Some basic definitions

From the book ‘Doorways in Heaven’ …

Here are some basic definitions for: prayer, meditation and contemplation.

Prayer is simply dialogue with God. It is being open and honest before God and creating the space for God to respond, to encourage and to correct. It’s laying all your cards on the table, all your hopes, dreams and fears and then waiting on God for His response.

Meditation is thoughtfully, prayerfully considering a scripture or a teaching pertaining to God and the spiritual realm. It’s considering a scripture or a teaching from ‘outside the box’, from a new perspective and so allowing God to show you the many facets of the jewel. (In that way, I pray that this book provokes and encourages meditation.)

Contemplation is interacting with God and heaven using your spiritual senses: seeing, hearing, (and yes even) touching, smelling and tasting. At it’s core, it is experiencing God.

The emphasis upon these three spiritual disciplines: prayer, meditation and contemplation is a hallmark of being a Christian mystic.

The two pillars of contemplation are stillness and awareness. As you enter into stillness, you enter into the awareness of God.

The Sermon on the Mount

From the book “Mountains in Heaven” …

Matthew 5:1-3:

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It is believed that the location of the Sermon on the Mount is a slope in the vicinity of Capernaum. The sermon is considered the greatest ever delivered by Jesus Himself.

To read the Sermon on the Mount as goals to be achieved is to miss the point. To read the sermon as moral guidance to follow makes Jesus just another philosopher or moral teacher. No. The attributes mentioned in the sermon: to be poor in spirit, to be meek, to be merciful, to be pure in heart, to be peacemakers are not the goals of Christianity (as if someone could achieve any of them by their own self-effort). They are the changes that happen to a person as they spend time in the spirit with the Lord.

As you spend time in the spirit with the Lord, Jesus imparts these virtues. They are not attained by following religious rituals. Spending time with the Lord is the only path to attainment. This is why intimacy is the only path we are called to follow. To His disciples, Jesus commanded just one thing: “come and follow me”. (Matthew 19:21)

Dealing with Disappointment

From the book ‘Mountains in Heaven’ …

When most people think of repentance, they think about their initial conversion experience. They (rightly) define repentance as a change of heart, a change of direction given by God, the result being a turning away from their prior worldly/sinful life path to a new God-oriented path. They speak of repentance in the past tense. “I’ve repented from my sin”.

All Christians have repentance as the starting point of their journey with God. It is a big part of your past. It needs also to be a big part of your present. What you must learn is that repentance is the key to being transformed into the image of God. Repentance is how God transforms from us ‘from glory to glory’ (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is the continuous process by which He transforms the lives of His children.

Let me illustrate.

In this fallen world, all of us experience disappointment. You need to start viewing disappointment as a God ordained opportunity for change to occur. God actually allows disappointment so that we grow in godliness. Such growth comes about by the way we learn to respond to disappointment.

Disappointment creates a need to be comforted. The unsaved man will respond to that need by turning to the world or to their own self effort. As Christians, we must learn to turn instead to God.

Your True Appearance

From the book ‘Treasures in Heaven’ …

Isaiah 60:1-3:

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Heaven is a realm of glory. It is God’s ultimate goal for your life to reflect His glory, for God’s light to shine upon and through you to people around you.

What is your appearance in heaven? In heaven you shine as a unique reflection of God. People see you as God’s glorious creation. You are your true self. You reflect God in a way that only you can. People finally see who you truly are. You are like Jesus. This is how you will appear for all eternity. This is your eternal destiny.

1 John 3:1-3:

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

You can be an expression of God’s glory here and now. The key is learning to kill your self-made façade and learning to live trusting and believing what God says about you in the Bible. It’s learning to live in the light of God’s glory. You may be thinking that ‘kill’ is a strong word. But, kill the façade you must. This needs to be radical surgery. This needs to be a clean break, a new way of living your life. I’ve met so many where slight exaggeration or convenient omission is so ingrained they’ve stopped being aware of what they’re doing. Complete death by the working of the Holy Spirit to the old self is the only answer. Starting today, you must live for an audience of one, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Look into His eyes. The façade will be killed. He sees right through it, to the child within.

Discovering the person God created

From the book ‘Doorways in Heaven’ …

Romans 8:29:

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

As a Christian, God is transforming you into the image of Jesus. This ‘sibling of Jesus’, this ‘child of God’ person is your true self. It is the person God created. And so, true joy, love and acceptance is only found as you discover and become that person. You must increasingly see yourself as that person.

Discovering the person God created is a journey of revelation. It is a journey full of astonishment. The person God created is holy. That person is completely separate from the sin of this world. That person is a powerful, overcoming and unique expression of God. This is why Satan works so hard to keep you from a powerful truth: you are that person right now. You are right now seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:20) And, as you grow in your revelation of your true self, you will grow increasingly aware that you are right now both here on earth and also ‘seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens’. (Hebrews 8:1)

Pursue Peace

From the book ‘Peace in Heaven’ …

Psalm 34:14:

Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.

There in only one thing biblically that we are commanded to pursue. It’s not love, not joy, not happiness. It’s not even righteousness. Since righteousness is imparted, we are righteous, we don’t pursue it.

We are commanded to pursue peace.

To most, peace is a nebulous term defined mostly in terms of the absence of some other negative thing, such as: strife or anger or even war. Yet biblically, peace is much more. Peace is tangible. Peace is powerful. Peace can change the world around you.

As a manifest child of God, your peace is a tangible asset. Like the cloud of glory mentioned in the Bible, peace is a glorious attribute of and that surrounds God and by extension, the children of God. As a child of God, your peace is given to you by God as a sphere of divine protection. Your peace is your armor bearer before and your rear guard behind.

Is Seeing Heaven Biblical?

From the book ‘Benches in Heaven’ …

This is an important question. I strongly believe everything we believe needs to pass the test of scripture. So, is seeing heaven while we’re still here on earth Biblical? Here are the first two scriptures God gave me in answering this question.

2 Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

According to Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, beholding the unseen realm is actually the key to our transformation. I definitely want to be transformed into the image of Jesus. I want to receive instruction and revelation from the Lord.

A Vision of Heaven

From the book ‘Buildings on Heaven’ …

A vision of heaven and the legacy you are building are both essential elements to living an overcoming Christian life here on earth. “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” (Proverbs 29:18) In other words, without revelation, without a vision of your destination and how your life and your actions today affect that future you will run amok. At best, your life will be adrift. Without a guiding star in your night sky, you will not reach the goal of living an overcoming Christian life.

Most people have a vague idea of heaven. Heaven is good. Hell is bad. If I am a Christian, I go to heaven. If not, I go to hell. However, exactly how or even if my earthly actions affect my ultimate destination is a mystery. Some even dismiss the idea that my life now has any bearing on my ultimate home. That being the case, as long as I believe in Jesus, what difference does my behavior today really make?

Yet, the Bible tells us; “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1) (My underline)