Thursday, December 10, 2009

Island Dreams -- Mere Shadows of GOD's Heaven

i have an ache in my heart. It's a longing to go back to the islands.

To me, this longing ache in my heart to go back to some island paradise is in Reality my being drawn closer to CHRIST's presence. I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3) The perfect sun-drenched and idyllic tropical island paradise is but the physical representation of what JESUS' presence means to me. Today i fervently seek a closer, deeper intimacy with JESUS -- and sometimes the yearning for His Kingdom is so strong as to drive me to tears.

My deceitful mind would try to rationalize this soulful yearning as self-pity, or as a desire to escape earthly responsibilities, or as mere emotional homesickness for my other home -- that sun-kissed garden island, Taveuni -- imperfectly embodied as the island of my dreams.

But SPIRIT revealed to me that my deep longing for that unnameable something is not merely for Taveuni, but a crying out to GOD to be with Him -- in His presence -- for His tender embrace is comfort indeed, His perfect company is beyond words, His glorious presence an indescribable bliss!

In the presence of my LORD is unimaginable beauty, unsurpassed by any created thing on earth Yes, He is altogether lovely (Song of Solomon 5:16) -- for man has marred beyond repair the creation of GOD, physically and spiritually. There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. (Proverbs 14:12) There's no need to describe how humankind has adulterated GOD's pure intent of a paradisaical heaven on earth. There are still a few glimpses of paradise, but even these natural havens have been corrupted by man. But at least i can look at what's left of GOD's creation and still stand amazed in awesome wonder at His grand artistry -- the diversity, the minute details and perfect fit of everything -- i see GOD in nature...and i fall to my knees in worship and thankfulness that this infinitely wise, all powerful Sovereign Creator is my very own Father -- through my faith in the atoning blood of His Son, JESUS CHRIST.

In my Father's Kingdom is light -- all more shadows or darkness -- literally and figuratively. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of GOD illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. (Revelation 21:23) In His house is perfect harmony with all my brothers and sisters in CHRIST -- can i even grasp this joyful truth?! That amongst the innumerable personalities in heaven, we would all get along, no matter what skin, culture and idiosyncrasies clothed our spirits on earth. The nations of the earth will walk in its light, and the rulers of the world will come and bring their glory to it. (Revelation 21:24) That we would be literally walking on air because the joy in all of us would so make us so exuberant that we can't but float in effervescent, uncontainable lightness of being! He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever. (Revelation 21:4)

Even with my very finite mind, i can imagine this because the truth of GOD's Word tells me so (if anyone is in CHRIST, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. II Corinthians 5:17) -- that when i meet JESUS after this body has been used for GOD's purpose -- i will become at last in Reality what i've prayed for -- to be that likeness of CHRIST that GOD had always intended -- with my own individual personality, yet with all the perfection (wholeness) of JESUS. And all in heaven will be like CHRIST -- whole and in love! i can't explain this mystery, but i know that it is glorious truth -- for GOD purposed this before even His creation was made manifest. There is a happily ever after!

The world as it is today is sick -- literally ailing, like a man with a cancer. On his person, you can already see the symptoms manifesting as painful sores and unhealthy pallor. In his eyes, if you would look deep into the windows of his soul, you would see fear and desperation lurking behind the shutters of his earthly facade.

So when i long with such intensity for GOD's Kingdom, can you blame me? Can you understand? There is no escape from this earthly world that is full of ugliness and sin. It is what it is! Yet as a follower of CHRIST, knowing that this earth is but training ground and that the true Reality (real Life) is heaven -- i can live here with equanimity and can view this life with calm detachment because this is not all there is...and this world is not my real home. We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. (Philippians 3:20)

But there are times when i just want to be in GOD's Heaven already! Those times when i wish the Rapture were already Reality...It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. (I Corinthians 15:52)

So on the days i get impatient and antsy, i ask Him to enable me, to empower me, by His abiding SPIRIT so that i may continue to worship Him wholeheartedly, no matter what -- to wait for His return, standing firm on the Rock of Ages, immovable and steadfast in the palm of His almighty righteous hand; and to watch for His directives -- to be alert and ready to follow His be unattached to the things that grab at my be at all times holding on very loosely to the stuff of the be vigilant of my heart so that nothing may separate me from my fellowship with GOD as i walk in step with Him.

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For GOD has said, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

For to walk with GOD, with CHRIST JESUS, is the most wonderful GODventurez of this lifetime...and to be with Him in His presence forever is my Reality -- the Truth that allows my inner being to walk undaunted in this fallen world, with unfathomable peace and indescribable joy, which is in the Person of CHRIST JESUS -- my LORD and Constant Companion.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy SPIRIT, who leads into all truth. (John 14:16-17a)

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