Things Are True
by Pastor Dan Coburn
Last week I did something stupid. (For the record, I do something stupid every day. Sometimes people see it, and sometimes they don’t). It seems I left the lights on in my dump truck, in the woods, all night. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. The interesting thing is that my co-workers as well as my supervisor were not angry or even disappointed. They simply winked at one another and said “it’s OK, he’s from Elk City”. Like I have a Wimp-Clause in my contract due to my roots.
Stop laughing long enough for me to ask you a question. Where are you from? For those of us “In Christ” our citizenship is in heaven–Phil. 3: 20. Do you believe that? Is this literal? Does this Biblical fact influence your decisions?
Paul absolutely battled with himself over this very thing; the struggle between longing to be in heaven, and being on mission here which was the will of God for his life. In Philippians 1 vs 21-24, Paul agonizes “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what shall I choose I know not. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you”. Paul had actually seen heaven (when he was rocked to sleep) and was overwhelmed by its beauty, but notice why he longed so to be there in vs 23. To be with Christ. You see heaven isn’t the goal, it is a by-product. It is a fringe benefit. Jesus is the goal. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He is the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end. We were created “By Him and for Him” Colo. 1: 16. Jesus is both the motivation and the destination.
The incredible thing is how God sees you right now as a child of His. If you are “in Christ”, then according to Ephesians 2: vs 5-6, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened (made alive) us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”. And where is Christ Jesus? Ephesians 1: 20 “Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places”. God calls us adopted sons, and Jesus calls us brothers.
This is mind boggling to me. Sometimes I doubt myself and don’t much feel like I am seated in the heavenly places with Christ. At these times I have to remember, someone is lying to me. Either it’s my feelings, or it’s the word of God. At these times I have to claim God’s word and believe His promises toward me and live it. My feelings will come in line eventually.
How should we live in light of all this? Let’s turn the Spiritual Switch. In 1952 a woman named Florence Chadwick attempted to swim from Catalina Island to the California shore. She had already been the first woman to swim the English Channel—both ways. After fifteen hours in the water, in a fog so thick she could scarcely make out the small boats accompanying her, she deemed she could go no more and signaled to be picked up. Only after being safely in the rescue boat, did she realize she was only a half mile from the shore. At a press conference the next morning, through tear filled eyes, she said “if I could only have seen the shore, I’m sure I could have made it”. Our shore is heaven. Our shore is Jesus.