I like to look ahead, and think ahead, especially when I’m feeling bored with the now. But, I’m not usually so fed up with this life that I feel compelled to absorb myself — even for a little while — with the next. As good as it is, I rarely remember it’s worthy of being considered, worthy of being considered the motivation and direction of all that I do in this life today.
So, does heaven really make that much of a difference? And if so, what does that look like? Heaven is the ultimate prize for mankind. For the believer it is guaranteed. For the one who has not yet chosen God’s team, with Christ as his captain — co-captain doesn’t count — in this life, he cannot expect to enjoy the rewards of His destination. Unless Christ is leading we cannot reach His destination — only He can make that way for us.
But maybe you haven’t really considered heaven, yet whether you are a believer or an investigator this is a point that cannot be dismissed; it truly is the greatest matter of life or death that you will ever encounter as a human being.
You were created in God’s image and made specifically to know, love and enjoy Him to the very core of your being; yet, that is never fully experienced apart from heaven. We long for heaven, who long for God. Because, once there we will finally know the God we have believed in as He truly is with no false perceptions and subjective opinion; we will know accurately what He has always wanted us to know: He is God and there is no other; we are made complete in Him and find our greatest joy in worshiping Him with all we are.
If I can know the joys of that life in heaven, but I can’t be there yet, what do I do with the time I have left here on this earth? Once we have seriously considered heaven as our ultimate destination, living on until we get to that point of completed life in Christ, our lives can feel dismal and unexciting. It is natural to wonder, what does God have in mind for our lives here? Why would He let us know about all this good ahead of time, and then expect us to be content?
Well, He doesn’t; not really. How, might I ask, do you measure contentment? For, I believe that living for a world so much more full of life than this one very supernaturally produces within us a holy discontentment with what limited degrees of love and peace and pleasure we know on this sin-darkened planet. This is a condition of the spirit that we would not know apart from the work of God’s Spirit. There is no earthly reason why we should know of any reason to look beyond ourselves to the things of God and His pleasures. According to the leading of our flesh — if we were not deluged by the Holy Spirit — we would have no desire for heaven, and without the death of Christ we would, in fact, have nothing to stop us from completing our self-willed journey to hell. So, let us be glad for any measure of longing in our hearts for God and His home.
Yet, let us not be afraid that this desire will lead us to despair, as it grows in intensity with the increase of our knowledge of sin and its torments. A desire that begins with God and affirms our new life in Him cannot but lead us back to the cross — our greatest hope.
So let’s not squander this brand-new life-desire by looking to become content according to a worldly version of the high life. The world and its ways do not rectify our need to be satisfied. Rather, let God accomplish His perfect work in us by letting the gaps in this world allow the glory of the next to break through, shattering our little hopes for this life. For, contentment never begins with finding satisfaction in this life on earth, but with banking all we are on the life He has prepared in heaven for us.