Experiencing heavenly places in Christ is the most fundamental function of being a Christian. This is our inheritance! This is what Christ died for, so that we could enjoy the same relationship with the Father He has had from eternity (see John 17:21-26).
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). It couldn’t be any more clear. Our true life is hidden for us; it’s the treasure in the field that when one finds it they would give everything for it (Matt.13:44). And God wants you to find it!
Last time, I shared some of my own insights about how God helps us see into the heavenly realm. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you read that post before continuing here. In this post, I will share seven very practical keys to help you develop your “eyes of faith.” Here they are.
Seven Keys to Developing Eyes of Faith
- Relationship must be the reason. The primary reason you’re doing this is to deepen your relationship with Christ in God, not to “go to heaven,” have angelic visitations, travel in the Spirit, or do supernatural “stuff.” All these can and many will happen. But they will only be the consequence of having your heart fixed on pursuing a deeper relationship with the Lord. Eternal life is knowing and experiencing God (John 17:3). Let Him lead you into whatever He wants you to see once you’re there.
- You must believe before you see. Sadly, this is one that even Christians struggle with. You won’t see anything if you don’t believe. Your unbelief becomes self-fulfilling. As it says in Hebrews 11:33 about the heroes of faith, “Their faith fastened onto their promises and pulled them into reality“(TPT). Did you get that? It was their faith that made the promises real. In the world of unbelief, seeing is believing; with the Kingdom of Heaven, you won’t see until you believe.
- You must open your heart. Your heart is the gateway to everything in life (Prov.4:23). It’s with the heart we believe (Rom.10:10). If our attitude is that God prove Himself, we blind ourselves to what we do see. Like the Pharisees, who demanded a sign from Jesus, didn’t even accept the signs they actually witnessed because of their hardened hearts.
- You must want to see. This is just as important. Faith is not passive. We can know we actually believe something when we act on it. If we have no real desire to “participate in the divine nature” (2 Pet.1:4), we won’t make the effort to learn how to train our soul to live from heaven.
- Record the vision. God told Habakkuk, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it” (Hab.2:4). When I have encounters with God, I keep a journal of what I saw and what I learned from the experience. As I said last time, each encounter adds more capability to see the heavenly realm with eyes of faith.
- Don’t try to imitate other people’s experiences. While there are many similarities, I’ve found that God uses your unique background, life experiences, along with your understanding of Scripture, to reveal heavenly realities to you. Keep in mind, heaven is infinitely multi-faceted, far more than we will ever fully comprehend. What matters is that you understand why God is showing you what He’s showing you. He may be showing someone else something totally different because that’s what they need right now in their journey with the Lord.
- You must actually do it! Here’s the thing. No one can abide in the Father’s love and learn to live from heaven for you. I can’t do this for you. Your pastor can’t do this for you. You can’t study your way into it. You must develop your own personal experience with God. But when you do, there’s overflowing joy! (Psalm 16:11; John 15:11).
Why does this work? Because we’re (our spirit) is actually seated in heavenly places with Christ right now! That’s a spiritual reality, confirmed by Scripture, regardless of what we believe about it. So all we’re doing is giving our soul permission to experience it. (For the Scripture basis for this, check out my “Heaven on Earth” category of posts).
I hope these practical keys help you engage your eyes of faith. God has already given us everything we need! He’s given us permission through His precious promises. Our part is to accept the invitation and participate in the divine nature (2 Pet.1:3-4). Enjoy the adventure!
51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:51 NKJV, emphasis mine)