I’m becoming convinced that the more we dedicate ourselves to our Lord, God, and Savior, the more He opens our eyes to the truth. When I say the truth, I am not only referring to His Word, but to the reality of the afterlife.
Years ago, the idea of “heaven” was a very welcome idea, but it did not have a grip on me so to speak, even though I was a Christian. Now, at 54, I find that I think about it more and the reality of heaven seems to permeate my soul far more than it did years ago. I attribute that to a number of things, like my sister’s death a little over three years ago, the fact that I’m getting older, and certainly not least of which is the fact that I believe I have gotten to know Him better.
To an atheist, this type of talk is absolute nonsense, but for me, it seems that my head is being lifted up, so to speak. I have not become so earthly minded that I am no earthly good. If anything, I have realized that I have become more bold in my faith where God is concerned. I have also found it much easier to discuss Jesus with strangers. In essence, the reality of the afterlife has created within me a greater desire to see the lost come to know Him.
I feel sorry for atheists and agnostics. My heart goes out to people who are lost, yet have “religion” like Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and the rest, even though they would tell me I needn’t worry. Well, I do worry for them. I am concerned about their life, both here and now, and their life after this one. Nothing ends. It merely changes. We change either for the better due to the indwelling Holy Spirit and the salvation that comes only from Jesus, or we become worse due to the fact that we are not in relationship with Jesus.
Gaining salvation does more than keep us out of hell. It grants us the privilege of having a direct relationship with Jesus, God of all. This cannot be under or over emphasized.
Years ago, I would read about some Old Testament saint and their exploits with God and wonder why they were chosen. Why not me? Why couldn’t the Lord pull back the curtain so that I could see what exists behind it as He did with many prophets of old? The answer is simple: He doesn’t want to and there’s really no good purpose to do so. I’ll see things soon enough, but for now He wants me to live by faith.
But faith is rewarded with a growing understanding and, dare I say, vision of what He has for us. Our desire to please Him, to live for Him, to glorify Him gives us access to a greater awareness of what surrounds us. In other words, our eyes are adjusted so that they are not focused on us, but on the things of the Spirit. This then leads to an inward and growing comfort with the things of the Lord.
The Holy Spirit slowly, but deftly, readjusts our thinking. The things we used to think were great are now only so-so. The things we used to yearn for we now realize we can go without. The things that are now part of our life are good enough in themselves because they came from God, who cares for us.
However, nothing we have in this life has any real eternal significance except our salvation and who can over emphasize that? I think that this – at least in part – is the reason we grow to love Him more. It is because the Holy Spirit does His work within us to separate from those things that really don’t mean much if anything at all. As He does His work, we find that the scales begin falling from our eyes. We begin to see things more clearly.
I know that God lives and one day – at His choosing – I will live with Him for all eternity. It is not as if I can actually see heaven now, but through faith, it has become more clear. If you’re a Christian, that will make sense. If you’re not a Christian, that will sound like the ramblings of a man who is growing old and losing his moorings on life.
The only moorings I am losing are those that have sought to keep me tethered to the things in this life. I’m glad to see them go.