THE GOSPELS 43
Matt. 6: 9-15
HEAVEN IS WHERE THE FATHER IS
We live in two worlds, but they are so closely intertwined that we are not aware of the vast difference between them. First, there is the physical world which we experience with our five senses. What we see, hear, smell, taste and feel are the realities which we deal with every day. Our bodies are controlled by a neurological system. These nerves take messages from our five senses to the brain where they are processed and cause us to take whatever action is indicated. With this system we are aware of and deal with the physical world about us.
However, we also have a non-physical system which can be called our spiritual system. This does not mean that it is religious, in the accepted use of that term. It means that it is not controlled by our five senses and is not limited in space and time as they are. This is the system with which we love or hate, dream and imagine, remember and plan, enjoy esthetic pleasures such as music and art, and nurture our faith and hope. We are not limited by the strictures of space and can reach beyond the bonds of time in this system.
To imagine living with either of these systems without the other is very difficult. The animal world, apart from human beings, lives in the world of physical reality. They see, hear, smell, taste and feel, but they do not imagine and plan, use memories of the past to help set their future actions, enjoy art and the esthetics of music, etc. In other words, they do not live in a spiritual world. That we can see and understand.
However, when we reverse the picture and try to imagine living in a spiritual world without the use of our five senses it is beyond us. Our imagination cannot adequately encompass such an existence. But, when we come to love someone very much, it is a perception for which there are no words. It does not have a shape to see or something we can touch and feel with our hands. But we know that it exists. These inner feelings, we experience. It is in our spiritual world and apart from any physical entity that the five senses can perceive.
Paul tells us that God will give us a spiritual body, and that we will be changed. This is the reason we should be developing our spiritual selves…that part of our being with which we have faith and hope and love. Desiring righteousness, God-likeness, and purity, is desiring the spiritual qualities that prepare us for Heaven, where our spiritual bodies will dwell. In this place, we will not need the earth-limited senses, for we will have the spiritual perceptive powers with which to enjoy beauty in a form we have never seen, and joy beyond the imagination of any earth creature. This is the closest I can come to imagining what Heaven is like, and I know it is far from adequate. But I know that the Father to whom I pray is there waiting for me and ready to give me blessings nothing on earth can afford.