July 18, 2013Thoughts from Mark
Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. (Genesis 1:6-8)
Heaven. The expanse between the earthly waters and the waters above.
Later in the creation account, we see that there are lights placed in the heavens and the birds of the air fly in the heavenly expanse.
As we remove our mental filters, we see a very different “heaven” written in Genesis 1 than our minds have been trained to believe.
The Hebrew word translated as “heaven” in v. 8 means the space between the firmament, or earth, reaching into the ether in which the heavenly bodies revolve.
According to Genesis, heaven is the atmosphere of earth and beyond. Don’t quickly pass that last sentence by. In it, is enough to change our lives.
Traditional thought separates heaven from earth, distancing it with a gulf of immense proportion. Greek philosophers pushed heaven from earth with the teaching that a holy God, a perfect spiritual realm, could never dwell with a decrepit natural one.
Western Christianity reads from this script and now we only we get to experience heaven after passing from this sinful condition.
But this conflicts with the clarity of scripture. Heaven and earth are to dwell together. It is the harmony of the two that would bring fulfillment to both.
God created the earth for man to walk on. The same dimension from which God created was the one from which man was to rule.
He created heaven as the cultural influence of the earth. The air is more than an invisible compound. Mixed in, all around us, swirls the weighty heavenly dimension awaiting access.
Faith is the door to heaven. Belief that God is (Hebrews 11:6) walks us into the realm in which He dwells. Once in, we are to learn the ways of heaven and live them out on earth.
The earth awakens to the expression of the heavenly. As sons of the Father walk as such, the earth blossoms in harmony with them. This is the pattern of the miraculous. That word “supernatural” should really not exist because the earth was created for this very thing.
It is easy to explain away this powerful truth with the fall of Adam. Yes, sin entered the world with Adam’s disobedience. Yes, Adam was removed from the garden. But none of that changed the nature of God or heaven.
Now what exists is a heavenly dimension surrounding this sin-influenced earth. It’s why we have a spiritual conflict in the heavenlies. Now, instead of just a divine influence upon the earth, there is an evil one as well.
The mind set on the flesh is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
Relationship determines which influence from this realm is greater. Adam’s fall hints at the pattern. When in relationship with the Lord, we act in accordance with His nature. When under the influence of sin, we miss our intended mark. The wages of sin is death.
Heaven is nearer than we think. It’s literally as close as your next breath. It is our identity and privilege to walk in it right now.
Related podcast: And God Called the Expanse ‘Heaven’ – July 14, 2013