The Battle for Heaven by Pat Steel
The battle I am referring to is not the battle to get there, but the difficulty of keeping it in the forefront of our thoughts.
There are so many issues that we face in this world, so many ideas or challenges fighting for our attention, aside from the regular responsibilities such as work or paying our bills and maintaining good health. We then devote a lot of our time and effort to obtaining or maintaining our “toys” (cars, four-wheelers, boats, entertainment systems etc). Then there is what we like to do in our downtime, golfing, fishing, concerts, theatre, (or for me) reading.
When or how do we follow Paul’s instructions in Col 3:1-4?
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
What makes it even more difficult for us to “set our mind on things that are above” is when a tragedy or crisis appears on the scene.
We need to have an eternal perspective in our life.
Some of us have heard the phrase in church that we live in a time of the ‘here and not yet’. This means that we have an expectation that Jesus could return any day for His church or maybe not for another fifty or more years.
A good many of us who know this tend to put more of our focus on this present world. We live as if this life will go on forever, so we work hard at maintaining a good RRSP so we are not financially burdened during our expected retirement. We want the house, cars, boats, and other stuff to enjoy when we have the time. I am not saying this is wrong, it is important to prepare for our future, we don’t know when Christ will return.
The difficulty many of us face is forgetting that we are not guaranteed a future. Even if we do live to enjoy all our dreams, our time here on earth is ridiculously short when compared to eternity. (tweet this)
The Psalms often describe our life as a flower that blooms in the day and is gone by evening. We need to prepare for that future also.
That is why Paul wrote for us to, “Seek the things that are above” and, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”.
This is not an easy thing to do because heaven does not jump out and demand our attention. Medical issues want attention now, as do financial concerns and family demands. Heaven is there, it sits in the background quietly waiting for our attention, our thoughts. We need to follow Paul’s instructions and purposely, deliberately, “seek the things that are above” to intentionally, “set your minds on things above”.
The first step in this battle is to make sure we are in a right relationship with God. The only way for us to spend our eternity with God is through Jesus Christ.
John 14:1,2,6 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in
me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told
you that I go to prepare a place for you?… Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Read Pat’s other posts on heaven:
Patrick Steel has been married for 28 years. Father of four children, two on their own now and two at home. He is presently a Chaplain at Centennial Place Long Term Nursing Care Home in Millbrook, ON and an Ordained Minister with the P.A.O.C.