Hi everyone, Rob here.
Last night I was with my family watching our New Zealand cricket team beat our closest rivals and neighbours Australia. It was exhilarating stuff. The crowd was noisy and excited. It was joyous. I’m sure that Denver Broncos supporters were feeling the same way as their team surged towards victory in the Superbowl. Joyful communal exhilaration is a wonderful thing. Be it a Bruce Springsteen concert, a high-stakes sporting contest, worship with thousands of people or a gathering to welcome home heroes, we love the feeling of experiencing joy together.
The problem in this world, of course, is that it doesn’t last. The cricket was great but school and work was today’s reality. Our experiences of this kind of communal joy is fleeting and temporary. But they are glimpses of a truer and deeper reality. It’s interesting that the pictures of Eternity we see in the book of Revelation are always communal. There are the then thousand times ten thousand angels of chapter 5; the great multitude of chapter 7; the 144000 of chapter 14; a great multitude and the armies of heaven in chapter 19 and the Holy City of chapters 21 and 22, which will be filled with the servants of God.
The picture being painted is one of communal joy as we gather around the throne of God and realise that the victory is won:
Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:3-4).
The Superbowl will be contested again next year; we play Australia again later this week; church may have been great but the battles of the week will take their toll but the day is coming when the temporary will be replaced with the eternal and the battles will come to an end. The devil will be destroyed and death will die. Everything that brings you life will no longer be opposed. The heart of God will have unhindered access to your heart. You will experience a freedom you never thought was possible and a joy that you only vaguely dreamt about.
But what about today? Today God wants to give you more and more glimpses into your future. No, I don’t mean attending more sports games and rock concerts (but if you’ve been someone who has denied themselves joy, then maybe that’s exactly what you need to do!), but experiencing more victory and joy together. This means standing with faith and determination against the devil and his schemes. It means dedicating yourself to prayer and doing whatever it takes to align your heart with God’s heart. It means surrendering yourself daily to the cross, resurrection and reign of Christ. It means keeping in step with the Spirit throughout your day and inviting the Spirit’s help into every area of your life. The ‘together’ part comes when we ask people who share the same desire to partner with us as we seek God’s will, his breakthrough and his presence.
This is my prayer for my guys group which starts again this week; my home group, my church leadership group, for David and I as we lay Brand New Heart ministries before him, my family. Surrender and sacrifice are a large part of the process but they are not the goal. Victory and the increasing expansion of the kingdom of God are the goals. God wants us to glimpse heaven on earth. Jesus teaches us to pray exactly that!
…your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)
Pray that this week. May you see with the eyes of your heart glimpses of God’s kingdom. May his will be done in our lives and may his kingdom come.