– Joseph Rozario (Bangalore, India)
RETURNING TO GOD’S ORIGINAL PURPOSE – III
For a moment, let us rest aside the Hound of heaven and God’s GPS in pursuit of His ultimate purpose for our lives.
These days, a compelling thought from God’s word is gripping me. The Spirit seems to be beckoning me to walk in a ‘particular realm’ that Jesus walked. Before I set out, I must admit that I myself am yet to arrive at it fully. As Apostle Paul would say, “Not as though I had already attained, (or) perfected…but I follow after… (Phil.3:12). Secondly, I do not wish to snatch away the goal of ‘many mansions’, from those whose ambition is to be fulfilled either after death or at the coming of the Lord. That is not my subject and focus here. My emphasis and intention is for an abundant life right now. Will I be toppling some neatly arranged apple carts ?
In John 14: 1 to 3, it reads like this, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
I have been tremendously blessed and blessed beyond measure, when I see Jesus’ inference and emphasis. For me, it looks, as if Jesus was talking about a realm, when He was referring to a place. Given the liberty, I wish to reverently read these verses like this, ’…. I go to prepare a realm for you. And if I go to prepare that realm, I will return after my death and resurrection to you, so that (by the gift of the Holy Spirit), you also live in the same realm, where I am right now living on this earth.’
If someone wants to refer to that place as mansions (and not as a realm), I have no quarrel with that. But the challenge before me right now on this earth is, how to live victoriously in the midst of present day trials till He returns! And the verb which Jesus used, ‘I am’ referred to his present and not his future. It does not say, ‘Wherever I will be, you will also be’. Jesus was inferring and saying ‘whatever sphere, domain, facet, the kingdom atmosphere, the dominion that I am living right now, you will also live in that realm. I am going now to prepare that place and that realm through my death , resurrection and coming of the Holy Spirit.’
What is that ‘Kingdom atmosphere’ Jesus lived in ? Jesus, despite knowing that he was going to be subjected to the most painful, ignominious, agonizing death; assured his disciples, a realm
where there was abundant overflowing peace and joy (John 14:27 & 15;11). In those most critical and despairing moments, instead of his disciples coming to comfort Jesus, it was Jesus who on the other hand comforted them reassuringly. He was able to minister abundant peace and joy to them. The whole package of John’s gospel chapters of 14, 15, 16 & 17, – where and when are these words more applicable ?, on this earth in the midst of tests and trials or, is it going to be in the comfortable zone of the glorious mansions.? The final words and will of a dying man in any society or culture is given utmost importance. He says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.”- John 14:11. He talked about much fruitfulness and the pruning needed for such fruitfulness. He also prayed about keeping us in this world and not taking us out of the world, etc. He talked about the Holy Spirit being our comforter and teacher. He talked about the world hating us, as much as it hated Jesus. The entire gamut or essence of his final discourse with his disciples seems to be that …. there is a Kingdom domain, wherein, there is a provision to live victoriously as Jesus lived and he was preparing that realm for us. Please read these chapters once again from this new prism of understanding and see for your selves, where and when they are needed and applicable! Is it for now in this world or for the future ?
While many are in a hurry to escape the impending trials about to befall on this earth, I am asking God, to enable me to enjoy the adventures against adversities by walking as Jesus walked, by a new and a living way that he has inaugurated for us. In that Kingdom realm, the King promises his presence, his provision, his power, his protection , et al in the midst of trials. It is his responsibility. Jesus promised us, not only life, but an abundant life. Many are satisfied with the life of wilderness, where all their physical mundane needs are met. But my heart is craving after “the abundant life”, beyond Jordan…to live now in Canaan, and to experience that “…as the days of heaven upon the earth” life now (Deut. 12:21). The promised land, flowing with milk and honey, is beckoning us. He that hath an ear, let him hear.