As I'm writing this blog today, Bay and I are preparing to leave tomorrow for a ministry trip to the UK.
We're excited about the opportunities ahead.
Besides ministry, we will be seeing a lot of places and countryside we've never experienced.
We've been planning for months.
We've often been in contact with the people who invited us, and are helping us put the pieces of the journey together (probably so much so, they are sick of us before we get there).
We've consulted maps.
We've googled places to stay, destinations along the way where we might stop, and, of course places we want to eat (because what's a trip without food?)... Pilgrim's Korai we are coming for you!
We've read books from other travelers...
We've looked at images of the countryside...
We have ideas about what the entire 3 1/2 weeks of this journey will look like.
In doing so, we have created expectancy.
In all our planning, we have gotten excited about what's ahead.
In all the looking, researching, and communicating at the other end, we are as prepared as we can get on this side of the pond.
Whenever we have an upcoming trip, we spend a lot of thinking-time, getting our hearts, minds, and messages ready...
I am planning another trip.
I don't know when I'll depart.
I just know it's coming.
This trip will take me HOME.
The thought of this trip makes me HOPE-FULL!
Hope and Heaven.
The two just simply go together.
Did you read that? To catch a glimpse of heaven is to fill the hope-bank of our souls...
As I've begun this side-road-study, transitioning from hope to heaven, I've certainly learned one thing about me:
I do not think about heaven enough!
Not in the way I think and plan for other upcoming trips.
This is just plain wrong.
I highly doubt I'm alone, but this is not about you... it's about me...
What I've come to recognize is that thinking about thinking about heaven just isn't my normal.
I need a new thinking-normal.
Reflecting on this as I was out walking the other day in the forest, I realized I need a mental shift.
I needed a boost in getting my mind's perspective to change...to look heaven-ward more often.
This blog, and next week's, is where all of this pondering has led...
Because the overall idea is this:
What Satan wants us to think about is absolutely contrary to setting our minds on heaven.
No surprise there, right?
So, what does Satan want us to believe? Ah...that is the question!
However, before answering that question, I had to answer this one:
What does the Lord want from me when it comes to heavenly-thinking and why?
As Christians we are asked (no, it's not an ask, but, rather, an admonition) to "set our minds (and keep on setting them over and over again) on things above, where Christ is seated, and not on earthly things; for our life is hidden with God in Christ (Col 3:1-2)."
What God would desire is for us to set out on a quest.
A never ending quest until the day we arrive...
A quest of curiosity.
A quest that inspires our thoughts of heaven.
As Bay and I put time and attention into upcoming ministry trips, so the Lord would want my attention focused on my upcoming trip to a place that will be home for me one day.
With that in mind, how much more should I be planning, researching, seeking what's ahead?
For one thing...it means my faith will remain more steadfast.
For another...the anticipation, expectancy, and excitement will be far greater....
And, yet another thing (and, this is a BIG DEAL), it eliminates Satan's goal of getting me distracted by the things of this world.
Heaven knows I'm easily distracted.
One sure truth is that when my focus is heavenward, I prevent the enemy from getting a foothold into my life.
A quick cross-reference of the Colossians passage, takes us directly to this one:
This little incident with Peter falls on the timeline of Jesus life just before the Transfiguration on the Mount, where three of the disciples were privileged to behold Jesus' glory - a foretaste of heaven (Mt. 17:1-8). Sandwiched in between is the call of Jesus for His disciples to "deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him (Mt. 16:24)" The two events are intricately connected.
We cannot stay focused on following Jesus, without setting our minds on the things of God, which include a little "foretaste of heaven."
Well, that's why.
The more I think about heaven, the more excited and passionate I become!!!
Yes, Satan wants us to believe something totally contrary.
Next week, we'll look at exactly what Satan wants us to believe.