On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Occupy, protest, vote, join, reform, transform . . . Really? The flood of legitimate issues and causes to care deeply about is overwhelming. So many desperate needs. How can anyone truly make a difference?

“On earth as it is in heaven.” A well-worn phrase, one that perhaps we are numb to.

Earth – visible, tangible, in our face, demanding our attention, our time, our lives.

Heaven – unseen, a distant destination, the sweet by-and-by, already-but-not-yet.

Scripture says our citizenship is (not will be) in heaven. What does it mean to be the citizens of a seemingly distant and unfamiliar country? For now, we essentially have dual-citizenship or maybe something like an earth visa.

The realm of earth is familiar. It is what feels like home to us. We are accustomed to the language, the currency, the economy, the politics, and the culture.

Two realms, coexisting concurrently rather than sequentially. The predominant view of “earth now, heaven later” has handicapped our understanding of the ways in which heaven impacts earth today. We not only have hope of a better future, but we are ambassadors of a better future in a land which groans in anticipation of a better day.

Faith in heaven as a current reality can be nurtured and can grow; we can breathe in the vitality of heaven. The realm of heaven has its own culture, language, currency, economy, and politics. Familiarizing ourselves with the culture of heaven will inform and shape our involvement in the issues of earth.

What are the things that matter in heaven? What are the things that have eternal significance? What about “earthly things?” What should be invested in here?

Things that bring creative goodness and love to the earth are eternal in the currency and economy of heaven. Creative goodness and love are expressed according to the unique gifts and talents of each person, not according to a predetermined, super-holy formula. To bring the impact of heaven to earth today, live in the reality that we can invite eternal, God-life to earth through the investment of goodness and love, heaven’s currency, in this not-yet-healed world.

When we measure value according to the economy of heaven, there is not license to neglect justice, mercy, and love on the earth. Understanding the economy of heaven instead gives us perspective about how we spend ourselves during our sojourn here. Whether we are involved in prominent causes or ordinary events, we invest according to the values of heaven, ever mindful of heaven’s culture and our allegiance to it.

In the realm of heaven:
the small gift is made large,
the weak are strong,
the rejected are chosen,
the cast down are lifted up,
the broken are made whole.

What difference can one person make? There are no small or insignificant acts of creative goodness and love in the economy of heaven.

Remembering that daily I have the opportunity to act with eternal purpose helps me to not become numb to the overwhelming need in this world. I can’t do everything that I would like to do. However, I can step into each day, willing to respond to whatever I encounter that day with the grace-empowered goodness and love of the Spirit of God. I get to participate in impacting earth today with the eternal life force of heaven.

This post is part of November’s Synchroblog – Calling Us Out of Numbness. You can read other, insightful, posts at these links:

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18 thoughts on “On Earth As It Is In Heaven

  1. An excellent post.
    The church concentrates on the “heaven when you’re dead” principle simply because, through shear unbelief, they can no longer present any evidence that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
    Nobody can dispute the “when you die” bit because the blessing always comes tomorrow. It reminds me of a brass plaque in a local pub in the south of England where I lived.
    “FREE BEER TOMORROW”.
    I much prefer free beer today! Or should I say free wine today, the new wine of the Holy Spirit who God promises to pour down on those who simply ASK.

    I wrote a post about “heaven when you’re dead” on my blog a couple of years ago. http://francisdrakeprivateer.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/heaven-when-youre-dead-or-kingdom-now/
    The whole argument is about whether we live from the Tree of Life, or live from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Until the church learns to operate at the realm of the Spirit, it will always be ministering death from the Tree of Knowledge to people.

    1. Frank,
      I enjoyed reading your post. It has been helpful for me to realize that we already have participation in the eternal kingdom with our current lives and activities. Without a concept of the nearness of heaven here today, we are hindered to participate in the life of the Spirit.

  2. What a great reminder. I too get overwhelmed with all the possible ways of getting involved. But with a little act of love here, a service to someone else there, change does occur.

  3. Linda, So glad to “see” you again. I have just begun to blog again on my site and although I have not been attuned to the synchroblog’s much lately I also wrote something recently about dealing with the “Global Guilt” that we all seem to feel.
    Essentially, I was reminded of a verse in Jeremiah that says this:

    (Neh 8:10) Then he said unto them, Go your way,
    eat the fat, and drink the sweet,
    and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:
    for this day is holy unto our Lord:
    neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

    I looked up the context and they had just found the books of the law and were overwhelmed with guilt and “ought.” I loved that Jeremiah gives the heart of God for us and says, “yes, enjoy what is given to you but send a portion to those who have not.” I loved the word “portion.” Not all, or a measurable amount but what was in your heart to give..
    Blessings!

  4. thanks for this, linda. i loved this:

    In the realm of heaven:
    the small gift is made large,
    the weak are strong,
    the rejected are chosen,
    the cast down are lifted up,
    the broken are made whole.

    i love that this is possible on earth & we can participate in it.

    great to see you, too, that was fun.

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