Sometimes we just don't get the concept that the spiritual realm is the most "real" realm known to man and spirits.
The spiritual realm goes forever in both directions--infinity past and infinity future.
Here on earth, we're in a time "prison." We cannot escape the passing of time that ultimately results in an "end." In the spiritual realm, there is no such thing as an end. And yet, here, our minds somehow fool us into believing that we'll always be here. Even the minds of us Christians! We understand that some day we'll be in heaven, but let's be honest...some days we don't feel like it'll be anytime soon. And sometimes we even forget it's going to happen at all!
Take Roy, as I'll call him.
I visited Roy today. He's a man in his eighties who's got six months or less to live. Upon every visit (and I mean every...single...one), he cries at the mention of his wife, who died six years ago. Today he told me that every morning, the first thing he does is walk over to his dresser where there's a collage of photos of his wedding day, and he touches each one of the some-fifteen photos. Surprisingly, he doesn't cry at that time of day. But as the day progresses, tears flow as he thinks about his wife.
I love Roy for his sensitivity and immense love for his wife. Even more, I love him for his love and relationship with Jesus Christ. But I find myself continually bringing Roy to a place of anticipation of seeing his wife again soon, rather than having him imprisoned in a time warp of separation from his lovely bride.
With each visit, I rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal creative ways of teleporting Roy from the prison of time to the reality of infinity. Today, I told him that his life is like the tip of a thumbtack. While infinity is like the earth and the moon and all the planets. That is where he will be reunited with his wife, and that reunion will last forever.
Imagine how excited we'd be if we held in our hands a plane ticket to somewhere we've never been before, like say, Europe. Admit it. The trip is six months away, but we're packing tonight! We're checking off each day on a giant calendar. And we're looking at photos online of all the places we're going to visit.
We're not crying every day because we never travel.
Roy is traveling to heaven within six months. He'll be with His Savior and his wife. Why isn't he packing? Why hasn't he bought a calendar? Why doesn't he read about where he's going?
Ahh, but our minds deceive us.
Reality lies in what we cannot yet see or feel or hear.
Sure, I'm not stupid. "Reality" in philosophical terms is both our earthly life and our heavenly one, but which one does the LORD continually sharpen our focus on?
Already Scriptures are racing through your mind, aren't they? We KNOW the Bible. The KNOW the truth about what lies ahead...the great HOPE that we have in Christ. And yet, our fingers caress a collage of the days that were, instead of envisioning the reality of what is sure to come and of what will last forever--the reality of "the city with foundations."
Read what was deeply entrenched in the heart of our forefather Abraham, mentioned in Hebrews 11:9-10:
By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Do we still have work to do here on earth?
Does that mean we should get a reality check and keep our minds on what we're doing here?
Absolutely NOT! Otherwise, God wouldn't tell us to "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18).
True "reality" then is encapsulated in the unseen Hope that lies before us.
...Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Phil. 3:20-21)
If God is real, heaven is real.
If heaven is real, salvation is real.
If salvation is real, then many of us--including myself--need to tweak our eternal perspective!
~ ~ ~"Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither." ~C.S. Lewis