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Faith Imagined: I'm Recruiting

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

January 30, 2011

I'm Recruiting

Recruiting Time

When I imagine heaven, I see myself flying in some kind of exploration-cruiser, traveling through more of God's amazing creations. Even on this earth, scientists are discovering new creations all the time; and I believe this earth (as magnificent and beautiful as it is) is only a small portion of what our God can create. Heaven is not going to be a boring space of emptiness with nothing but a harp and a cloud. Heaven is going to be an adventure with amazing exploits and discoveries to be made!

I get excited thinking about my team of explorers traveling with me in heaven. I have no idea what we will be doing, but I do know it will be important and adventurous. God's eternal plan is beyond my comprehension; but if it's anything like it is on earth, it is bound to be exciting (Matthew 6.10).

As I considered all of this, I felt God tell my spirit, "Well, you better start recruiting your team."

Recruiting my team....?

That's when it hit me. There are millions of people who don't see heaven as I do. They long for something more than this physical life, their souls want to live forever, but they have no idea that there is a spiritual world. If I want people to join me in heaven, I better recruit them on earth (Matthew 16.19).

Humans are half-breeds. We are half flesh and half spirit. We have become very good at strengthening our physical lives, but our spiritual lives are starving. The sad truth is that our physical selves die. We walk over the graves of our ancestors just has our children will walk over ours. This life is just a brief vapor (James 4.14), which is kind of depressing if that's all we're clinging to and hoping in.

So if our physical bodies die, why aren't people embracing the other half of their existence? The answer is they don't understand Jesus.

Earth's Mission

God is a Creator (Genesis 1). He created us to give us life, love and a purpose. God created a perfect world and placed His beautiful half flesh/half spirit people in it (Genesis 2.7). However, instead of forcing our obedience, He gave us free-will.* We have the ability to choose God, which is our ultimate show of devotion. The ability to choose automatically corrupts God's perfect creation because many times we don't align ourselves with our perfect God.

Because God exists, the absence of God exists. Everything is defined by its absence. The absence of heat is cold. The absence of light is dark (Genesis 1.3-5). God dwells in heaven and the absence of God is hell. God is 100% perfect and His creations are perfect. However, because we are given a choice, His perfect creation becomes imperfect. God knew this would happen.

Since we are no longer perfect, we can no longer dwell with our perfect God in heaven. We are now separated from our Creator because our choices are flawed -- we all make mistakes. If God allows us to be a part of Him, He too will become corrupt. One hundred percent perfection cannot mix with anything less than perfect or else it too will become corrupt. This is no surprise to God, and He already had the answer -- Jesus.

Jesus lived the perfect life in our corrupted world and took our sin, so that we could wear His righteousness and stand before our perfect God (Romans 5.19). Jesus is the answer to the consequence of our bad choices with free-will. If we want to be a part of all the awesome exploits that God has planned for us in heaven, we better be wearing the righteousness of Jesus. God is all love, all knowing, all power, all glory, all good; and I don't want to exist away from Him. I don't know exactly what hell will be like, but the absence of God sounds lame to me.

The Answer

Language is our gift from the Creator, and our words are eternal. They might be formed in the physical world, but they make their way to the everlasting spiritual world. Words are tools that create. There is power in what we say. Jesus said that all we have to do is confess that He is Lord and we will be saved (Acts 2.21). All we have to do is admit our sin, and ask Jesus to take our separation from God, and His righteousness can be ours. Our faith in Jesus creates a bridge to God that joins the void of our separation caused by sin due to our bad choices we committed with our free-will.

Once we have Jesus' righteousness, we can now be in heaven and fulfill the amazing eternal plans of God because we are now supernaturally clothed in the 100% perfection of Jesus (Galatians 2.16). Jesus is our answer to everlasting life with a perfect God. In one hand, we are given free-will through the Tree of Knowledge; but in the other hand, we are given the Tree of Life through Jesus (Revelation 22.14).

Once we use our words and claim Jesus' righteousness (perfection), the Spirit of God dwells in us (Mark 1.8 & John 20.22). This is the coolest part of being a Born Again Christian, and it's kind of weird at first. All of a sudden, we have God's perfect Spirit inside of us, guiding us (John 14.26); but it takes time to get to know Him. We have to commune with Him like Jesus did. Jesus took time to pray often during His time on earth (Mark 1.35). It's like any relationship: We must cultivate it so we can get to know God and benefit from His love. But we have to have Jesus' redemptive covering for our perfect Creator to dwell in us.

Once we have the Holy Spirit, we can now fully understand God's creation through the Bible. Many people read the Bible and only see historical documents. But the living, breathing part of the Bible is closed to them. The Holy Spirit illuminates the Bible and applies it to our lives and situations (Acts 4.31). If we don't have Jesus and the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual aspect of the Bible is dead (Hebrews 4.12). So when we talk to non-Christians about spiritual and eternal things, we need to first explain Jesus. Otherwise, we might be wasting their time and our energy.

So I'm recruiting. I might not have a lot to say or give, but I have the only thing that counts: I have the answer to the world's separation from their creator. I have Jesus. I want people to join me on my exploration-cruiser and go on many exploits in heaven with me. I want people to be united back to their Creator. I want people to finally fill that emptiness that they have grown accustomed to. There is so much more to this life than the material aspects of this world. We have eternity to live. My eyes are set on heaven. Will you join me?

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28.19-20 NIV).

* Free-will is illustrated in Genesis 2 when God allowed Adam and Eve to be confronted with the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. They had a choice even though the Creator told them that eating from the Tree of knowledge would cause their separation from Him (death).


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17 Comments:

Blogger Michael Manning said...

Alisa: This is a powerful post written with confidence in The Lord and following Him in the many creative ways He is leading us. This blogsite is a source of nourishment and I must say-encouragement. It is a blessing to stop here and visit!

Michael

7:01 PM  
Blogger lynnmosher said...

Alisa, what a wonderful post! You talked about one of my soapboxes...our words! They are powerful tools, aren't they? Loved this post. Blessings to you!

7:45 PM  
Blogger Karen Lange said...

I will! :-)

7:48 PM  
Blogger Jodi Whisenhunt said...

Joining you, Alisa! Great post!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Powerful post! Great word picture. We should be feeding our souls and caring more for it than we do our physical self. And I like the picture of recruiting our team! May we all do a better job of recruiting!

Blessings,
Mel
Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

1:29 PM  
Blogger Shauna Leigh Atkinson said...

I love this post! I'm with you!! :) ~Shauna

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

I LOVE this! Yes, exactly -- that's the whole point of this life, isn't it? I just celebrated my one year blog-a-versary (?) and after reviewing my posts throughout the past year, it really struck me that God led me to create my blog to speak for Him. It's not about ME; it's all about HIM. I love your "recruiting your team" comment and the feeling of working together to share the vast love of God with a hurting, searching world. Count me in with you! :)

Blessings to you!
Melanie

5:49 PM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

Alisa, this is the BEST map to salvation I have ever read! Love the 'half-breed' title...

1:16 PM  
Blogger lioneagle said...

Hi Alisa -

Thank you for this.

In particular, I love this that you expressed, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”"


Amen - Hallelujah!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'm onboard all the way!

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Alex Marestaing said...

This life is meaningless without God, and we're here to help people know that there's hope, meaning, and more than just death. Nice post :)

9:15 PM  
Blogger Sharon Kirby said...

Beam me up, Alisa!

Count me among the half-breeds! And may God empower me to reach out to others, to tell them about the very Good News that you have so expertly laid out in your post. Jesus - the Answer to EVERY question.

GOD BLESS!

8:44 PM  
OpenID deodate said...

What a great way to teach, wonderful analogy. May your blog continue to increase the numbers of 'the team'
Andie

5:01 AM  
Blogger Spacerguy said...

You may assimilate me into your collective. I've lowered my shields.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Tina said...

I love the imagery in your writing. It's out of this world. Ha! But seriously, you are right that we have the only thing that matters...Jesus Christ. And He told his disciples "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

8:28 PM  
Blogger Melanie Redd said...

Alisa,

I like the way you expressed this post today!!

What a refreshing way to illustrate "evangelism and discipleship" as RECRUITING!

And, thanks for the reminder to do just that. I teach a Bible study to a group of ladies in a new church plant. Several are unchurched. I hope to do some real recruiting this Wednesday night as I share with them about how they can know Jesus personally!

I think I'll rename myself as a "recruiter"!

Blessings,
Melanie

1:31 PM  
Blogger Tabitha And Family said...

I am SO with you!!

4:56 PM  

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