Heavenly Places

Just like everyone else, I struggled through quarantine. I was plagued by uncertainty and worry about the unknown. As ‘pandemic’ and ‘quarantine’ became common words in my vocabulary, I felt isolated and unprotected.

I’d like to say that I came out of quarantine closer to God, but honestly, I felt distant. My prayer life felt dry despite having the time and inclination to connect more with God. I felt like every time I started praying, I was bombarded by thoughts of worry and fear.

But God has changed a lot in my heart over the past few weeks. Yesterday, I walked around marveling at how light I could feel when my burdens weren’t weighing me down. I walked on campus (in the rain) and caught glimpses of eyes on the other hooded and masked figures trudging to their destinations.

I felt like I knew a secret which I hadn’t known just a few weeks ago. I wanted to catch someone’s arm, lean in, and ask if they knew the secret too.

Of course, I couldn’t. Even in the best of times, that would be off-putting. Now, someone would probably just spray me with hand sanitizer or run away.

But imagine that is what we are doing here. We are sharing a secret. Lean in close and listen, because this is a gift from God which allows us to live in peace even when the world is harassed by turmoil.

“And God raised us up with Christ, and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”- Ephesians 2:6

Did you know that God has lifted you up and seated you in heavenly realms with Him? Do you live like you know He has?

As Christians, we have been raised up by the God of the universe. When we entered into a covenant with Jesus Christ, our heavenly future was already established, and since we are living on God’s timeline, we get to enjoy His fluidity of eternity.

That means that the moment God raised Jesus from the grave and seated Him in heaven, He also raised up anyone who would ever step into covenant with Jesus Christ. If you have given your life to Him, you are seated in heavenly places.

This is incredibly good news for us eternally, but also for us while we are on Earth. When it feels like the voices of chaos and destruction are drowning out sweet whispers Jesus has for us, we need only to remember that we are raised above the noise.

We are seated with Him in the heavenly realms. Let all those distractions fall away as you lean into the intimacy of that position.

I’ve always loved the language and imagery of sitting at the foot of His throne. The idea just sends chills down my spine. It’s a delightful image.

Recently, God reminded me that I am also called to place my burdens at the foot of the cross. I realized how incredibly powerful it is that those are two extraordinarily different things.

I can lay down my burdens, my worries, the things that ensnare me, and even my life at the foot of the cross. It is all taken care of. Then I get to run to sit at His feet, completely unincumbered. I am called into heavenly realms with Him, but I don’t have to bring my burdens with me.

Take a minute to close your eyes. Let go of your earthly worries. Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Spend some time in adoration of Him.

From your new vantage point, doesn’t the evil seem so far away? Isn’t peace so prevalent? The more you soak in His presence, the more you will begin to gain a new perspective over the spiritual battles of our world, because you know their outcome.

Make no mistake, there are spiritual battles waging in our lives, but we do not have to fear, because we are sitting with the One who has already won.

There is peace with Him. If you spend time in that secret place with Him every day, then you will find that peace overflowing into the rest of your life. Attacks of the enemy don’t seem so worrisome when you are sitting with the Almighty.

 It is also such a sweet gift to get to rest in the protection of a fiercely powerful but kind protector. He will not deny you when you seek His face. He loves to sit with you in that unhurried place. Nothing can pull you from His grasp.

Knowing Him so intimately will affect the way you pray, but there is also space for you to simply sit in His presence and look at Him with adoration.

He will give you more hunger for the Holy Spirit. He will give you a heart for His people. He will sanctify you degree of glory by degree of glory. All you need to do is to soak in His presence.

 You know when someone has been in the presence of God, because they begin to look more like Him. Let’s build a community of people who look more like God. Let’s share our secret with others and invite them into heavenly realms. There is plenty of room, and everyone is invited.

Author | Mackenzie Wells

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