Living as citizens of Heaven.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, (NIV)
Heaven is a community, a kingdom, a society teeming with life as any other city might be. In Heaven, however, the love of God is pervasive. Symbolized by the light of God in Heaven which is so bright and engulfing that shadows do not exist. To know love like this, our minds will be sanctified holy and stripped of any negative, fearful, jealous, self-protective thought. Coveting thoughts will be non-existent. Instead, a continual realization of God’s eternal provision will provide us with a peace that is never challenged. And love will be our first and natural response.
The world we live in here is nothing like Heaven. And we must decide where we belong. This kingdom of Heaven is here now, but we must choose to live in it. To have this choice means it is possible to live a better life than this world has to offer. We can live in the misery of how the world imagines itself socially or we can live in the peace, love, and joy of Heaven. But we must decide.
As believers, God has declared us citizens of Heaven living on Earth. He commands us to gather together as Heavenly citizens to reveal the social imaginary of Heaven. We are to be a peculiar people trusting one another, loving one another, bonded together in the unity of the Holy Spirit to reveal Heaven on Earth to a world desperately in need of something different than what they have. But how can they know it is possible unless we live it first.
For now, we remain on Earth and the church is influenced by the world and its way, but Paul reminds us that we don’t belong here. We should not think or operate as the world does. Our fight is to repel the world’s way and live as much as possible as we will in Heaven. We must take captive our thoughts to move in patterns of behavior conformed to Heaven’s way of being.
Avoiding assimilation into the world’s mindset is not easy. To help us, we keep in the forefront of our mind that Jesus is coming soon and this world with its self-destructive way of being will be judged for what it is. We must diligently seek the presence of God to help us preserve our Heavenly culture. And until He returns, as much as it concerns us, we live at peace with everyone as if we were in Heaven already. We must resist assimilation to this world’s culture. We have been given a better way.
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember where I belong. I do not belong to this world, but I am a citizen of Heaven. Help me to live now as it will be in Heaven. Amen.