God wants to carry us by the wind of Ruach, the Holy Spirit, into an experience of heavenly realities. Paul wrote: “…feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities.” (Col. 3:2) If it’s a feast, then it sounds real and delicious and experiential. And it sounds like I can consume a lot of it, just like at a feast of good food among friends!
Jesus spread this message: “The kingdom of heaven is near you.” He told his disciples: “And as you go, preach this message: ‘Heaven’s kingdom realm is accessible, close enough to touch.’” Matthew 10:7 TPT
Heaven is inside of us and all around us. The Father and Jesus are one; together they make their home in us (John 14). In a sense, we never have to reach for God, because Trinity dwells in us. If Trinity lives in us, that’s like heaven living in us.
Paul said it like this: “God…made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ.” Eph 2:5,6
He didn’t say someday you will be in heaven. He locates us in heaven now. So, you could say that we are multi-dimensional beings. We are on earth and in heaven at the same time. Sounds like the kind of life Jesus lived. And he wants us to have access to all the of heaven’s blessings now. This is what Paul prays for all his churches to experience. He doesn’t just pray for them to intellectually know they are near Christ. He prays for them to experience this reality.
This past tense accomplishment of our location in heaven is echoed by the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering…” Heb 12:22
How does his work out practically? It makes prayer a different experience. Awareness of our oneness with Christ changes the way we see ourselves. If we are one with him, we don’t need to get closer to him. He is part of us. A good prayer is: “unveil heaven in us” or “Open our eyes to see that we are seated with you.” Or, “thank you for joining us to yourself and pouring on us all the blessings of heaven.”
Knowing God is mysterious and therefore is in some ways a paradoxical experience. I don’t fault anyone for wanting to feel closer to God. I want to feel close to him all the time. But I’ve found in recent years that it makes a big difference to see myself as already joined to him. It makes a big difference to locate myself in heaven. It leads to a deeper experience of God if I agree with what he says about me and my permanent connection to him.
It’s one of those spiritual principles that works like this: “believe it and then you can receive it.” If you don’t believe what God says about who you and and where you are, you won’t receive all the good stuff he has for you. No striving is necessary, just a calm affirmation of truth. “Thank you, Lord that I am with you in heaven now. I turn to you now to hear from you and be with you.”