This is What Heaven Looks Like
Every year at Heaven Come Conference, we pray for heaven to invade earth as we gather, and that we would encounter God in a way that transforms our lives forever. Our community continues to discover more of what heaven on earth looks like, and God surprises us with His goodness over and over again. As we pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we’ve seen Him invade our impossible situations with His power.
What does it look like when heaven invades earth?
Jesus told His disciples to pray this prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10) So what are we asking for when we pray “on earth as it is in heaven”? What does it look like when heaven invades earth?
In John 5, we find a man who has been sick for 38 years and unable to walk, lying on a cold tile floor in Jerusalem. He is lying beside the Pool of Bethesda, meaning “House of Kindness” or “House of Mercy” in Greek. At this pool, an angel comes down at certain times to stir up the water. The first person in the water after the angel touches it will be healed.
The man waits every day for the angel to come, but the pool is crowded with lepers, the blind, mute, deaf, lame, diseased—illnesses of all kinds. When the waters are stirred the man struggles to move toward the pool as he pushes past masses of people, only to hear a splash of someone else getting in before him. For 38 years, someone had always been stronger and more able to move into the pool before him.
Jesus is making his way through Jerusalem and decides to visit the Pool of Bethesda. He sees the sick man lying on the floor beside the pool and realizes he has been there for a long time. He asks the man, “Do you want to be healed?”
He answers Jesus, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”
Jesus then says to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
How long have you been waiting for breakthrough?
Like the sick man by the pool, maybe you’ve been waiting for your breakthrough for a long time. Maybe breakthrough feels unattainable and out of reach. The good news is that the kingdom of heaven is closer than you think.
When Jesus first began his ministry, He started with the words: “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
Repentance means to turn around, to change your way of thinking. Our behaviors are connected to how we think. We won’t change our behavior for very long unless we let go of our old way of thinking and hold onto the truth.
When Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” He was changing the way people thought about heaven. He was telling them that heaven is actually within reach.
With that in mind, we can read Matthew 4:17 as, “Change your way of thinking, because the kingdom of heaven is within reach.”
The man sitting at the pool for 38 years believed that healing and breakthrough was something only available to those who were strong and fast enough. After 38 years of waiting, Jesus came and told the man to get up and walk, and in one moment he was healed. This is what it looks when the Kingdom of Heaven is within reach.
Changing the way we think about heaven is our key to breakthrough.
If the kingdom of heaven was within reach for the sick man, the pool wasn’t necessary anymore. To get to the pool the man had to work, strive and compete with other people to get his breakthrough. Jesus already did the work for us when He died on the cross and took on all our sin, sorrow, and disease. He made healing and breakthrough accessible to us. Jesus was inviting him to change the way He thought about the kingdom of heaven.
The word kingdom refers to a king’s domain, implying authority and lordship. When Jesus came to earth, He brought His Kingdom with Him and made all of its benefits available to those who surrendered to His rule. These are the just some of His benefits made available to us:
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103: 2-5
This is what it looks like when heaven invades earth—the sick are healed, the dead raised, the weak restored, and the prisoners are set free.
Whatever it is you’re going through, we pray that this year God will surprise you with His goodness as you become even more aware of the kingdom of heaven that is within your reach.
We’d love for you to join us next year at Heaven Come 2020 and experience what it looks like when heaven invades earth!