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The Problem with Heaven – POSTURE Episode 186

Oct 25, 2021

You’re not abandoned, you’re abiding. Your life is not about striving to get to a future destination, it’s about resting in a present relationship with your Father.

Key scriptures in this episode:

  • 📕 John 14
  • 📕 Colossians 2: 10
  • 📕 Romans 8: 1


Today, we are going to take a Posture of peace by being at home in God.

Posture is a short, audible fist bump to remind you God is with you in everything. Together, we’re going to be emboldened to take a daily Posture of perfect peace.

In John 14:1 and 3, Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am, you may also be.” And then in verse five, Thomas questions Jesus, and he says, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” And Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”

Now, often this scripture, when it’s referenced, it’s interpreted as if Jesus is talking about heaven, our eternal home, which is accessed after we leave this world through physical death. But I don’t think Jesus is talking about that heaven here. Okay, stick with me. I believe this place that He’s talking about is being reunited with our Father God. When Jesus says here, “I go to prepare a place,” I don’t think He’s talking about His ascension that happened after His death and resurrection. I believe He’s talking about going into His death and resurrection and He’s talking about the place that’s going to be accessible to us after He’s resurrected. Because, remember, when Jesus died, the veil was torn. The veil, representing the separation with God and man. There is no more separation because of what Jesus did. Heaven is not our ultimate destination, the Father is. Now, let me say this before I say anything else, okay? Stick with me, I believe heaven is a place. I believe hell is a place. I believe when you physically die, you go and live with your Father, whichever father you choose, the Father of lights or the father of lies. You get to choose.

But the problem with heaven, and hell for that matter, is that many of us have made those places the ultimate focus and goal of our lives. And probably not meaning to, we’ve bypassed the relationship with Father God that we have access to right now, today in Jesus Christ. We have made the Christian life all about a future destination instead of a present relationship. So we spend our whole lives striving to get to a destination and avoid another one instead of resting in our relationship with God. And then we wonder, why are we so stressed out? Why are we so afraid? Why do we feel so unsafe all the time? Colossians 2:10 says, “in Christ we have been brought to fullness. Life doesn’t begin when we get to heaven. Life began at Jesus”. His fullness is our starting point, and the Christian life is all about discovering and exploring that fullness in relationship with God. God is not waiting for us at the finish line. He is with us today in the journey. This is such good news.

Now, let’s continue reading John 14, let’s go to verse 18. Jesus says this, He says, “I will not leave you as orphans.” I will not leave you as orphans. “I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day, you will know that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.” He’s talking about oneness here. He’s talking about unity here. “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” He’s talking about making a choice here. Are you gonna chose me? “Now Judas, not Iscariot,” not the one who betrayed Him, said this to Jesus, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not the world?” “And Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words, and the word that you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me. These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and will bring to your remembrance all I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.'”

Jesus starts out chapter 14 by saying, “Let your hearts not be troubled,” and He ends the chapter with saying the same thing. “Do not let your hearts be troubled, not be afraid.” Now, let’s remember what Jesus said in verse three. He says, I’m sorry, in verse two He says, “If it were not so, I would not have told you.” Jesus can’t tell you something that’s untrue. So if He’s telling you to live unafraid, it means it’s possible to live unafraid. So the question is not can we live unafraid, the question is, how can we live unafraid? And Jesus tells us in verse one, He says, “Let your hearts not be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” We live unafraid by believing in Jesus and believing what He said is true. Jesus knows the disciples that He’s talking to here are going to really struggle when Jesus is arrested and killed, because it’s not going to look like the victory Jesus promised. There’s going to be a gap between what Jesus said and what they are seeing.

Now, remember what we talked about in last week’s episode, making the choice to believe what He said, not what we see, making our ultimate focus the Word of God and not so much the facts of our circumstances. Jesus knows that His disciples are going to need to make a choice, they are going to need to choose Him, not their circumstances. And when they make that choice, they are going to live lives directed by His peace and not dictated to by fear. Let me ask you a question. Are you afraid right now? Do you feel unsafe? This has been a huge struggle for me, and part of my testimony in overcoming anxiety. I just always felt unsafe because I used to believe that I was stuck in this world without a place to land. I do not feel at home in this world, so I felt unprotected and I felt vulnerable and I felt like I needed to just hold out and survive until I got to heaven because I thought heaven was my home. Therefore, I believed and lived like home was a long ways off. But heaven is not my home, the Father is my home. Now, we live in a world that has chosen a father that is not our father. And a world filled with people who are fathered by the father of lies is a world that is unsafe and lacking. And to be completely blunt, operating like an abandoned orphan left to defend itself. So the world, under that belief system, within that fatherhood, is convinced that fear is a virtue, because the world is desperately trying to protect itself. And the world wants you to be afraid with it.

The world wants you to believe that fear is wisdom. And they’re wanting you to be afraid because they’re trying to identify with someone. They’re trying to feel safe. They want to feel like, “Hey, we’re all in this together. We’ve all been abandoned, so we might as well just try our hardest to exist in this abandonment the best we can, let’s be afraid together. Let’s defend ourselves.” And if we’re not aware, we will get caught in that swirl of the abandonment campaign and believe that we’re orphans and that we must protect ourselves, we must provide for ourselves, and we must create our own identity. But Jesus said in John 14, you are not an orphan. You’re not an orphan, you have not been abandoned. You have a Father, and He’s a good Father. He is your source, He is your home, He is your safety. You don’t feel at home here in this world because you’re not of this world, but you are at home in God while you live here. So you don’t have to abandon your peace, you don’t have to live afraid, and you don’t have to wait for heaven in order to live in joy and peace and purpose.

You don’t have to wait to reach heaven to breathe in His goodness and live out His peace. You can do that today. There are Christians out there, sadly, who believe that the best they can do here on earth in this world is to survive by defending themselves against the world, the flesh, and the devil. And they just want to survive until they can make it to heaven because they believe Jesus left and He’s waiting for them somewhere in the distant future for us to get to Him. But the children of God are not abandoned. We are abiding, we are one with God. He lives in us and we live in Him. Heaven is not our home, He is. Heaven is a wonderful place, and we will be there someday soon, but we don’t have to wait for heaven to live in its reality today. Jesus brought heaven to earth, and we are living out heaven here on earth, if we choose to.

I have good news for you today. You’re not fatherless and you’re not homeless. You are safe in Him. You don’t have to wait to reach heaven to breathe in His goodness, you can do it today, okay? Because we are at home with God because He is our home. So today I want to encourage you, if you’re living afraid, if you’re feeling unsafe, there’s no condemnation for those who are in Jesus, but there is an invitation to live from a better reality, and that is the reality of His kingdom. So I want to encourage you today, believe, make the choice to believe what He said over what you may be seeing or experiencing in your current circumstances and allow that peace to infiltrate the facts of your circumstances today.