with a family very soon after the mother had died. She was in her 80’s and died at home in her own bed. Before she died, she suddenly woke up and with a clear mind asked for a piece of pie that was in the refrigerator. He daughter asked her why she wanted a piece of pie and she replied; “Because I am going to meet Jesus and I need some food to give me strength for the trip.”
So, they gave her the pie. She ate it … and as they took away the plate and fork, she simply closed her eyes and died. I believe at that moment Jesus met her and took her to the place that He had prepared for her.
Now we do not know much about these dwelling places that the Lord is preparing for us. Sure, the streets are made of gold and we will get into the physical landscape later. But for now, we can take comfort that when we die, Jesus will meet us and take us to be with Him forever.
However, what I long for is that in heaven I will never ever sin again. My sinful nature will die with my body. I will be in a place with Jesus where there is no presence of evil or sin. I will see myself as God sees me and I will never ever have to battle with lust again.
This battle is temporary. It will be ended and be ended forever. God will perfect us in the end, and we will never ever feel the pain of sexual sin or any other sin for eternity.
I love this chorus of Steve Green’s song – Finally Home.
But just think of stepping on shore – And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand – And finding it God’s!
Of breathing new air – And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory – And finding it home!
Can you find some time today to just sit and think about what heaven will be like for you? We know that the battle will be over, and we know who is going to win. We need to learn from our slips and our falls, set better boundaries with strong consequences so that we are making PROGRESS in our journey. And we need to cling to this promise in Philippians 1:6;
“For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”