Aligning with Heaven Reaps Rewards NOW
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
When my husband Louis and I built a house a few years ago, we found a wooden stake and wrote a scripture reference in the wet foundation cement: 1 Cor. 3:13. This was our declaration for our home and our lives:
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11 NIV
As children, we are raised with a set of beliefs. Even if our families are not believers in Christ, they believe certain things they consciously or unconsciously pass along to their children. When we choose to accept Jesus, often a new foundation must be laid. Even with believing parents, our foundational values and beliefs could be faulty or lacking.
We must intentionally lay a solid spiritual foundation with God’s help, then allow Him to continue building the structure of our lives according to His design.
God is the Master Architect. He created the blueprints for our unique design. He knows the strength and depth needed in our foundation to support His ultimate purposes. The foundation for a single-family dwelling and that for a skyscraper are extremely different, the latter requiring more time, depth, materials, labor, and cost.
Take heart if you feel the cost of laying your foundation has been great. The higher the calling, the more time (and refining trials) the process will require.
Have you ever watched a house or building be built? The dirt work alone requires an inordinate amount of time! Making sure the ground is solid and level is extremely important, so the structure doesn’t shift and crack over time, becoming unstable.
When we built our house, it felt like the crew would never pour the foundation. We visited the site every day and marveled at the care they took on the ground leveling process.
When our spiritual foundation is solid, firmly based on the Bible as the Word of God, right attitudes and actions will begin to follow. When we ground our lives on eternal values, we begin to view our life situations through the lens of heaven. A paradigm shift occurs in our thinking as our beliefs solidify. Our minds and hearts begin to line up with Kingdom precepts.
Why is aligning with God important?
Lining ourselves up with truth based on the Bible is essential for godly thinking and right actions to follow. What can we expect from a life in-step with God’s Word?
VICTORY: We can expect to walk in victory.
The wise person listens to and obeys God’s teachings. Jesus likened it to a person building a house. A solid foundation built on a rock equals a house the stands strong when the storms of life come. One that is built on sand collapses.
Storms are inevitable. A spiritual house that remains intact and sturdy is our choice.
We decide if our foundation is built on Jesus Christ, the Rock, or not.
Jesus taught His disciples this: “I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6: 47-49
This principle is confirmed in the Old Testament as well: “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.” Proverbs 10:25
VALUE: We can expect to reap things of lasting value from God.
When I was a child, like many children, I kept a treasure box of items special to me – a fragile monarch butterfly, a note from my best friend, a valentine from my first “boyfriend,” my treasured diary with the key, a starfish from my first trip to the beach, and a heart charm bracelet my Dad gave me when I graduated from kindergarten.
Through the seasons of life, the divorce of my parents, selling the childhood home, somehow my treasure box was lost. Sadly, my only remaining item is the charm bracelet.
Earthly possessions are fleeting. Even though Egyptian pharaohs packed their pyramid tombs with much of their wealth to transition into the afterlife, God makes it clear we can’t take earthly goods with us.
The only things that matter will be treasures we lay up in heaven: kind words, good deeds, love bestowed, and investments to promote God's work.
Psalm 89:14 tells us that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.”
Therefore, if we build our lives on godly principles and values, His righteousness and His justice become part of our foundation as well. Love and faithfulness will go before us because these are the attributes of our God and Savior.
WISDOM: We can expect godly wisdom.
Ever-increasing wisdom is promised by God to those who reverently fear and honor Him through their obedience. What an amazing promise!
Psalm 111:10 says, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!”
James confirms this in James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)
Wisdom is a prize beyond price.
Wisdom is one of the attributes of the Holy Spirit. When we call on Him for greater understanding and wisdom in all our decisions, He responds. But we must believe God will give wisdom when we ask. No waffling allowed!
If we ask for wisdom, we must believe God will answer. If we don’t believe He will give us what we ask for, and trust in the voices of others or even ourselves instead, He simply won’t respond.
Once God answers, we must follow through in obedience.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1: 6-8 NIV
To be double-minded means we are unfocused on Christ. Our minds are divided. Our thoughts, and consequently, our actions are being swayed by other voices.
If you want wisdom, focus your attention on Jesus. His guidance will never steer you wrong. “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” Proverbs 4:6 NIV.
Loving wisdom means loving Jesus. Stick with wisdom.
GLORY: We can expect to share in God’s eternal glory.
Life on this planet is not simple or easy. We as a human race have experienced all kinds of atrocities: wars, natural disasters, pandemics, divorce, sexual abuse, and evil of all manner. The fallen state of mankind has devastated our worldly existence. Without Jesus, we would have continued to be unredeemed sinners participating in unrighteousness.
Through the redemptive cross of Christ, we have been saved – not simply for eternal life but saved in the here and now, on this earth. Saved from ourselves, saved from destruction in this life, saved from the enemy’s plans to wreak havoc in our hearts and in our legacies.
But cooperation with heaven is necessary.
I Peter 5:10 says, “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”
Laying the foundation, strengthening it with rebar, and building the structure are all ongoing processes in the Kingdom. Unlike with a physical building though, the timeline is not always sequential. We continue to learn and grow, fail and repent, mature and bear fruit. Much like the seasonal cycles on our earth, we experience spiritual seasons of plenty and seasons of barrenness, times of planting, pruning and harvest. Our intimacy with God may wax and wane, deepen and be challenged, flounder then flourish.
But God never leaves us. He is constant.
His purposes are always accomplished in each season, leading to progressive growth and maturity. It only feels like three steps back and one forward!
God will satisfy our spiritual hunger, bestowing His favor, and teaching us to walk in victory. “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18 NIV
More revelation of His goodness unfolds with each leg of our journey…until we graduate from this earthly life and into His glorious presence.
Heaven will be worth it all.
A new heaven and a new earth will be our ultimate home, a place God intended when He created our world, a place without sin and evil. The curse will be gone. We will live in redeemed bodies, enjoy meaningful work and play, love and care for each other, worship God, and marvel at the splendor of an earth with no decay, disease, or death.
“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” Revelation 22:3-4 NIV
God is pleased to share His Kingdom with us, His adopted children. He created us to one day share in His eternal glory. How amazing is that?
Aligning with heaven reaps rewards now, in this life, and throughout eternity. The benefits are well worth the cost of our lives: victory, value, wisdom, and His glory.
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