Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
I love the book of Ephesians because it is the only letter Paul wrote in which he was not addressing a particular problem. The book reveals God’s blueprint for the church and our lives on the earth.
“In the heavenly places” is used five times in the book of Ephesians. It occurs in 1:3, 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, and 6:12. This phrase is found no other place in Scripture. Actually, the word “places” does not exist in the original Greek. Words like places, realms etc. are added to make it more readable and bring out the meaning.
I have always believed in the heavenly places, but I have not always sought it out or made it a focus of my life. The Bible tells us “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Since I have focused on and began to cultivate the heavenly places my life has been significantly impacted. I have experienced growth in the fruit of the Spirit, in my love and devotion to the Lord and in spiritual sensitivity. It is because we are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3. “In the heavenly places” is where God has kept all His provision and blessings for us.
Over 25 years ago I had a vision of the throne room of God. It was so real that I literally thought I had died and gone to heaven. In the vision I dimly saw through a mist the throne of the Father. It was strange as I felt I had been there many times before, it felt familiar and in a sense it felt like home. I heard a voice say, “You can come here anytime you desire.” I knew in my heart that every time I turned my heart toward God in prayer, worship or just in my thoughts that I was truly before His throne.
A few days later I had another vision. I was standing in my front yard looking at an oak sapling that the builder had planted in our yard. Suddenly it began growing rapidly before my eyes until it became a mature oak tree. A few months ago I drove through the neighborhood we were living in when I had the visions. I was amazed to see the same oak sapling of 25 years ago was now a mature tree just like in my vision. I knew the vision I had of the throne room was for this time in my life. It is a time to live our lives on earth while keeping the Father and the beauty of heaven in our minds and heart (Phil. 4:8).
Growing up I was very interested in spiritual things and the spiritual world seemed to be easily within reach. Unfortunately for me, I rejected Christianity as being something that only old people did. As a young man I had an encounter with the Lord that eventually led me into a salvation experience. My Christian life began with a lot of spiritual activity, but it was not long before the doctrines of men and the religious spirit influenced me and the heavenly places became little more than a lifeless belief. Even after having the vision of the throne room I just assumed this type of thing was an occasional event that would randomly happen in my Christian life because it was only for specially gifted people. The Bible clearly tells us this is not a random event, but something we all are to actively seek and put our focus on.
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4
More than ever, what we seek after and set our minds on will determine how we live during these tumultuous and dark days we find ourselves in.
Many Blessings, BW