Monday, September 21, 2009

Heaven is Just a Prayer Away 9-21-09

Good morning, Lord Jesus. As I lift up my spirit, speak out Your name, and open up my heart, help me begin this day and every day in You -- centered in Jesus Christ as Lord, embraced by my heavenly Father in the love of God, and filled afresh with the Holy Spirit abiding continually with me and within me. ... "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle in the farthest limits of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,' even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to You" (Psalm 139:7-12). My seven year old son, Elijah, was spending the weekend with me. We were watching my younger son, Josiah, playing on the playground for a minute while we could just sit on the grass and talk awhile. We've gone through a difficult and painful time in our family this year. Then all of a sudden, Elijah turned to me and said: "Dad, I'm just remembering a dream the Lord gave me last night! I was in this deep, dark place, like a big crack or a cave down in the earth. I was feeling sad and afraid. Then I remembered that God is always with me. As soon as I did, there was this bright light everywhere, brighter than the sun. I felt like I was going straight to heaven. I never died; I just went straight to heaven. It was like everybody was waiting for me and we were at this table together, like a big feast, with fish and bread and lobster -- everything I like to eat. I was so happy! So was everybody! I remember now that when I woke up, I felt really full. And I was really surprised that I wasn't still in heaven. I think God is really saying something to me in my dream." Wow! What a dream! And all in vivid color too, he said. As we talked this through, I asked him what he felt like the Lord was saying to him in his dream. And I never want to forget the words my young son had to say: "Dad, I don't ever have to be afraid of anything. No matter what, God is always with me." As we pondered all this and what it might mean, Elijah said, "Dad, can you believe the Lord would give a little boy, just seven years old, a dream like that?" We laughed as I reminded him about the time when he was much younger and You were showing him what he called "see dreams", because he was seeing his dreams while he was awake. The Bible calls those "visions" (Acts 2:17). And as I told him, I do believe You are speaking to us all, young and old alike, longing for us to see what You're showing and hear what You're saying. And especially in these days that can seem dark and hard, fearful and lonely at times, like the earth has caved in and swallowed us up in a pit, we need not fear. For the Lord our God is with us. You never leave us and never forsake us. All the glory of heaven is just a prayer away -- as soon as we remember this eternal, but profoundly simple truth, spoken from the mouth of babes in ever-trusting, unwavering, child-like faith, "God is always with me." One day when we die -- if we die and aren't part of that generation that will never die and only see the glory of Your coming -- we'll go to heaven. But every day right now, we can receive heaven in us. And whether we go to the highest heaven or the depths of Sheol, whether we're soaring in the joy of a good day at the park or struggling through a dark day in our emotions, heaven is just a prayer away. You are always with us. "For He has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.' So we can say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?' " (Hebrews 13:5-6). Hearing my son's dream and the meaning You gave him through it reminds me of the last words and prayer of John Wesley. They say he could hardly speak in the final moments, but his hands were in the air, his face was full of peace, and he spoke out these words, "The best of all, God is with us!" ... And so You are. You always are. You are "Emmanuel ... God is with us" (Matthew 1:23). I don't know all that Elijah's dream means. Maybe it speaks of those who will never die, like another Elijah we know (2 Kings 2:11). Maybe it speaks of the moment of the rapture, when the light of the glory of Your coming will fill this dark earth (1 Thessalonians 5:17). For there will be a generation in a day to come who will never taste of death but be caught up into the brilliant light of the glory of Your Presence with Your holy angels (Luke 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:21). Maybe it speaks of Your abiding Presence with us now, no matter what, that heaven comes to earth every moment that we remember that You are always in our heart, and that already God "has (already) blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:3). Like Mary, I'll keep pondering all of these things in my heart. But I am encouraged today. And I am blessed to be a father with a son who hears God in his dreams. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays You can order my books on-line from our web site, Free to be Like Jesus -- Transforming Power of Healing & Deliverance and Morning by Morning: or from All proceeds go to support the vision and calling of Messiah Ministries -- "Preparing the Way of the Lord ... Ministering the Healing Love of God". If you would like a copy of our recent Messiah Ministries Newsletter, Messiah's Messenger, in hard copy or by email, please send me a note at Subscribe by email to me at Messiah Ministries -- "Preparing the Way of the Lord ... Ministering the Healing Love of God" 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, KY 40502 Devotional Archives at: