The second chapter of Ephesians describes the many great benefits we receive in Christ. Though we were dead in our trespasses and sin, Christ makes us alive in Him. And it is all by grace. We no long are what we once were. And we no longer live where we once lived. At least we don’t have to.
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ep 2:5, 6
Try this. Recall a recent annoyance or offence. Feel the irritation, the injustice, the stupidity. Sit with that a moment. Now, imagine how much that will bother you when you are in Heaven.
Recall a recent argument in which you felt it was very important for you to make your case. Now, imagine yourself in Heaven. How significant will winning that one be to you then and there?
Recall a recent time when you were misunderstood, misjudged, criticized, belittled, underappreciated, even publicly humiliated, or when you did not get your way or what you rightly deserved. In Heaven how much do you think you are going to be concerned about that?
I think Paul is suggesting that we can start living from a Heavenly place right now. How about you? Is that what it means to be seated with Christ in the heavenly places?
Use the wonderful gift of imagination, the eyes of faith, and take your seat beside Jesus in Heaven. Are you set? Look over at Him. Smile back. Then look down on yourself and others from that vantage point.
As I have done this I have found myself chuckling outloud at the things that rob me of my peace. It is a little like a trip to the primate house at the zoo. “Look at those funny chimps. Look at that one over there that kinda looks like me! What’s he doing?”
When irritations and worries begin to get their grip, take your seat with Jesus and see what it all looks like from there. I have found that this also helps me forgive, both myself and others.
Do you think you are going to be nursing any grudges or regrets in Heaven? I doubt it. Why not go there now? Why not live there? Paul says its part of the salvation package.