Did you know that if you have chosen Jesus that you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven? Have you ever even thought about it? I can assure you that a few short years ago I didn’t even know there was such a thing as the Kingdom of Heaven. Well, I didn’t know that it could be mine on earth, I had heard growing up in church that I would one day die and go to the Kingdom of Heaven. I never imagined that there was a reality going on around me that I couldn’t see or hear or experience without being in the Presence of God.
This post is going to dive a little deeper. Today when I was reading a book titled Victorious Emotions by Wendy Backlund, she challenged me to think on this truth, children of God are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. What does that even look like or mean? According to Isaiah 61, the picture drawn for us is how our lives are supposed to look and feel as Christians. We should expect comfort, beauty, joy, a spirit of praise, and double honor! Does your life look or feel that way? Some days it does for me possibly, but not as many days as I would like. How do I live in that space more than we live in anxiety, worry, fear, doubt, etc?
This morning as I pondered this with Jesus, He took me on a walk in the garden. It wasn’t a real garden, but in my imagination I was walking with Him and He took my hand. As He did, I looked up into His eyes and asked Him, “Do I belong here?”. It may seem like a silly question but I was sitting in some shame and condemnation for something I had done that didn’t honor Him. He looked at me with His gentle eyes, grinned a huge grin, and said to me, “You belong here more than anywhere on earth!”. In that moment my heart melted. He isn’t counting our sins against us, Jesus died for that to be finished. He is wooing us to His heart with kindness and compassion. It is so difficult to hear His gentle voice speak such loving things to my heart with all the distractions of this world. I find myself hungry to hear Him say sweet things to me but not making the time to spend with Him in His Presence. That seems nuts, I want that precious time with Jesus and yet I let so many other things get in the way and forget to stop and listen.
I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, I know that I am. When I asked Him if I belonged there, I did not mean permanently, I meant in that moment. I know that I can go to Him when I haven’t sinned, when I am reading His word and following His plan, but what about when I just sinned? When I just chose to do something I know isn’t His best for me? He says to come to Him, spend time with Him, forget the past and seek Him. Even if the past was 15 minutes ago, He isn’t counting your sin against you He simply wants you to come to Him. Repenting in that moment is a really good idea too, but you don’t have to for Him to be there with you, in that space and time.
Spending time with Jesus isn’t a practice that the majority of people have done in their lives. It’s not easy to turn life off and turn your mind to Him and let Him fill you up with His love, righteousness, peace, and joy. That is what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like and spending time there is worth it! If you desire to have these things in your life no matter the circumstances going on around you, it’s yours for the claiming. Make a decision today to begin with five to ten minutes asking God questions and then quiet your mind and see how He answers. If you can’t hear Him, start singing your favorite praise song, He inhabits our praises. Remember that He sounds like you, only He is a lot nicer to you and than you are to yourself. Only the good will be from our Father, so don’t let the enemy steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
I pray you all will find time in the Word and with Jesus today.
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” Ps 63:1