Heavenly living requires a heavenly vision!
I asked the Lord how we get this. He reminded me of Saul’s radical conversion to the Apostle Paul:
“…Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples…” (Acts 9:1, NIV). Stephen, the first martyr, was murdered for his faith in Jesus? Saul was there when Stephen was stoned! As Saul was breathing out his murderous threats, Stephen was breathing out his last breath – while releasing prayers!
“…Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55, NIV)
WAIT A MINUTE! Stephen saw Jesus STANDING at the right hand of God!? Usually, Scripture portrays Jesus’ authority as SEATED at the right hand of God!
Here we see Jesus STANDING, I believe, to honor Stephen, as they were stoning him.
As His followers, we are told, “…God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6, NIV).
This is how we are made alive in Christ! He gives us a seat of honor. Why do we need to seek honor elsewhere?
Prayers Move the Heart of God
“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ The he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do NOT hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul approved of their killing him…” (Acts 7:59–8:1, NIV).
Stephen’s words, “…do not hold this sin against them…” go straight to the heart of Jesus standing to honor His witness, His martyr, His faithful servant.
Could Stephen’s prayer have prompted God to appear to Saul on the road to Damascus to bring forth his conversion? Jesus’ heart was moved when Stephen cried out!
Your prayers are heard by the Lord! He is moving Heaven on your behalf, bringing Heaven to earth! He moved to a STANDING position of authority for His friend, Stephen.
“As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do’” (Acts 9:3-6, NIV).
Heavenly Vision Produces Heavenly Living
Saul’s response was immediate obedience! If Jesus appeared to us in that dramatic way, our response would also be instantaneous! Encounters with Jesus catapult us into heavenly thinking and heavenly living – then supernatural living!
ONE ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS, AND WE’RE NEVER THE SAME!
Note: Jesus didn’t tell him to wait for a revelation or confirmation? Or tell him He would explain everything beforehand? He simply instructed him to ‘GO!’ into the city where he would be told what to do!
His calling is similar to that of other biblical patriarchs but with very little details about the “GO!” The entire plan (or vision) is not given at one time. Lord, may we learn from this? We walk in faith moving forward without all the details!
To Abram, God said, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1, NIV).
True faith goes without knowing where you are going. It takes clear vision and heavenly-minded thinking to accomplish the mission.
To the disciples, the command was, “…Go and make disciples…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19, NIV).
Are you living for God?
Are you living to fulfill His purpose for your life? Some people ‘live’ paycheck-to-paycheck. God always intended us to live as HE lives – Kingdom-minded.
In the Garden, when God formed mankind, He purposed us to be living beings, heavenly beings – the Breath of Heaven breathed into Adam.
“The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, NIV).
The prophet Jeremiah wrote about Israel forsaking God, “My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water…” (Jeremiah 2:13, NIV).
YES! Within that spring is life-giving water, full of the power God gives to His people! Are we implementing that power? Are we giving that powerful Love away?
A spring results when overflow is poured out. Are we pouring out Jesus to others?
Draw from the Living Water
In the Old Testament, God formed us for living. In the New Testament, Jesus still wanted to give away that Water. He said to the woman at the well, “…If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10, NIV).
He wanted the woman who was living in sin to draw from the well. He wanted to refresh and restore her. He knew the time she drew water and divinely met her during that time. He was modeling how to bring Heaven to earth, how to reach the unreachable and how to simply talk to people. His prophetic gifting came into action as He laid eyes on her! Words of knowledge flowed out of Him – Words of Wisdom. Then the invitation to know Him! Not just know Him but to know Him as Messiah, Savior and Lord! He called to that ‘deep place’ within her to be truly loved! She kept hooking up with the wrong guys!
There are people living on earth that must be introduced to Heaven. We are to model Him as we draw from the Living Water! He wants many more to encounter Him, as did this woman! Heaven makes note of our investments!
Jesus reassures us about the Living Water: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive…” (John 7:38-39, NIV).
“…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).
The call to Heavenly Living is still being passed to us! Heavenly Living is building the Kingdom of God. When God breathed life into mankind, it caused us to be alive and active. When the Holy Spirit comes upon mankind, He produces witnesses.
Do you live for God? Do you live with a heavenly perspective? Is a Kingdom mind-set an integral part of your life? If so, you will produce!
It’s time we live for God! Whatever vision God gives you – DO! Wherever God says to go – GO! All Heaven will back you. As He promised them, He promises us: “I will be with you always!” We receive Him, so we can release Him!
Feed on the Living Bread
“But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:50-51, NIV).
“As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me” (John 6:57, NIV).
Whatever we feed on becomes our Source of nourishment! Let Jesus be your Bread of Life and let the Living Water of His Spirit produce heavenly living! When we think like Heaven, we think like Jesus. When we live as He wants us to we release His Kingdom. When we release His Kingdom, we answer His prayer:
“…Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10, ESV).
Heaven To Earth!
This is God’s rule for our present Reality and our future Hope! It is God’s will to bring His Kingdom to the earth! As a Christ-follower, the Kingdom of God is within us. The Breath of Heaven has come – let Him live through YOU! Let His Spirit move through YOU! This is heavenly living! This is the Lord’s Prayer! This is the Lord’s Provision!
Living HEAVEN TO EARTH,
Mary Beth Pecora