I was born in Wyoming in 1983. As I speed through my 30’s, I recognize I do not have long on this earth. Time is ticking. The Bible words it like this – we are like blades of grass… in the grand scheme of things, we grow up and we wither (Isaiah 40:6-8).
How do I best spend my one life?
One of my primary life goals is to glorify God with the way I live. Pointing others to Him, because He alone is worthy of my sustained worship. In fact, the Bible says, “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15) Have you ever thought about that? Why would the death of His saints be precious to Him? I believe it is because God then can welcome us into His presence, where tears, pain, suffering all vanish for the splendor of being with the King. He can finally “restore, confirm, strengthen and establish” us after the suffering that we were subjected to unwillingly, for His sake (1 Peter 5:9-10, Romans 8:18-21).
How do I know this restoration and union, called heaven, will be good? Like, not Chuck E Cheese pizza party good, but really, really good? As in, retreat to a remote mountain cabin with my wife for a week good?
In short, I am sure it will be good because I know the beauty of union with my wife. We are eager for time together. It is a joy, and not a burden. We help restore each other through friendship, laughter, evening back rubs, sharing a meal together.
I believe a wondrous marriage reflects that of Christ and His Church. My bride is delicate yet strong, sweet yet bold. She is beautiful, and when I see her, I want to take pictures of her and to be joined with her. I cannot escape those urgings because being together is never enough. I always want more. I always come back for more. She is that good of a gift.
And if she is a wondrous gift to me, how then can her Creator be any less wondrous? Surely His glory will be more incredible than I can imagine.
Solomon in the Proverbs used the analogy of “drinking water from your own cistern” to refer to “getting plenty” from the physical union with your spouse such that you are no longer thirsty.
Heaven is the eternal union of Christ to His body, the Church
And THIS is why I know heaven will be marvelous. Because I know that the physical, emotional and spiritual union found in sex is but a dim reflection of the union we will have with Christ in heaven!
In my marriage, after 10 years I have found that sex only gets better. I am not talking about gimmicks and toys, or bringing in movies or other things people create to try to ‘enhance’ sex. I am talking about giving when I don’t think I have anything left to give. A long, exhausting day, but somehow I have enough to give a back massage, which then leads to a warm bed and exhaustion. The day is over. Add to that some audio Bible as my wife and I fall asleep, and we have what I consider to be a perfect ending to the day.
No one, nothing else will do
My wife and I have exclusive, full access to each other’s bodies. We drink water from our own cistern (aka, an underground reserve of water). We are one. I cannot get the connection that I need from a website, a grocery store magazine or another woman. My wife can’t get physical satisfaction from others. This is exclusive satisfaction – no one, no thing other than each other will do. Sound familiar? To me, this physical union reminds me that I can only be whole in Christ. No one, nothing else will do but Christ to satisfy my soul and quench my thirst. John 4:14
And in this ever more satisfying sex is found a dim shadow of heaven, of that uniting with Christ. I hope – indeed expect relationship with God to be like this, only way better. We can gaze at a holy, undefiled union of a man and his wife, and anticipate from its reflection God’s joyous plan for union with His bride, the body of Christ.
Friendship with Christ gets richer as I experience with Christ the pain, suffering and surprise joys of this crazy, unpredictable life. When I am tempted to think that the only happiness and joy is found in carefully orchestrated convenience and comfort, the Word of God shakes up my expectations and reminds me that suffering is a part of the Christian walk. (1 Peter 4:13)
And, that is OK. It has to be! For if I do not trust God’s plans for me, whose plans would I be subscribing to? God’s plans are not stable and comfortable, but they are good. If you think otherwise, look at God’s plans for His own Son on earth. Unpredictable. Messy, but glorious and literally earth-shaking! Matthew 27:51
In Heaven, I will find ways to more wholly give up my heart in worship to the Timeless One, each time of worship getting better and richer. Because God is glorious and worthy, and I find my identity in reflecting His strength and beauty. His unworldly courage and love. He knows me better than I can imagine, and praise God, He is working on a permanent home for me.
Heaven is not boring, but self-led pursuits are
Dear friends, we have to stop buying into the lie that our heaven citizenship will be boring, while pursuit of our own pleasures on earth will be fulfilling. We have it entirely backwards. Heaven will be better than the best sex we have ever experienced. And it will keep rocking. And the pleasures on earth that man has created will fade away as we retrain our hearts and minds to focus on Christ, and enjoy what He has given us to enjoy. The cycles of life, the appeal and elegance of a wife, the strength and surety of a husband, the undefiled marriage bed, the joy and innocence of children. Indeed, every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17
God’s plans for our lives are not boring. When I hear of the adventures of missionaries and those given to God’s good work, in whatever form He has provided, I find anything but boredom. I find struggle and pain, but of a kind that makes excellent stories of God’s faithfulness. When you are old, do you want to have your grandchildren on your lap (if you are so fortunate to have them), telling them stories of God’s faithfulness in your life? Or would you rather find yourself alone, eating pureed carrots in regret of the life you spent in selfish indulgence, not following the ways of Christ?
As I write this, I am 30,000 feet in the air on a flight back home from a business trip. As I glance between the seats and see someone’s screen, I see a TV channel devoted to lusting after consumption, and that is boring. All I have seen in an hour of glances at that channel is pictures of people who are on a cruise or beach, smiling and consuming food and drinks. I think of the verse, “many live as enemies of the cross of Christ… their god is their stomach.” Do not buy into the life of self-indulgence at the expense of the grand, adventurous life Christ is offering. Philippians 3:18-21:
For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Now friends, go and live a life worthy of the calling which you have received!