Ephesians 2: 4-7
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3: 1-4 (NLT)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
I remember our first family holiday abroad as a child of around 7 or 8 years old. I had never been outside the UK before so, to my young mind, a week in Spain felt like a visit to another planet. Terrified of getting lost, I gripped my parents’ hands tightly every time we left our accommodation. One particular incident stands out in my mind. We had arrived back to our apartment complex and stepped into an elevator to ascend the 12 floors to our room. The elevator however was completely jam-packed with other holidaymakers. It was all a bit of a crush, and being only 3 feet tall at this stage, I began to feel overwhelmed and quite afraid of the strange figures towering all around me and pressing into me. I looked up to my dad and simply raised my hands in the air. He immediately lifted me up high into his arms and the fear instantly dissipated. Up there, from my father’s perspective, everything looked completely different. I felt safe and secure. I had confidence and courage. The journey was transformed.
Throughout Ephesians, Paul continually reminds the church of her elevated position spiritually. As believers God has “…blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (1: 3) The Father has “…raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms…” (2: 6) We have been lifted above the death, darkness and dreariness which characterised much of our former way of life without Christ and we have been given a whole new perspective and position from which we now view life, circumstances and events. We see what He sees; we hear what He hears. From up there we can view the big picture rather than getting bogged down and stuck in small setbacks, pointless pursuits and isolated incidents. We sense and are stirred by the dreams and desires of Heaven over our city, community, family and friendships. We receive an elevated and expansive vision of the true nature of things. Life looks radically different from God’s perspective.
We also see this in Revelation 4 when the Apostle John is called by the Spirit: “‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” (v. 1) As an elderly man, suffering in exile because of his love for Jesus, this elevated perspective must have totally reframed how he viewed his own suffering and reshaped his thinking about the future. Life again made sense, hope was restored, passion was reignited.
Imagine today that you are seated beside Jesus looking down over your town or local community. What do you think you would you see in His eyes, what would you sense from His heart, what do you think He would speak over the people, businesses, schools, families, services and churches? What would be the dreams and desires in His heart?
As we see through heaven’s eyes, may we seek to express His heart and bring His dreams for our city to life. Today - live, love, serve and pray that His will would be done, right where you are, as it is in heaven.