Last June (2021) I had a strong leading from Holy Spirit to learn what it means to be seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Over the course of the next 7 months, the topic was brought to my mind many, many times. But I never sat down and studied it out.
God (in his mercy) did not wait until I got around to studying it. After work last night, I was making supper (tater tot hotdish – shout-out to my Minnesota readers!) Pandora was playing a contemporary Christian song that I’ve heard dozens of times before. Suddenly I was struck with powerful revelation… it’s hard to put the experience into words. I stood in my kitchen weeping, and when I had pulled myself together, I grabbed the nearest piece of paper – a grocery list – and wrote down what I suddenly knew:
We are seated on the mercy seat with Jesus. We can extend his mercy, grace, and forgiveness to our fellow humans. We can exercise his authority over the demonic. We can calm the storm and move the mountain. We can heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons. IT IS FINISHED.
Yesterday morning I believed all these things were true because God’s word says so. But now I know they are true in every cell of my body. There’s nothing left to wait for. It’s time for us, if we call ourselves followers of Jesus, do what he told us to do. He gave us everything we need. We are seated in the heavenly realms with Christ Jesus. As the Father sent Jesus, now Jesus sends us. We are sent to preach the kingdom of God and to take back all the ground that the enemy has stolen.
We are simultaneously seated in the heavenly realm with Jesus and walking this earth in physical bodies. We must do the work of Jesus, to carry out his will and enforce his decrees, because we – believers — are the only body he has on earth now. We must preach the gospel. We must comfort the brokenhearted. We must declare freedom from darkness for those bound by the chains of deception. We must bind every lying spirit of suicide, depression, anxiety, lost identity, and fear. We must loose the Spirit of love, mercy, and forgiveness. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation, not just a cessation of hostility, but rather bringing people back into an intimate relationship with the God who created them and has loved them from the beginning of time.
There is much talk these days of the end times. In Matthew chapters 24 and 25 Jesus talks about the signs of his return, and also what he expects of us in the meantime. He repeatedly warns us to be ready. If you knew Jesus was coming next week, what would you do? If you knew Jesus was coming in a year, what would you do? It seems many of us, most definitely including myself, have been concerned with all sorts of things that won’t matter a bit when Jesus returns. I am haunted by Luke 18:8: Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?
The conflict between the kingdom of God and the powers of darkness is not some spectator sport. There is no point in sitting on the sidelines, cheering for good and decrying evil. That’s not what Jesus meant when he told us to announce the kingdom, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. We aren’t seated in the heavenlies with him so we can have a better view of the game!
There is a fire in me that wasn’t there yesterday, and I pray it lights you up too. One of my former instructors says, “Don’t worry about what people will think if you don’t get it exactly right. If you’re on fire for Jesus, they’ll come watch you burn.” I pray Holy Spirit fire falls on everyone who reads this. I pray that wisdom, discernment, and above all the incomprehensible love of God fills your hearts and minds.
I’d love you to share in the comments what you would do differently if you knew Jesus was coming on a particular day in the near future, or what it means to you to be seated in the heavenly realms with him. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.