Beyond Words

;Did you ever stop to think what heaven must be like?  I think all of us have at one time or another.  But it’s kind of like Winston’s Churchill’s comment about post World War II, it is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.  None of us know what it really is like.  Nor will we in this life.

 Probably the best Biblical description of heaven comes from John the Revelator.  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.  It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.  It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.  There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.  The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls.  The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long.  The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick.  The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.  The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,  the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass (Revelation 21:10-21).

He describes much more, and in great detail.  But we need to remember one thing.  God and whatever He creates is more than what we can perceive.  The sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and tactile sensations will be perfect.  John was just putting into his inadequate words what God was showing him through his vision.  And who knows, there may be other senses that our perfect bodies may have.  And these are just the type of things that my limited imagination can come up with.  What will God with His infinite power, authority and imagination come up with?  Talk about mind-boggling!

I don’t know about you, but, when I take the time to think about it, I want to be able to go there more than anything.  That means more than having money to spare, more that a specially planned vacation, more than the ideal sports car, more than my favorite team winning a national championship, more that having success at my choses profession, more than having friends,…more than anything!  But I have to take the time to think about it, because all those others things are attractive and, in the moment, compelling.  And it’s not that there is anything wrong with trying to add those things to your life.  It’s just that there is so much more to life–on this earth and the one to come.

So how do I get to the point where my priorities are where they should be?  Paul’s’ letter to the Thessalonians (5:16-18) tells us to always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus .  But, you say, how can I do that with all the things I need to get done and the distractions my mind has to contemplate?  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9).

Oswald Chambers said it best.  We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.  Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.

Work at getting your spiritual priorities in order as if your life depended on it because it does.


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