By Heather Cook
I’ve been on a journey to set my heart free. Today, I hope to share my journey to be a blessing to you. Lately, I’ve been leading women’s Bible studies in the order of Thessalonians, Daniel, Revelation and The Inheritance. Through these adventures, God has shown me that our eyes are to be fixed on heaven while our feet are on the ground doing His work.
What is heaven? Will I like heaven? What difference does it make today?
The world’s definition of heaven: a place as the abode of God and angels and of the good after death; often depicted as being in the sky (Merriam-Webster).
Through my studies I have found a very different definition of Heaven and some wonderful answers to the questions above. Reading Imagine Heaven by John Bourke was a significant help to my view of Heaven and actually setting my heart free. Bourke takes very credible, near death experience stories (more than 3000 accounts around the globe in every culture), matches them up to Scripture’s picture of heaven, and then he imagines what the actual Heaven will be like. Much of my imagining comes from this book and the prophets’ words. This new perspective has given me so much hope as I more clearly see the GLORY that is to come.
The people who have experienced heaven define it so much more richly than we could ever dream. Heaven is home; a place where you are fully loved, fully accepted, completely adored, satisfied, whole and healthy. It is in heaven that we will finally know the purpose for which we were uniquely made for. We were made for heaven. Earth is only a shadow of it. Can you imagine how differently we would live today if we were fully loved and accepted?
The children who have seen heaven, describe it as a much more beautiful earth that is dancing to music with colors they’ve never seen before. They depict a warm, bright light coming from the throne of God in the center- the New Jerusalem. God prepares us a house in the suburbs of the city, a special home just for us, which they call “PARADISE.” Our neighbors are the people who have impacted our lives and those that we have also impacted. With this view of Heaven, can you imagine the neighborhood parties and festivals that will occur?
Your relationships are seen as completely restored and healed. They are deep and satisfying, not like the broken ones here on Earth. We will sing, dance, feast, and it will all feel deeply connected. We will have tasks and jobs that our talents and gifts will be fully utilized. We will have important things to do. Our hearts will be free.
There is a river of living water flowing from the Tree of Life in the center of the New Jerusalem. Jesus will lead you into the river, and when you come out, you will be renewed, restored, and revived. The river will wash you clean. . It will be the REAL YOU, not scarred by sin and wounds, by resentment and anger, by abuse and injustice, or by sickness and sadness. Some say this river is the physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit. It all makes perfect sense to me.
In Heaven, Jesus comes to you. He knows everything about you, and He LOVES you. The King of the Universe, who holds the Title Deed to Earth, loves you just as you are! He shows you a montage of your life and how all things fit together and the events that shaped you. This is not in judgment, but in kindness. Can you imagine that conversation? People who have shared about this experience have said they realized God’s plan was perfect, and things finally made sense. Most importantly, when you are in heaven, Jesus will ask you, “How did you love others-the way I loved you-totally and unconditionally?” How will I answer that? How will YOU answer that?
Why does all of this heaven stuff matter?
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet, no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11. Christian or not, we all have this huge hole in our heart that longs for eternity, love, and God. We spend a lifetime trying to fill it, satisfy it, or hide it. We spend so much time on ourselves & not serving others. When we know that we will NEVER be fully satisfied here, then we can stop the futile pursuit of filling this void in our lives. So, instead of running after a worthless pursuit, let go and go love people the way Jesus has loved you- with no strings attached!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
You are FREE! Free from fear, free from failure, free from lack, free from worry, free from disappointment in how life has turned out, free from a lack of love, free from wounds, free from bitterness, free from rejection, free from addiction, free from family curses, free from abuse, free from shame, free from all of the things that keep you turned inward. When you accept Jesus as your savior, you are free to go and love, because you are fully loved and fully accepted from your heavenly Father AS YOU ARE TODAY.
Why are we here on this Earth? “God made you for Himself-not to prove your glory, but to be His glory. His pride and joy. His beloved son or daughter. What he wants you to do is learn to be secure in His love, in who He made you to be, and from that place of security, you can DO what He created you to do…and to love those you uniquely can love” (Bourke).
Therefore, since we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
If we are not secure in His love for us and His inheritance to come then we cannot complete our mission here! We have one chance on the Earth to prove our faith, because one day it will become sight. He is our inheritance & we are His. So let’s set our eyes on Heaven and our feet on the ground. Go and answer the question, “How did you love others-totally and unconditionally?”
He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children." Revelation 21:6-7
Meet Heather Cook
I am excited to introduce to Heather Cook. Heather is a friend of a friend but from our email communication and through my friend I know that she has a passionate heart for the Lord. Heather is married to Nathan and they live in a suburb of Houston with their three boys. Heather and her husband did a hiking, discipleship trip to Israel in 2009 and it made the Bible go from black and white to full color. As she hiked 100 miles through the promised land, that is where she dedicated her life to become a woman of The Text. Her dreams are to someday lead the same kind of hiking trips in Israel & the surrounding areas with her husband. Heather loves running around with her energetic boys, love going to Austin for UT football games, and going to the lake with friends.