Creation begins with Heaven. Not Earth.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1
This is, in fact, the first verse of the Bible. So, the Bible begins with the creation of Heaven… and it ends with the creation of Heaven:
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.Revelation 21:2
Just as everything starts and ends with Heaven… everything in between is from Heaven, everything on Earth created to respond to Heaven. This world has never been, and will never been, a realm of its own, but was literally purposed to magnify God. For creation and people to exalt the One True God.
Maybe you’re wondering: Why didn’t God make Earth a perfect, painless place, like Heaven is?
The thing is… He did. From the first humans He created, though, we are a sinful, fallen people, unworthy of His amazing love, though it is given to us in full. GOD has never made a single mistake… and it is that face of His perfection and His grace that we recognize how sinful we are; how much we fall short. How broken, prideful, stubborn, envious, greedy, selfish, lustful, self-seeking we are. How we idolize things or people that aren’t God.
But we still respond to Heaven.
In fact, “God is in Heaven” (Ecclesiastes 5:2). This is huge! We know that the calling and purpose we have to respond to God, to His Holy Spirit that He gives in full, is a heavenly calling. An eternal one. It is in this eternal purpose and union with God that depression, anxiety, worry, fear cannot remain to exist, because we understand that the fleeting things, the non-eternal things, are not our treasure. JESUS, Him alone, is our treasure.
When we start to perceive the beauty and perfection of Heaven as a place, we can only begin to imagine what retreating from there and being fully entrenched in the world would be like. How painful. This is exactly what God did by sending His only Son, Jesus, to leave His rightful place and to come and dwell with us. And oh, how He loves. How He convicts, challenges, transforms, and renews. How He spent His time on earth, fully man and fully God, completely and utterly sacrificing Himself, a servant, to the point of death.
What if we were the God that ruled the heavens and the earth? Would we use this power for nothing but selflessness, pure and perfect love, servanthood, exhortation, asking God to do His will through us? No. Where “Jesus did not see equality with God as something to be used to His own advantage” (Philippians 2:6), we inevitably would. Pride and selfishness would trickle in. Through Jesus alone, by His grace when we believe in Him and crucify our very selves with Him, are we purified and set free… not to live as unto ourselves, but as unto HIM.
When we are born again, meaning that we’ve committed our lives to Jesus, believing in His death and resurrection and confessing our faith, we receive His Holy Spirit in full. This means that we are born of heaven, since God Himself is in Heaven, and we are strangers in this earth. We will feel that, like strangers. Like our home is not here, because it’s not. Therefore, our life as a follower of Christ will be satisfied in God in Heaven, consummated on that day. And while we look forward to that day, that excitement only urges us in His mission for us on earth, that His will is done “on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10). By His Holy Spirit, we are convicted of selfish ambition, and urged on in holy, righteous, and truly selfless ambition.
While Heaven is our true home as Christians, we’re called to bring Heaven here. To love like Jesus loves, through Him. To go and make disciples. To be mistaken for Him in our marriages, church, work, school, missions, alone time and people time… all the time. Heaven is the standard, and it’s not one we can meet without Him. So what a gift that we don’t deserve… that we have complete access to relationship with Him. Praise Jesus!
And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules.Daniel 4:26