I asked the question last time, do we know who we are in Christ? Do we see ourselves as Jesus in this world? (1 John 4:17) We looked at some hindrances to believing this. While our spirit is perfect in heaven in Christ, our soul is out of sync with this reality. Of course, the next question is, how do we bring our souls into sync with our true heavenly selves?
But before we get started, we must first believe that we’re in heaven right now in Christ. This is critical for further progress. Here’s what God thinks about it:
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil.3:20 NIV*)
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph.2:6 NIV*)
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. (Heb.12:22 NIV*)
Referring back to the three realms, the “first realm” believers NEGATE this heavenly reality in their lives because of their unbelief. The “second realm” believers try to IMITATE this reality through their faith confession. But the “third realm” believers INCARNATE this reality by “participating in the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).
How do we do that? We take an important key to heart in the following verses:
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. (1 John 4:16-17 NASB*)
Notice that walking in our true identity as Jesus in this world comes from abiding (remaining, sojourning) in God’s love. This is the critical key in bringing our heavenly reality into our earthly experience.
Of course, that’s what Jesus tells us:
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:5-8 NIV*)
A little further down, Jesus says this to us:
14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:14-15 NIV*)
Learning how to remain in God’s love is the same thing as training your soul to live from heaven to earth. His perfecting love casts out all fear, makes us fruitful, and undefeatable! But understand, this is a relational truth. You can’t take a class or “faith” yourself into it; you know it experientially from living in this relationship.
Here’s what the Psalmist says:
8 I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8 NASB*)
We’re literally in Christ in God in heavenly places, right now—24/7. And we cannot be shaken or defeated when our souls have learned to live from this place!
When we “set the Lord continually” before us, we will begin to see everything through His eyes and think and act like Him. We become fruitful because we’re walking in His provision and not our own.
This is what it means to be friends “who know the Father’s business” instead of dutiful servants. Just like Jesus, we’re sons and daughters of our heavenly Father, remaining in His love, knowing His heart, and partnering with Him in His vineyard. And from this sacred space, “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Beloved, don’t dismiss this as some mystic navel-gazing fringe concept (take that thought captive! 2 Cor.10:3-4). This is foundational Christianity at its very core! We must peel back the popular religious veneer we’ve come to love but bears no lasting fruit. The truth is, we’re no earthly good until we’re heavenly minded (see John 15:5). Our conscious soul must practice remaining in God’s love as as lifestyle.
This is so simple, but it’s also where we need to be honest with ourselves. Why don’t we practice it? (If we did, all the things Jesus told us would be evident in our lives).
Our unwillingness is the first question we must honestly deal with if we’re going to bring this crazy good and overflowing joy-filled heavenly reality into our earthly experience. I will offer some practical ways overcome this hurdle and get you started practicing this lifestyle next time.