Heaven Came Down!

Do you need something beautiful to occupy your mind above elections, politics, social unrest and COVID-19?

Ephesians 1-3, part 1 


Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. 1:3 


It is early 2021 and I have been meditating upon one of the most amazing sections in all of scripture; Ephesians 1-3. We’ve all heard stories of people living in poverty who could’ve had access to riches. In some of these tales, the person is unaware of their riches and in others, the person is aware, but lives as a miser anyway. Either way, it’s a sad scenario. 


Our passage is about the abundance of riches we have as followers of Christ, both here and now, and in the life to come. Do we fully enjoy the riches we have in Christ or are we living like spiritual paupers? 


As is my habit, I have begun the process of translating this passage from the pages of scripture into devotional reflections, (for my own devotional enjoyment and encouragement, but hopefully for you as well). So far, I’m failing miserably to catch the grandeur of this section of the Bible.  I can’t seem to touch with words the depth, breadth, height and length of this passage. What to do? 


Well… I will probably try anyway because even in my shortcomings of comprehension and communication, I am blessed abundantly by simply attempting to draw out the rich aroma of the scent of heaven revealed in this passage. Speaking of the aroma of heaven, this passage is about the kiss of heaven upon the lips of His children. Yes, it’s about the concept of heaven on earth; heaven came down; heavenly glory and grace in this life as a foretaste of what is to come.  


This earth is not our home. But while we’re here, the blessings and gifts of God for us in this life are the very articles of heaven. We enjoy the blessings of the heavenly places. Heaven has come down. 


The Joy of Anticipation 


When I was a boy, my father would sometimes take me camping and fishing in the beautiful backwoods of Western Washington. As the weekend trip drew near, I would prepare my camping and fishing gear, organize my clothes and make sure everything was set for the trip. I would fall asleep dreaming and envisioning the wonder of the trip; the warmth of my father’s presence in the midst of the crisp coolness of the air in the Pacific Northwest; the sound of the rushing river and beauty of the towering evergreen trees; and of course, the feel of my line and the bending of my pole as a rainbow trout attacks my bait. 


The anticipation was pure joy! 


During the preceding week of my much-anticipated fishing trip, life would go on as normal for me as an 11-year-old boy. As was typical, I may have embarrassed myself in flag football at recess; I may have struggled with an assignment from school; I very well may have had a fight with my sister and so on. But with the fishing trip before me, I brushed off all those typical trials quite easily. Why? Because I had better things to think about. I was going fishing and camping this weekend with my father and nothing could dampen my spirits. Hope and anticipation dominated all the spaces in my heart. 


What about us today? We are living typical lives, dealing with the same issues I did as an 11-year-old boy. We embarrass ourselves; we struggle with assignments and we encounter friction of varying sorts with relationships and people in our lives. These issues often weigh heavily upon us. But do we realize that God has given us far more important things to occupy the spaces of our hearts and minds? He has given us the realities of heaven before us, around us and within us. We have the blessings of God lavished upon our lives as a foretaste of what is to come soon.


The anticipation should be pure joy!  


We can fall asleep each night, releasing the heaviness of this world and turn our hearts toward the freshness of heaven’s grace hovering over our lowly state. 


Side Note: Read that last sentence again. It is all true … but it is easier said than done. It’s a simple concept but not always easy to do. Sometimes I lay awake for hours trying to shake the anxieties of my life and unable to release everything to God. Nevertheless, our knack to get stuck in our present realities doesn’t take away from the fact that God has called us to a higher place. Slowly but surely, I am growing in His grace, and I hope you are too.  


Maybe this mindset-shift will help affect our perspective: please read the following sentence slowly and thoughtfully. It is from the book, Body of Divinity by Thomas Watson:  


The sweetest reality of our current state is that despite the constant friction of our flesh and the pain and trials of this world, we are nevertheless in a perpetual state of grace.  


One of the greatest blessings of heaven upon your life now is the fact that you are in a perpetual state of grace. 


Learning Alert: In Ephesians 1-3, Paul unfolds all the blessings we have in Christ; the abundance of grace and forgiveness and adoption into His forever family. These blessings flow out of the kind intentions of God’s heart toward us. Paul covers these truths with the prayer that the followers of Jesus would have the knowledge, the wisdom and the enlightenment to realize every blessing we have in Christ.  


So today, let’s not focus on something we need to DO. Let’s ask God to simply affirm in our minds, with knowledge and enlightenment, the realities of His blessing. I pray that you would know … Soak and marinate in the amazing wonder of living in a perpetual state of grace: He is always with you, He will never let you go, you are forever His, you are forever forgiven and fully redeemed. You are loved! You are in a perpetual state of grace!