Citizens of Heaven
In the last days the body of Christ will become one with Christ. Just as a bride has her eyes fixed on her bridegroom, we will see and live only for our Lord. And our passion for Him will draw us together as one body. We will truly become one in the Spirit together with our Lord. Indeed, we will become the bride of Christ, as our passion for Him increases.
Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; their minds are on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven (see Phil. 3:18-20).
Paul wrote to the Philippian church of a dilemma he was having: a conflict of interests between the longing in his heart and the reasoning of his mind. He told them, "To live is Christ and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21). He was torn between his desire to live and remain on this earth to serve Christ and his desire to be with Christ.
"If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body" (Phil. 1:22-24).
He had so positioned himself in Christ in the spirit realm that his heart was charged with a deep longing to be with Him in heaven. He wanted to be with the One he loved, and yet it was for the One he loved that he remained on earth. To serve the cause of Christ and the kingdom of heaven, he had to stay on earth.
Yet, while serving Christ on earth, Paul knew that his citizenship was in heaven. He lived his earthly life for heavenly purposes. His mind was not set on what he could gain for this life, but in
the next. He knew that the real prize was in living his life to build for the eternal kingdom, to which, though on earth, he belonged. He was kingdom minded; his mind was set on the eternal kingdom of God.
was set on the things to come, not on the things of this earth (see Col. 3:2). His heart was with his King. He aspired to please the One he loved, whether in life or in death: "So that now as always Christ will be
exalted in my body, whether by life or by death" (Phil. 1:20).
Paul's love for his Lord spurred him on to plant the seed of Christ in the hearts of others, as many as would receive. He lived his life not
for himself, but to proclaim the life of Jesus. It was for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ that he lived, laying down his own ambitions and desires for that of his King. His life was poured out so that others would
A Higher Purpose
A life of sacrifice lived for the Lamb of God is a life profoundly lived. To lay down our lives out of passion for our Lord is to live a life of elevated intensity and with
To live for Jesus makes us resolute and unstoppable. We are not living for ourselves, but for a much higher purpose. That is why, in noble gentleness, we do all for the sake of the King of
heaven. Any battle we face, we fight, not for ourselves, but for Him.
When our eyes are fixed on our King, we will fear nothing. The love we have for Him overcomes any fears we may face. And like a good soldier who
readies himself for battle by reminding himself of what he is fighting for, we must focus on Who we are fighting for. We fight not for earthly gain, but for an eternal cause. We fight for the One we love: the King of heaven.
This is not an oppressive task; it is liberating! We can live free now. We can live free from fear and the need for competition with one another. We can live free from jealousy, for we are all working for the same cause and have the same goals. And if our brother succeeds in edifying the kingdom, then we should be overjoyed for him. When he succeeds we all succeed, for we are one in Christ.
A good soldier does not fight against his fellow soldier to become a greater hero than his friend, but he fights for and with his fellow soldiers to build them up so that the cause they are fighting for will be helped. We are to build up one another so that the body of Christ as a whole can work in unison with one another for the glory of our King.
Champions in Christ
If we live and operate in this earthly realm, being earthly minded, we are playing by its rules and we will lose. We have no authority to operate with a worldly mind set, therefore we become
its victim and lose our victory.
However, if we live according to the heavenly realm, with our minds fixed on Jesus, we walk in the victory that He gave us, and we operate in the level of authority Christ did. We are
then living by the rules of heaven and, by the authority of heaven, we are made victorious through Christ's victory. "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing
over them by the cross" (Col. 2:15).
For we have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority (see Col. 2:10) and Christ is the fullness of God on earth (see Col. 2:9). If we
live in Christ, we live in the victory He won for us at Calvary; we are made champions of the earth; we truly become the head and not the tail. You are the richness of God when you walk in Christ!
As we walk
in the victory and authority of Christ we become unstoppable! So we must focus on Christ; and live in Him: "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the
right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Col. 3:1-2).
If we, who are set apart for Christ, live according to the rules of this earthly realm, we are nothing according to its
standards and have little power to influence it. But if we live our lives for the kingdom of heaven, we are heirs to the promises of God and seated with God in Christ (see Eph. 2:6).
"For you died, and your life
is now hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). Our life is Christ; we live in Him, and it is only by living in Him that we can truly live. You are no longer who you once were, but you have been made a new creation in
Christ, and you are hidden with Him in God. Your life outside of God is no longer congenial; now you live only in Him.
Heirs with Christ
"...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share
in the inheritance of the saints of Light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col.
We have become a part of the kingdom of the Son, and God has qualified us to share in the inheritance of that kingdom. It is only through becoming a part of His kingdom that we will walk in the authority He
did. As we are united with Christ, we walk in His authority as His bride.
As a bride takes her husband's name, she becomes a new person; she assumes His name and whatever honor and authority that goes with it. So
it is with the Bride of Christ. We must assume our place by His side and reign with Him, ruling with the authority He has given us.
We must become His passionate bride driven by an all-consuming passion for our Lord.
Our greatest desire must be to be one with Him. Driven by love for our King, our lives will be consumed by Him and only then can we truly live.
Beloved, let us become one with Jesus and see our burning passion for Him ignite the world!