To me, paradise is sitting on a white, sandy beach in the evening, looking up at the stars, and listening to the ocean waves singing of God’s majesty. It is one of the most heavenly places I have experienced in my life so far. If the real Heaven is better than that, then it is definitely a place I want to be!
I do think, though, that it is possible to want to go Heaven for the wrong reason. As Christians, we expect Heaven to be so good that many Christians desire Heaven more than they desire God. To put it another way, many people only love God because they expect to gain Heaven as a result of the relationship. So what does it look like to have the proper perspective on Heaven? In his journal, John Wesley wrote about a man who seemed to have it right:
I asked him what he thought of paradise—to which he had said he was going. He said, ‘To be sure, it is a fine place. But I don’t mind that. I don’t care what place I am in. Let God put me where he will, or do with me what he will, so I may but set forth his honour and glory.’
This man would be willing to give up Heaven to glorify God. Wow! That brings up a deep question: Would I be willing to give up Heaven for God? Would you?
It is tempting to rationalize this question away quickly by saying, “God promises heaven, so thinking about giving up heaven for God is moot.” I resisted rationalizing it away, however, and have been meditating on it this week. I have found it to be challenging and inspirational.
Beach Image: Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net