In John 14, Jesus tells us it is time for us to know our heavenly position in him. He explained to the disciples, “Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father; and you are in Me, and I in you” (John 14:29-20). We are now living in “that day” Jesus speaks of. In short, we are to understand our heavenly position in Christ.
Most of us do know our position in Christ — that we are seated with him in heavenly places — but only as a theological fact. We don’t know it in experience. What do I mean by this expression, “our position in Christ”? Very simply, position is “where one is placed, where one is.” God has placed us where we are, which is in Christ.
In turn, Christ is in the Father, seated at his right hand. Therefore, if we’re in Christ, then we’re actually seated with Jesus in the throne room, where he is. That means we’re sitting in the presence of the Almighty. This is what Paul refers to when he says we’re made to “sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
The moment you place your trust in Christ, you’re taken into him by faith. God acknowledges you in his Son, seating you with him in the heavenlies. This is not merely some theological point, but a factual position. So now, as you surrender your will to the Lord’s, you are able to claim all the spiritual blessings that come with your position.
Of course, being “in Christ” doesn’t mean you leave this earth. You can’t manufacture some emotion or feel that takes you up into a literal heaven. No, heaven has come down to you. Christ the Son and God the Father came into your heart and made their abode there: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).
Leave your sins and worldly pursuits behind and “lay aside every fleshly weight that so easily besets you.” Go inside and take your position in Christ. He has called you to enter into the joy of your acceptance. So, when you wake up tomorrow, shout, “Hallelujah! I’m accepted by God and my heart abounds with thanksgiving and joy.”
Although we can be free from condemnation, we will never be totally free from mental battles. As Paul points out, this is just the nature of the spiritual world we move in. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
As we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, eventually his promises become stronger in our minds than any message the enemy sends. His authoritative Word breaks the chains of fear, doubt, and unbelief that hinder us. “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Here is yet another aspect of God’s presence in us: having the mind of Christ. No matter what mental battles we face, our stance is always one of victory, because we live and move in God’s presence. Even on our worst days we are held together, propped up, and put at peace by the life and mind of Christ within us. Yet breaking chains is only the beginning of Jesus’ work in us. The more time we spend with him, the more he prepares us to do his works: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
To do the works of Jesus, we have to live the life of Jesus. That may sound like heresy to you, but as John instructs, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6). If we don’t carry Christ’s presence in our daily lives, we simply don’t have the right to do his works. Why? Because those works are born in his presence. Jesus said even of himself, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do” (John 5:19).
Intimacy with him is the beginning of our empowerment to do his works on earth. We simply cannot move forward in those works without it. I urge you to meet your Savior in prayer. Remind yourself of his amazing promises through his Word and know that he is faithful to guide you by his Spirit’s presence. Make that your first step in doing the works of Jesus: to know him intimately. It’s a work you can start today!
How do you worship when fear tries to take over your heart? For insight, look at the disciples when they were in a storm and Jesus was right there with them.
“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’” (Matthew 8:23-25).
Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed and said, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (8:27).
When you have big waves and little faith, you’re going to have fear problems, but if you have big waves and big faith, then you know God’s got this. So, when you’re in a turbulent moment, whether it’s on a plane or a boat or wherever you are, remember that fear is not from God. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Every single day we need love, power and a sound mind. But when fear comes, it removes those things. The opposite of power is weakness; the opposite of love is not hate but selfishness; and the opposite of a sound mind is a brain full of irrational thoughts.
When fear strikes, we usually are not understanding who is right in front of us — Jesus! A believer’s faith can never rise higher than who he sees God to be. When we see God for who he actually is — how great he is — then our faith begins to rise and fear begins to dissolve.
Isaiah says, “Lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid … Behold your God!” (Isaiah 40:9). He is saying, “Those of you who fear, your God is here! This is who he is. This is what he looks like.” And he looks mighty impressive! “[He] has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand” (40:12). Two-thirds of this planet is covered with water and at places the water goes eight miles deep. According to scientists, the total volume of water on planet Earth is incalculable — too many gallons to even express. And our God holds that water in the hollow of his hand.
“[He] measured heaven with a span” (49:12). Consider the span of your hand — from the tip of the pinky finger to the tip of your thumb. Our God is so big that he measures the universe with his hand. So, consider that the next time you are tempted to fear. Think of the hollow and the span and remember the bigness of your God. Then shout with Isaiah, “Here is my God!”
After pastoring an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years, Pastor Tim served at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years and pastored in Lafayette, Louisiana, for five years. He became Senior Pastor of Times Square Church in May of 2020.
Where is heaven? What will we do when we get there? Well, we don’t know where heaven is, but we do know that a new heaven is coming, as well as a new earth.
In heaven, we will learn things that simply cannot be contained by the human mind here on earth. We’ll have access to the mind of Christ himself, which is unlimited. And he will undoubtedly teach us about all things eternal.
Consider for a moment the seeming infinity we see in space. Our own solar system is said to be at least five billion miles in diameter, and yet it’s a mere dot in the universe. Scientific discoveries show there is system after system after system, seemingly without end. It is absolutely staggering to the mind.
Even as our solar system races through space, revolving around the sun, countless other systems are moving one upon another as well. And it is all taking place according to God’s divine order. It stands to reason, then, that in heaven we are going to be doing things that are incomprehensible to our human minds.
But best of all, we will be with Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). According to Paul, heaven — being in the Lord’s presence for all eternity — is something we are to desire with all our hearts.
Jesus describes a huge gathering, when the angels “will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31). Millions of God’s glorified children will sing hosannas to the Lord. What a sound of victory and praise it will be: multitudes of orphans crying, “Father! Father!” Imagine the beam of delight on Jesus’ face: “For such is the kingdom of God,” he has declared.
Then come the martyrs, those who once cried for justice on earth, crying, “Holy, holy, holy!” Then a mighty roar comes forth, a sound never before heard, as multitudes from all nations and tribes dance with joy and sing, “Victory in Jesus!” When Paul was caught up into heaven, he “heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful to a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:4). Paul said he was staggered at what he heard there, and I believe he was hearing a preview of the singing and praising of God by those who will be rejoicing in his presence forever.
We know from Scripture that storms and great trials come to all who have truly given everything to Christ: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). Moreover, as you hunger after the Lord — if you are determined to seek him with your whole heart, setting your mind and soul to obey his Word — you will continually be a target of the devil’s envy.
The most trying of all spiritual battles takes place in the mind of the believer. Many Christians battle thoughts that are oppressive, fearful, unlike Christ. They battle memories of past failures and end up feeling unworthy of fellowship or God’s blessings. There aren’t always answers for all the reasons believers suffer, but one thing is certain. Satan is always behind it.
The devil wants to rob God’s saints of their rest, their intimacy, their hope of paradise with the Lord — in short, all the things he lost when he was cast out of heaven. The moment you made a decision to be totally devoted to Jesus, and God’s concerns became your concerns, you became a target of Satan’s wrath.
Even though your faith might be weak right now, Satan will not let up on you. He is determined not to allow any chance for the Holy Spirit to rekindle that flame in you. For this reason, Paul warns us not to be ignorant of the devil’s wiles: “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). If we ignore the enemy’s tactics, we may allow him to gain a foothold, or advantage, over us.
Paul writes, “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (11:14-15). Paul’s warning here is crystal clear: Satan uses ungodly people as messengers of his wrath and envy. And, according to the apostle, these people have infiltrated the church. Have you ever met such people?
The fact is, we’re all going to be in a fight until we die or Jesus comes back to earth. We may be given seasons of calm, but as long as we’re on earth, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. But we have been given weapons that are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We have been equipped with weapons that Satan cannot withstand: prayer, fasting and faith. Hallelujah!