As it is in Heaven

If you know much about me, you know that my favorite genre of books to read is Fantasy. I think at least part of the reason I love Fantasy (and sci-fi) so much is because the most common trope has to do with saving the world from evil and making it a better place in the process. Whenever I read books in general, it’s to escape the humdrum day-to-day of the broken world we live in. (Ironically, the books I read most often have just as, if not more, broken landscapes as does ours—In the Wheel of Time, my favorite book series, a utopian world was destroyed by wizard men who went insane in a war against the Devil.)

In these books, a common theme is that magic—or technology, if it’s science fiction—is capable of saving or improving a broken world. One of my goals in life is just to make the world a better place—and I’ve always wanted a super power to help do that. I think it would be so cool to make things grow like the plant girl sidekick from Sky High, and maybe stop global deforestation; or figure out new ways to cure sick people like Nynaeve in The Wheel of Time; or to make pots and pans clean themselves like Mrs. Weasley does in Harry Potter. It would honestly be amazing and beautiful if we all had the ability to make the world better like these fictional characters do; but unlike these fictional worlds, our own broken world won’t be fixed by the snap of the finger or wave of a wand (or the ingenuity of an average teenager who ends up being insanely unique and powerful).

God’s will for this earth was never for it to be broken. He intended our world to be creative and beautiful, full of majesty and wonder. He intended for us to be perfectly connected to Him, free from the fear of death and sickness, and free to pursue Him without restraint. Our forebears (looking at y’all, Adam and Eve) messed that up though, and we continue to mess it up. While God’s intention was earth to be an extension of Heaven, it has turned into a place separated from His realm. For a lot of us, we are just waiting for the day we get to leave the humdrum day-to-day of this fallen world. Maybe we read fiction where we have the power to fix things on our own power because we’re so disenchanted by the state of the world, and we’re just waiting for God to call us away into the bliss of Heaven.

In the Wesley kitchen we have a sign that says, “In Heaven, dishes will do themselves.” Maybe that’s how it’ll be in Heaven. Maybe we’ll all have super powers and will be able to change things with a snap of our fingers, or maybe we’ll just exist in eternal bliss and joy. Maybe God’s will for our eternity is to live out our passions and callings, or maybe it’s entirely different than anyone has stipulated before. Regardless, it’s going to be way better than any of us can imagine. It will be Utopia but sustainable and eternal. There won’t be insane wizard dudes, super villains, or Smaugs to wreck the world; there will be no threat to that goodness, no threat to that peace, and no threat to our connection with the Lord.

A lot of us are waiting to enter into that after we die. But here’s a secret: the goodness of Heaven isn’t confined to Heaven. In fact, Jesus teaches us to ask for Heaven to invade earth, and He shows us how integral it is to His plan for our lives and our world.

When Jesus demonstrated to us how we should pray in the Lord’s Prayer, the second thing He says is “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Matt 6:10). No matter which way you look at that verse, you can come away with the understanding that we are to ask God to make earth like Heaven. God wants to invade our broken world with the details of Heaven. He wants to partner with us in making the world more whole.

Maybe I won’t wake up one day with Spider-Man powers, or the ability to turn rocks into gold, or an uncanny ability to do complex math in my head. Personal gain or power isn’t the point, though; Kingdom gain is. And as we live in the tension between brokenness and wholeness, we have the God-blessed opportunity to colonize this earth with His Glory.

If there’s something that doesn’t reflect God’s character or His Kingdom, we can ask Him to rectify it. Just because we ask doesn’t mean that God will answer immediately—maybe He is using a situation or circumstance to further His Kingdom and love in ways we won’t see immediately. But we would be remiss not to ask for His intervention in things that look to go against His intentions for our lives. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask the Lord to intervene, because if it’s a promise He has made He will fulfill it. Even if God doesn’t answer right away, it’s not a “no”—it’s a “not yet.”

In reading Matthew 6:10 we can realize a few different things. We have been taught to ask for full healing. We have been entreated to ask for wholeness in relationships, souls, and spirits. We have been told to seek Holy reconciliation and redemption—freedom from spirits of darkness and the chains of sin. We have been commanded to hold the name of God in esteem, to bring that name to the world so that the world would see and know and love God the way He intended us to see and know and love Him. God is sitting at the edge of His throne, waiting to move—not because He can’t, but because He wants to move with us, not in spite of us. It’s not just our duty to make disciples of all nations or to love one another or to be a good person—it’s also our duty, and honor, to ask God to make our world more Heaven-like, little-by-little and day-by-day, prayer-by-prayer and step-by-step.

No, we may never get a letter from Hogwarts or a knock on the door from Gandalf, but we have something better: the power of the Living God living inside us, the Spirit working for our good, and the opportunity to partner with the Creator God to make His Kingdom evident on our broken world. That’s exciting—no, exhilarating. Let’s all decide to pursue that calling by continually asking Jesus for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Author | Alex Hinton

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