Heavenly Vision for Earthly Living

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

 

Have you ever driven around just about any town in America and noticed the church steeples? The church steeple can be seen as a beacon … and as a sign of God’s hope to a hurting world. 

 

Our steeple, as do our lives, belongs to God. The steeple is God’s invitation for us to look up.

 

As we look up, we can see more clearly that we belong to a big world and an amazing universe.  Our vision becomes sharpened and we are then better able to grasp the idea that life includes us … but is not just about us.  With eyes of faith matched by courageous spirit, the steeple enables us to see God’s heavenly vision for earthly living.

 

David referred to this affect when he wrote in Psalm 8 “When I consider your heavens … I wonder as to why You are mindful of us.  Yet You are.  You have made us just a little lower than the angels, and crowned us with glory & honor.  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Later psalmists wrote Psalms of ascent that were sung by worshipers as they looked up and walked towards Jerusalem’s Temple, as in Psalm 123, “I lift up my eyes to You, to You whose throne is in heaven.” 

 

The psalmist of Psalm 121 courageously sang, as he left the Temple to return home, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  Help will not come from the false gods worshiped by others in the hill country, but from the God who made the hills.  The one and only God whom he had worshiped in the Temple, and whom he would worship as he shepherded his sheep on the hill tops.

 

God is ever present.  His love and goodness abide everywhere.  But we must love God with our whole self, trust Him with our whole heart, worship Him with our full attention, and serve Him with our joyful obedience.  Consequently, God “will watch over our coming and going, both now and forevermore.

 

Jesus connects us to this promise when He taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven… Jesus perfectly bridged the chasm between heaven and earth, and through Jesus’ bridge-building presence, we become the people of God to do the work of God.

 

By looking up with heavenly vision, and then looking down, we can see the earth for what it is and is not.  By first looking heavenward, we can see life as God intended and then grasp God’s best for earthly application.  To connect heavenly vision for earthly living requires us to become faith heroes like the psalmist of the Old Testament.

 

C. S. Lewis encouraged people to “aim at heaven and you will get the earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”  Lewis’ insight flowed from recognizing the hinge which connects the first half of the Lord’s Prayer to the second half.

 

By the steeple affect, looking heavenward, we then know how to prayerfully live – with the demands of daily bread provided by the bread of life; with grace required for each of us so we can “forgive others as we have been forgiven”; we can then walk away from evil’s lurking presence by God’s deliverance.

 

All of which is summed up by the Prayer’s close, “… for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

 

To live this way is to become a faith hero … while steeples are a reminder of God’s invitation for us to fulfill the doable challenge of connecting heavenly vision to earthly living. 

 

Pastor Les Hollon

 

A song of ascents.

 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
       where does my help come from?

 My help comes from the LORD,
       the Maker of heaven and earth.

 He will not let your foot slip—
       he who watches over you will not slumber;

 indeed, he who watches over Israel
       will neither slumber nor sleep.

 The LORD watches over you—
       the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

 the sun will not harm you by day,
       nor the moon by night.

 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
       he will watch over your life;

 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
       both now and forevermore.

-Psalm 121

 

“This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ ”

-Matthew 6: 9-13 NIV

 

This article was written by Les Hollon, Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church.  For more information about God and your place in His world, contact Dr. Hollon, click over to Trinity Baptist Church.

 

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Posted on 20 August, 2009 in Spirituality
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