What is God Waiting For?

29 01 2020
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The year 2020 – did we ever believe the world would last this long? For most of my life I heard the end was near. The 50s brought the threat of nuclear war and annihilation. We thought it was happening in the election of Kennedy in 1960. He was surely the antiChrist. We thought the end was to be in the 70s with the Iran crisis – gas lines and high interest rates. It was surely to happen in the 80s with “Big Brother” and government corruption. God had to come and stop the mess. But we came through and even into the 90s and the new millennium with still no sign of Jesus “coming again” and taking us to heaven. 

I know the admonition, we cannot know the day or time, our timing is not God’s, we just need to be faithful, etc, etc. But what if God hasn’t been holding back, waiting to come again all along? What if He is up to something else? Let me suggest another possibility. Instead of us thinking that God is waiting to take us to heaven with Him, perhaps He is waiting for the best time to show more of heaven to us? What if what we always thought or have been taught has missed something. What if we have missed what has been God’s intention all along? Do we know what His greatest desire really is? Is it to reward us with another place for us to live – or – is it about where He wants to show Himself? 

The Bible storyline from the beginning is that God’s desire is to have a people not only He could call His own, but with whom He could live and dwell (Ex 29:46; Rev.21:3). That was the significance of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, then the Temple in Jerusalem, and now our bodies as His temple. The invisible God, not seen by anyone, has always wanted to be seen and known. He has always desired to be visible not just in the things that have been made but visibly living in His highest creation – a person (Heb.1:3). Not being content to just appear as a glory cloud over some gold covered box, God wants to be seen in and as a person created in His own likeness and image. He wants to be seen as a Person living in a person (Jn. 1:14; Col. 1:27). 

What purpose is there in “rapturing” us away if God wants to be seen here on this earth?

What purpose is there in “rapturing” us away if God wants to be seen here on this earth? Does it make more sense that what God is doing is preparing a people who will fully manifest His glory? Perhaps He is getting us ready for the third feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, the one feast of Israel that is yet to be fully fulfilled by Jesus. It is the one feast that pictures God “tabernacling” with His people. If we will allow this idea to filter how we read the scriptures then it will make sense to us. It puts a whole new meaning, for example, to Jesus’ words in Jn 14:1-3, In my Father’s house (all heaven and earth) are many mansions (dwelling places – you and I)….I go to prepare a place for you (for you and the Father to live)… And then He said later on,  At that day you will know (that day is when we know) that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you (v.20). We (God and Jesus) will come to make our home with him (you) (v 23). 

It was Paul that made this the grandest theme of the gospel – Christ in us the hope of glory. God is not dwelling in some far away celestial home, waiting for the set time to bring us there. He is all here now, living in Christ in us, and we in Him (John 14:20; Acts 17:28). His greatest desire is that we know it and learn to express His glory more and more through the struggles of life in the  earthly realm. This is the true meaning of “eternal life” or literally “age abiding life”. This is truly heaven existing in us. 

Could it be that what we are waiting for is not so much His return in the clouds but a greater “appearing” in the earth, through us? We find the phrase “coming again” is a mis-translation of the Greek word parousia, meaning “presence” or “appearing” (1 Thess 3:13). 4th century teachers chose to translate this word to best fit their Platonic theology of the time – that God was separate from His creation, a far away, other than us deity who detested the natural realm.  

I would encourage you to consider an alternate idea of God’s heart and plan. What would please his heart the most, to live in a gold palace, unknown and unseen by all his creation, or to be visible and known through us His most personal handiwork. Is He preparing a place for us or for Himself to dwell? 

I have no doubt there is a heaven. Neither do I doubt we are living in it and will always live in it. God says we are already seated there with Jesus (Eph.2:6,7). I am just not sure that heaven is way off somewhere as we’ve been taught, where we will sit on some cloud waiting on God. I believe that heaven is now in me. It’s the place where Christ dwells. He wants me to know that He fills my heart to the full (Eph. 1:23). I believe when He, Christ, appears, we will see the full glory of His presence in our transformed lives (1 Cor. 15:51-54). I hope this fills your heart with anticipation and eagerness to really know Jesus as you have never known Him before. 

Dennis D 1/8/20


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