Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Written by Rachel England
I have been accused of having my “head in the clouds” more than a few times in my life. It always makes me giggle because I am often actually daydreaming about Heaven. (This does not so much amuse those who have lost my attention.)
One of my first memories of Sunday school was a lesson on John 14:1-4. Jesus is preparing a place for me! Shortly thereafter I learned how to use a concordance because I wanted to know everything there was to know about Heaven. What it would look like, feel like, be like. If you’ve ever done this concordance search, you can imagine my frustration at the surprising lack of details. I didn’t know then that searching “Kingdom” rather than “Heaven” would have provided more of a glimpse.
Nevertheless, John 14 was quite enough fodder for my imagination. I often directed Jesus as to how he should prepare my place. I’d see a friend’s canopy bed and be like “that’s the one I want for my bedroom Jesus! And don’t forget I want an indoor pool with 4 slides and penguins!” I imagined that if the streets are made of gold then the house Jesus is preparing for me must be made entirely of diamonds! My imagining was not limited to possessions. I imagined learning all the instruments I needed to learn to create a perfect song. I loved to think about what amusement parks would be like. No limits, no nausea, and no lines! Just imagine!
I’m embarrassed to say it took many particularly humbling experiences to learn that everything I desire and every choice I make will impact everything and everyone far beyond my understanding. For better (God’s glory) or for worse (death). And it is only when I am seeking His Kingdom and not my own heaven that I will know the difference.
Knowing the difference and acting accordingly is when I receive what I never knew I wanted. Not earthly desires, or heavenly daydreams, but the kind of riches that are enduring and priceless. Knowledge, connection, forgiveness, patience, goodness, revelation...
I still daydream about the perfect art studio or the perfect apple pie, and these are sweet moments with Jesus (which incidentally help to curb my appetite for material possessions and personal achievements), but I am now keenly aware that in order to understand Heaven (through a glass dimly) I have to earnestly seek the imperishable character of his Kingdom here and now.
“Every kingdom work, whether publicly performed or privately endeavored, partakes of the kingdom's imperishable character. Every honest intention, every stumbling word of witness, every resistance of temptation, every motion of repentance, every gesture of concern, every routine engagement, every motion of worship, every struggle towards obedience, every mumbled prayer, everything, literally, which flows out of our faith-relationship with the Ever-Living One, will find its place in the ever-living heavenly order which will dawn at his coming.” ~Randy Alcorn
Jesus, help me pursue and place my hope in the beauty of your Kingdom above all today.
Conclude with Stillness (2 minutes)