Be Still and Know, Christianity, Eternity, God's Kingdom, God's Presence, Happiness, Heaven, Jesus Christ, John the Apostle, Ladies Ministry, Paradise, Pastoral Ministry, Revelation, The Fall, Youth Ministry
If within your soul a craving gnaws at you for something indescribably better, the continually insatiable yearning for more… it merely indicates that you and I were created for a place beyond our limited reach… for the Paradise lost to us because of the Fall… the inseparable union of Creator and His creation.
The Deceiver succeeded once at fracturing a bond that had in time past been his. Envy led him to take happiness from others, desiring to destroy a bliss he would never again experience. But his triumph is short-lived.
Those refusing will run out of chances. The line will be drawn, God will judge, and the enemy will cower, eventually never to be heard from or seen again.
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Seven churches, of souls newborn, members of Christ’s body, and close to the apostle’s heart, would soon experience persecution—this certainty was included in the visions received while living on Patmos. Believers yet unborn, would endure suffering, as he and others in the early church also endured.
And so continues the perseverance of God’s own.
But what else did John see?
Those rejecting the Christ will bow to a Christ-pretender. And in the rejection will come destruction. A sudden shifting from peace to hostility. The same rocks and mountains John walked among will someday be flattened. Battles and natural disasters will result in world havoc. A time of judgment like no other.
But then, and ultimately, Jesus as King will reign—the Prince of Peace bringing everlasting peace.
In a kingdom of peace, where citizens will no longer cringe in fear, where the Deceiver will influence no more. Earth and heaven will be re-created, the Bride will meet her Groom, all that is past will be forgotten, and Paradise will once again be ours.
Dropping our earthly shell to be dressed in regal elegance, custom-fitted, the transformation comes about… old exchanged for new… all that is soiled is discarded, replaced by purity we have yet to experience… and those once fallen will enjoy God’s eternal favor.
The closing chapters of the Revelation provide a hint as to why we wait, and what this longing means…
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new… And He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. – Revelation 21:1-7
Can the worth of an eternal, human soul keep me grounded, pushing me forward, duty-bound to a sacred obligation? Do I feel another longing—the longing of the Maker’s heart to point His created ones back to Him?
This concern cannot be ignored. He has arranged my life for a place meant for serving, at a time planned for laboring. Each life, yours and mine, carries with it a purpose designed by Him. In the details our lives may appear different, but shared commonality should result in directing misguided souls to the Redeemer.
And celebration will come to the faithful ones. With His strength I can wait for another day, a distant day, when I will gaze and rest and bask in future luxuries. (A body needing no sleep? In a land where we never get tired? Sounds wonderful!)
Whatever the work looks like… wherever His purpose takes me… when my desires align with His, a longing to please Him nudges me forward.
So for now, I must content myself with minutes on some days, a few hours maybe on others, of time uninterrupted. Because if I walked away from tasks entrusted, to find temporal solitude, I would miss out. And if life handed me pleasure upon pleasure, all I could ever want, Heaven would have little appeal.
Jesus carved out time for spending with His Father in a short ministry life centered on the Kingdom. Mid the needs of the crowds, traveling from one dusty town to another, as enemies plotted His demise, even He longed for Heaven. But He never abandoned His purpose.
John’s closing words, his final statement of longing revealed, to those who read the Book: Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
For those belonging to the Savior, do our hearts whisper longings to find fulfillment only in Him? We were not created for a fallen world. We were made for something better, something more.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. – Matthew 5:6
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. – Revelation 22:17