I have been noticing that a lot of people are a bit on edge as of late. Not that it’s a new thing so much, but it does seem to be a trend right now among the masses, even believers. I am one of those guys who has learned over the years to make the most of what life brings you, sometimes it’s caviar and other times it’s peanut butter sandwiches. In either case, we’re still eating, thank you Jesus for that; take it from a guy who has had to learn to live abased in long times past. We read God’s Word, we know that Heaven is for real, and we have but a glimpse as to its splendor and glory based on God’s Word and the beyond and back testimonies of those who have gone beyond the great beyond and have come back to tell their tale. I believe those testimonies based on how they relate to God’s Word and the fact that the people who are giving witness to their heavenly experience are doing so without the help of others who have had the same experience. When you line up all the testimonies, you get a glimpse at what God has in store for us who have placed our faith in Him.
Paul, quoting the OT prophet, said it best, “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9
While this blog is not about the spenders of Heaven, so much; it is about our desire to go there in light of our commission to stay here and serve the Master in accordance with His great commission.
Again the great apostle said it this way, “For we know that if our earthly house (physical body), this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation (dwelling) which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (down payment, earnest). 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 5:1-7
While we can all agree that Paul was not suicidal, it becomes clear to his readers that what he longed for was not on this side of the veil. So it is with all of us who love the Lord and long for His return. We don’t want to check out on our responsibilities to the people and posts that the Master has entrusted into our care, we just want the Master to pick us up ASAP while we are busily about His business. All in God’s time.
I have had several conversations with various ones recently who have expressed their desire to go home. I like what one of my teachers has to say about this matter:
“There’s not a problem in my life that the Rapture wouldn’t solve.’ – Pastor Andy Woods
As I observe the body of Christ as of late I coming to the conclusion that we are dividing up into three main camps of thought and persuasion.
- The first camp is business as usual. We know bad stuff is happening all around us, but we have a lot to do so we just keep working and praying, hoping things will improve.
- The second camp is looking for ‘45’ to return and they’re convinced that he will return and set things right again, just like they were over the past four years of his term.
- The third group of believers is looking for the Rapture to happen tomorrow. We have had enough of this place and we just want to go home. Alas, I am part of that third group – halleluiah.
None of these groups should neglect their divine callings or acts of obedience to God’s Word, His Church, or their individual ministries and families. I for one plan long term while hoping that my long term plans will be canceled by an unscheduled Rapture; I mean no one knows the day or hour. I look short but plan long, this way I can be watching and praying while I am working and paying all my bills and doing other superhero stuff.
I felt the Lord telling me that it’s hard to find your place in this world when you’re looking for the exit door. This is where I am at; I am looking for the exit door to this planet, but I am also trying to find my place in this world. It sounds like a 1990’s reroute of a Michael W. Smith song, but I am living it out each day. I moved here from LA mid-December after a great run as a Lead Pastor in a city where I had established myself in ministry, reputation, and familiarity. It was a good ride with lots of ups and downs. Sometime in late September the Master begin to speak to me about moving. He even used the voice of my wife, you know, the other voice of the Holy Spirit, to speak to me. After much prayer, some great consultation, counseling, and a family zoom meeting, the decision was made and plans lead to action that lead to the largest step of faith I have even taken in my life; we moved to Missouri.
The process of moving was a lot of work, but it was also adventurous and a bit scary at times. I would spend the next four months working at settling in, finding and buying a house, and getting myself established in the local culture. I have made strides in accomplishing my goal of finally landing, but somehow I still feel that I am up in the air. I am doing lots of side jobs, making ends meet, while looking for whatever it is that God has for me to do. I have never been one to sit around and watch Netflix or loaf, so I have kept very busy working and doing and being me. My walk with the Master has intensified a bit more and I am listening for His voice (and His trumpet) at every turn; especially in the early morning hours. Finding one’s place in this world is a bit of a challenge, and a process. While I am confident that I will find the right job, at the right time, for the right wage, in the right place; but until then, it’s ‘a day at a time’ life protocol.
If we spend all of our energy looking for the exit door on this planet, we will miss what it is that God has for us to do while were living on it. While watching is encouraged in the Bible, it should never take the place of good old fashioned obedience to the things and people we are called to care for. I have been hearing the Lord tell me to ‘get my house in order.’ It know it’s not just my physical house, but my spiritual house, my body, and my responsibilities to others I have committed myself to. I have been hearing other watchers say that God is telling them to do the same thing. While I do believe that this year, 2021 is very special prophetically, I also know that if the Lord tarries in His return, we will engage 2022 with all of the fervor it can bring. I am hoping that we will find that exit door before then, but if not, we still have work to do here and I for one am all about that life. I find that as I get older, I enjoy spending time with the Master more than I do working for Him. Mabey it’s just me, but isn’t that what it’s all about in the end anyway; being with the Lord and enjoying the many blessings and people He has provided for us. Our goal in the here and now is to encourage as many people to come to faith in Jesus as we possibly can; and if necessary, use words to do it.
Yeah, I will agree, I am looking for the exit door on this planet, but never at the expense of my effective obedience to the commission the Lord has placed upon my life. So many believers a looking for the Rapture, not realizing that it comes with their Bema Seat judgment; which is what we are to be ready for. While a heavenly wedding and a seven-year reception celebration are all part of our entry experience into Heaven, we need to live a life of obedience and propriety when the Master returns. True believers have their lamps trimmed and full of oil (representing the salvation of the Holy Spirit); they are watching, working, and waiting for their Lord. Part of this ride is a good devotional and prayer life, coupled with our obedience to the Spirit’s promptings in our daily walk. Going to church, tithing, and serving in some capacity are all ground level reasonable works of service. I find that being nice and encouraging is a very good thing too and it speaks to what’s happening in our inner being. Sometimes I feel bad for believers who have been walking with the Master for many years, and now are suffering in their broken bodies, minds, and spirits. I tend to be more sensitive and respectful to these aged souls in understanding that it’s not so much the years, but the miles that breaks one down. The Lord is with us all and He too longs for us to be with Him. Sometimes I think that we don’t always see it that way, but it’s true; Jesus really does love us and wants us to be together; soon, very soon.
The main message in this blog is to challenge us to be about the Master’s business while looking for the exit door. If part of that business is finding one’s place in this world, then so be it. While the exit door leads to eternity, our place in this world is temporal, but it can have a major influence on the quality of our eternity. I encourage you man of the Master (and lady of the Lord); find and maintain your place in this world, but don’t forget to peek up every once in a while and look for an exit door, standing open, in the sky – Gabriel!
Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Southern Missouri. He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren). Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate. He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry.