Heaven on Earth
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.Philippians 4:12
These are the words of the apostle Paul that were spoken while he was in prison for being a Christian. Paul suffered greatly fulfilling his ministry; …been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, (2 Corinthians 11:24-25). This is a partial list of the suffering Paul endured, and yet he said he learned to be content in any and every situation. Paul was able be content because his soul was living in the Spirit, while his flesh was living in the world.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). How strong can the fruit of the Spirit be in our souls? The closer we are to the Lord the more powerful the fruit of the Spirit; the presence of the Lord is within us.
Paul was closer to the Lord than he was to the world. His soul was in constant communion with the Holy Spirit, who is the heavenly realm. He lived everyday knowing his life was with Christ, both in this life and in his eternal life. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). Paul constantly remained connected to the Lord, seeking to obey his will and to please him no matter the cost. “Many have found the secret of which I speak and, without giving much thought to what is going on within them, constantly practice this habit of inwardly gazing upon God. They know that something inside their hearts sees God. Even when they are compelled to withdraw their conscious attention in order to engage in earthly affairs there is within them a secret communion always going on.” (from “The Pursuit of God” by A. W. Tozer, Chapter 7). This “secret communion always going on,” is a constant awareness of being connected to the Lord through the power of Holy Spirit.
The more we love the Lord and the more of his love that is in our hearts, the closer we are to the Lord and the more we have this secret communion. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30). The more we love the Lord, the more we obey the Lord, the more we seek the Lord, and the more we live in the Spirit. Thus our souls can be in touch with heaven through the Holy Spirit while our flesh is in the world. How powerful is the Lord’s presence in our souls? His presence gives Christians the strength to die for Christ with praise and worship on their lips.
Today know how close you can be to the Lord and realize your divine purpose, to be a witness for Christ. When you live knowing your divine purpose, then Christ is your life. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20).
Let’s Pray: Lord, guide me to live in the Spirit, and to be aware of a secret communion with you at all times. Nothing is greater than being close to you and aware of your presence. Mold me to be Christ-like that I may approach the closeness that Jesus had with you. In Jesus name, Amen