“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country… to the land which I will show you.”From Genesis 12:1 NASB
God is always pointing His people forward; we may not always agree with Him about it, but He bids us go anyway. The Biblical pattern is already in place before Abram is sent out to an unknown destination; even the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden is a forward movement toward God’s grace being fully revealed in Christ.
Now we hear the prophets strain to see the incarnation of the Coming One. Gabriel visits Mary and points her toward the unprecedented plan the Almighty has for her life.
Jesus begins His earthly ministry resolutely moving forward to Calvary. He accomplishes salvation’s plan and moves toward the resurrection.
He commissions the Church, His Body on earth, and ascends to the Father with the promise of His return, to which we who believe now move toward on the path of ministry He has set before us in fulfillment of the commission He has placed upon us.
Look again at the pattern of promise God has built into His relationship with His people: I will send you into Egypt and I will bring you out; I will send you into exile for your sins, yet I will bring you home again; long have I desired to eat this Passover with you… not again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God; go make disciples of all nations; you shall be my witnesses…; why do you stand staring into the sky… this Jesus will come in the same way you have watched Him go? I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
We are God’s people on the move. From the garden to the new earth and the heavenly city, we are a people in progress. The life of the Church of Jesus Christ is a rising crescendo preparing to burst forth in the eternal presence of Almighty God, Father Son and Spirit; our service in the Name of Jesus is the music which causes the crescendo to swell. Heaven rings when our witness to Jesus causes each lost one to whom we have born witness to come home. Make no mistake, our words and deeds of love in the name of Jesus do not earn for us salvation, they reflect the grace which has redeemed us; they are instead lights shining in dark places.
I remember a magnet that used to adorn our ‘fridge’ when I was a teenager, it read, “Don’t be so heavenly minded you’re of no earthly good.” I understand the sentiment, but am no longer convinced that it forms a complete picture.
We need to be a forward looking people; we need to see heaven on the horizon. If we lose sight of the destination, we may well abandon the journey and the mission. If I do not see the loss of hope in one who is not heaven bound, why would I bother to point them in the Way of Jesus? Why not just live and let live while I see to my own concerns? In fact, we need to be so heavenly minded we are of earthly value to those God sends us to as we travel toward Home.
Not convinced? Might I suggest an exercise? Pick any of the Gospels, pray for discernment, and read it through in one day. I would be interested in hearing from you. There is an email link in the left side navigation bar, just click on “contact us”.