When I was a boy, I didn’t grow up with Christian instruction. I knew nothing of God’s eternal plan for us and didn’t know about heaven.
I had no Bible knowledge about the afterlife. Heaven was a mystery to me and hell was just a word my parents used when mad. So I figured, when you died, that was it. Your body went stiff, they stuck you in a box, put you in a hole, and dumped six feet of earth on top. I thought you were dead, unconscious, and that was it.
Yet I could not imagine being without consciousness. So in my child’s brain, when I thought of death, all I could imagine was being aware that I was stuck in that box, six feet under, in that hole forever. I was terrified. I simply could not imagine non-existence.
Why couldn’t I conceive of non-existence? God had set eternity in my heart. The Bible says, “He has…set eternity in the hearts of men.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) We have an in born expectation that our souls go on. The grave is not the end of our story. There is more.
People long for what they have lost. Read the first three chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-3) and you will see that God made the world good, without death. Death came as a result of sin. Since then the creation has not been the same. Deep in our souls we long for that paradise lost.
The good news is that in Jesus we ultimately gain back what was lost to the sin that brought death. Jesus, God’s perfect and sinless Son, took our sin on the cross, paid for it and rose again to life. Because of this, those who trust in Christ are redeemed to God and will ultimately experience the fullness of their salvation in heaven.
When you accept Christ and have the assurance that you will be in heaven with God forever, it has huge impact on your day to day life. Some people say things like, “She is so heavenly minded that she is no earthly good.” But is that true?
The argument I make is that we are not heavenly minded enough as Christians. We need to think on heaven more. We need to remember we are merely passing through this sin-scared life on the way to a culmination of God’s plan that is every bit heavenly.
When we focus on heaven it can have great power over how we experience our day to day life.
I loved teaching my kids how to ride their bikes without training wheels. But when I did, there was a challenge. The hardest thing was to help them overcome the fear of crashing. They would often fear mailboxes along the sidewalk as if the posts were going to jump out and hit them.
The problem was, instead of focusing on the destination down the walkway, they would fearfully focus on the mailbox. And guess what. They would hit it every time. They always drove the bike toward their focus.
But when they learned to focus on the destination, they avoided the crashes. They were able to ride the straight and narrow path without fear. They pedaled forward with confidence.
Riding a bike and living with heaven in your sights is much the same. Without heaven in your sights there are a lot of fearful distractions and alluring temptations to pull your focus and drive you into a post. The fear of death, anxiety over money, the desire for achievement, lust of the flesh, greed, pride, all demand our attention as we pedal on down the sidewalk of righteousness.
So I challenge you, live with heaven in your sights. Don’t focus on the fears and distractions that would pull you off of God’s path. Remember that your life is meant for heaven and that nothing that we face on this earth can rob that from us.
Question: How has the truth of God’s promise of heaven encouraged you to keep on pedaling through life’s challenges. You can leave a comment by clicking here.