When I was a child and teenager, I had a very strong desire to be in heaven as soon as possible. My constant focus and strong desires to be in heaven were developed because of the pain, trials, circumstances and endless battles I had to go through with my chronic illness. It was the only hope that I had and still have, where everything will be perfect, healed, restored, whole and complete!
Around the time when I was 16 years old, my health became much more stable. My body became stronger and healthier and my chronic illness was no longer as much of a burden for me. Now, apart from the Dialysis treatments that I still have three times a week and my hearing loss, my health is very stable. And in some ways it has even improved!
As my health became better so did my life. The better my life got here on earth, the less focused I became on heaven. Don`t get me wrong, I`m still focused on “the best place we can ever be.“ But in return, I learned that Heaven is not just a place for me to get to as quickly as possible, but a place to share about with everyone on this planet!
By lessening my focus on heaven, my focus was directed to other people instead – a huge improvement I think! This is one of the main reasons why I started the ministry “Live Life to the Fullest.” To share the good news that every one of us has the opportunity to enter that perfect place called Heaven, through Jesus` gift of forgiveness. God has given us Jesus as a sacrifice, so we are able to receive forgiveness from God himself and then be in His presence for eternity.
Heaven (or eternity with God) is not just a place where we go) after we die. We can experience Heaven here on earth – how often and how much we experience it mostly depends on how much time we spend with God.
Has there ever been a time in your life where you have had a very strong desire to be in heaven? Maybe you have been sick for a while. Maybe you have been praying for a miracle for years and it feels like nothing ever changes. Maybe you are tired of the endless battles you have in your life. Or maybe you have that desire every now and then when things don’t go the way they should.
God`s desire for us is to be in a relationship and for us to spend time with Him forever. God put this desire in our hearts from the beginning of our lives, even before He created the universe! This desire we have can`t be removed, we can`t walk away from it and we can`t cut it out from our lives – it`s just in us!
I have observed over the last ten to fifteen years that many people have increased their desire to consume media that has an “eternal” content. How do I know this? Because when we look at the media being produced, especially movies, much of it is about “higher spiritualties” (Superheroes) or about spending time in a perfect place or with a perfect person – “eternity”.
The media is not wrong, but I believe that many of us are trying to fulfil our desires for eternity the wrong way.
In this blog I want to encourage you how according to Philippians 3, you can live a life heavenwards:
1. Stay focused
We can`t avoid difficult circumstances in our lives. But we can respond in ways that mean those circumstances don`t control the race we are running towards Heaven.
Often circumstances help us to realise that there is actually more in life than just what`s happening on earth. They shape and correct us in many ways and we regain focus on our goal.
Paul says in Philippians 3:15-16 “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.“ (MSG)
2. Take others on the journey
Once we have the revelation that Heaven is not just for ourselves, we have the responsibility to help others to get on the journey with us. All of us have gifts and talents that we can choose to develop in order to lead and impact people, helping them to understand what the goal of life really is and who God is for them.
In Philippians 3:17 it says: “Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them.“ (MSG)
It`s a privilege to have the responsibility to share as believers in Jesus the journey that we head towards heaven. Taking others (non-believers and believers) on our journey means to invest, influence and impact them with our Bible based lifestyle. Living in a Christ-like-sacrificial way as a role model and leading others in every sphere. This is our goal to take others on the journey to run the same course heavenwards.
3. It`s worth the sacrifice
I love the second part of Philippians 3:20-21: “But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.“ (MSG) (Emphasis added)
Being focused heavenwards in a world which is broken, hurt and where many things are not as they should be can be very challenging! But making this “sacrifice“ to keep being focused will be very worth the price!
Personally, I`m very excited to one day have that glorious body like Jesus has. There is nothing better than a place like Heaven!
I hope I have inspired you to live a life that is more focused heavenwards. The more we are focused the greater the excitement of Heaven will be!