Pursuer or pursued?

A friend told me he’s reading a book on heaven. Covering things like, what do we really know about heaven? What does scripture say about it? Surely, if we are to be going somewhere, we want to know what it is like. Where is it? What is our new home going to be like? Is there just one or multiple heavens?

It got me thinking…

For sure, it can be interesting finding out more about things like heaven. To even read scripture's limited account of heaven. It can be intriguing. But given the myriad of filters you and I perceive life through, we can even be beguiled into pursuing more information about something as desirable as heaven – as if this is somehow a noble pursuit – a place of ‘higher thoughts’. I don’t think it’s a problem in itself to think on it but we humans are generally very information-hungry. This is more often than not a major motivator. Our insatiable 'need to know' things ends up being an unhelpful distraction at best. Not knowing something, often fuels our fears. If we're completely honest, it exposes our lack of trust in God.

Whatever happened to now? This moment. Today. The gift of it. Living. Just living. Seeing God in everything – (even the pain). In the mundane. After all, all things are in Christ. What a mystery. Beautifully so.

Everything we see with our eyes was first conceived in the spiritual. The Ancient of Ancients, the Cosmic Christ is so beyond you and I or any single human being for that matter. Even in all of corporate humanity – ages past, present and future – there isn't, there can’t be, there won’t be the full grasp of God's plans for all of creation. I think people like you and I are in for the biggest surprise of our lives when we pass through the curtain.

Whatever happened to now? This moment. Today. The gift of it. Living. Just living. Seeing God in everything – (even the pain). In the mundane. After all, all things are in Christ. What a mystery. Beautifully so.

Right now though, we have this moment. Today. There is nothing unspiritual about it. Surely there isn’t meant to be a disconnect between this life and the one we'll see when we pass through the curtain. Deep mysteries for sure.

What about the infatuation with ‘knowing’ God. Surely this is the noblest of pursuits!? Again the myriad of filters coupled with impure motivations prevail. Can this be a healthy pursuit? Why wouldn’t it be? The word 'know'. My, how that word has served to accentuate our addiction to KNOWledge. It serves our human nature. I’d probably go so far as to say it’s anti-God. An addiction to knowledge itself that is.

The scripture, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect". The word "mind" comes from the Greek word "nous". "…be transformed by the renewing of your NOUS…". In the Greek, for the believer, nous seems to be translated as the organ of receiving God's thoughts, through faith. It's almost like "intuition" or "awareness". This is severely underdeveloped in most professing christians – largely because of our bent towards acquiring knowledge. (Knowledge puffs up!). It suits our inherent spiritual laziness, compounded by our reluctance to let go of our idols = no real desire for God. We want God and…

It seems we've taken the word "mind" and solely / unhelpfully associated it with intellect. Renew your thinking / mind. The ball inevitably ends up in our court. It ends up being me-focussed. It’s something we end up controlling and ultimately stapling to our achievement board. Cause and effect stuff. Do this and this and… Read your bible everyday = your mind will be renewed and you’ll end up thinking right…blah blah blah.

Exercising one's nous isn't an exact science. There's no formula or principle that can be taught. It needs to be experienced. Lived. Go with your 'gut' stuff. Yes it's risky. But I reckon it's worth us being reminded again that He holds ALL things…

…even when you and I struggle with doubt and unbelief.

– BWT

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