Why Long for Heaven?


I often think that the whole “heaven” thing is just weird.  Do you?  I can’t imagine it.  My life can get really busy and I have so much I still want to accomplish.  The idea of sitting on a cloud and singing for a thousand years doesn’t exactly appeal to me.  At times I find myself wondering if we’ve made the whole thing up.  My feelings about heaven don’t mean I don’t believe in God and want to honor Him with my life.  I just don’t really concern myself too much with the afterlife.  I know my life sucks without God directing it, so I’ve submitted to His direction.  But that’s all about my life.  Not my afterlife.

In my daily devotions last week, there was a part in there about heaven.  I felt a little guilty for my attitude, so I whispered a quick prayer.  “God, please change my heart.  It’s not that I don’t want to see YOU face to face, it’s just that I don’t understand why I should long to be there rather than working for You here.”

A few days later I heard a statement that struck me as strange.  It was something like, “In heaven we will no longer need self-discipline.”  Huh?  No self-discipline?  Well, that’s just sin.  Isn’t it?

I thought about it for a while and realized – it’s true.  As Christians, much of our energy and effort is taken up in self-discipline.  We guard our hearts.  We discipline our eyes (be careful little eyes what you see), we discipline our ears (be careful little ears what you hear), and we hold ourselves back from going places we don’t need to go (be careful little feet where you go).  We fast, denying ourselves the pleasure of food or TV for a time in order to purify ourselves.  We stop ourselves from pursuing inappropriate sexual relationships.  We feed on God’s Word in order to keep our hearts and minds pure.  We’re careful about what we say – not claiming defeat or negativity, not gossiping, encouraging one another.  As Christians, we spend a big portion of our time disciplining our sinful nature and trying to rise above it.  Hopefully we get so used to it that it becomes second nature to us.  But nevertheless, we are in a battle every day – a battle against ourselves.

In heaven, there will be no need for self-discipline.  We will be like God and our sinful desires will be gone.  Whatever we desire, we can do or have.  All our desires will be holy and pure.  There will be no more restraining ourselves, holding ourselves back.  We will just be able to BE. 

Imagine that.

And I told God I’d rather fight the battle against myself every single day in order to accomplish what I think He still has for me to do, than go to heaven and be with Him for eternity???

While there is still much that I want to accomplish in my lifetime and I have no desire to leave this earth at a young age, the peace and freedom God promises us in the afterlife are almost too much for me to comprehend.  The joy of it blows me away. 

I know that it’s a weird concept and very difficult to wrap our minds around.  We cannot comprehend what we have not seen.  And yet, that is the mystery of faith.  We believe, even though we cannot see.  We trust, even though our trust may be misplaced.  We choose to follow this path and see where it takes us. 

I am aware that it’s possible all this God stuff is made up.  But I also know what He has done for me.  I know the peace and joy He has given me.  I remember that He parted the Red Sea, He raised the dead, He calmed the wind and the waves, He walked on water, and he healed me.  This God I serve is worth facing my fears of foolishness.  He is worth facing my doubts.  He is worth giving up everything.  And I look forward to the day I see Him face to face and feel the total peace and rest of no longer fighting against all the evil that my human soul is prone to pursue.

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
by Robert Robinson and John Wyeth

…Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace…

Is there anything that makes you long for heaven?

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5 Comments

Filed under Spiritual Life

5 responses to “Why Long for Heaven?

  1. I used to struggle with the idea of heaven being a “perfect place”, based on the supposition that an existence without “drama” would simply be boring.

    Overtime I moved into a belief that our limited ability to experience heaven or God/Jesus was entirely about us! (and our sin)

    Lately,I have a fantasy about being in Heaven and of the first moments of my realization of it. I’m talking to some people who confirm to me that “yes, I am in fact in Heaven” so naturally my next question is, “Where’s Jesus?’ to which they reply “Oh, that’s Him over there talking to those people at the table” I spin around and scan the room noticing a man standing next to a table full of people, He’s a man, in a glorified body just like me who manages to catch my glance and lock’s eye’s with me for just a moment and smiles. He excuses Himself and begins to walk toward me…and that’s where the fantasy ends. It always makes my hair stand up on my neck and gives me chill bumps to think about someone who is the equal of God who loves me so much to not think it wrong to talk to me like just another person, who even though He IS too Holy chose to meet me and to reveal Himself to me.

    Yes I know I’m peculiar, perhaps even weird! But I must admit I couldn’t be happier about it!

  2. Audrey Bolek

    I’m so looking forward to spending eternity with my Lord. Every day is a battle down here, in some way or another, but it’s also for my better, for my growth, for my working for the Lord that I’m here.

  3. Glynna Wright

    When i was little, the first thoughts i had on
    Heaven was it was some type of oxymoron concept (ok, i didnt know that word and only learned it as adult during the horrible OJ Simpson trial). How can there be a Heaven when there exists a Hell. How can people feel happiness knowing others suffer (like FOREVER too maybe)>Perhaps it was the realities of spending my early childhood around an invalid grandmother that shaped this. But, i truly don’t imagine Heaven in any other terms than seeing the end of suffering of animals and children and injustices. The concept that we won’t be male and female blows my mind. Not that i imagine sex in Heaven but our first ministry we fall into in this world maybe is the sexual assignment God gives us ( i am not thinking of sex here but how the impact agape love of male and female energy has such power in this life on the minds and hearts of others and is an impowerment we have /always must be very sensitive towards each other with/the responsibilities & blessings surrounding it. It is an anchor that shapes so much of our life, motivations and feelings . Heaven is full of love…what kind of love without this anchoring sense of beginning and identity. It is written that all we take into the after life is hope and faith and love. I use to imagine that life is a scavenger hunt to find those things to lay before God’s feet as an offering/victory. But then i realized God doesn’t need those things & has them already. We are here to learn the appreciation of them then i guess (i imagine the difficulty of finding and holding onto them as the measurement of the value). Mostly i imagine Heaven must be some place that tops all our best moments /best things we’ve ever known or felt or done or shared coming together all at once forever.

  4. katie

    I could use no self discipline… was just thinking i would like some easter candy…

  5. Well I have a similar thought like yours. I have a similar post on my blog here http://openhunch.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/the-paradise-will-be-boring/

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