His future is secure because he’s a citizen of heaven.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Our culture is obsessed with transformation: house fixer uppers, biggest weight losers, hair, makeup, wardrobe, body workouts, office work ethics and life coaches. There is a glorious hope in transforming. Anticipated change gives us a motivation to continue – a wonderful end is soon coming. Even though our focus is often on the result of an external or physical change, the most neglected and ignored transformation is the spiritual one made possible by Jesus.
Spiritual transformation permeates everything Paul said and did. His relationship to Christ becomes the most important thing. His earthly successes or credentials are no longer a necessity. Knowing Christ becomes his most important goal – not only for him but for all people. Nothing could take his eyes of his goal – not prison, not knowing how or when he would meet death. And even when he stares death in the face, he knows he will gloriously join Christ in a transformed and resurrected body. The Apostle knows deep down he belonged to Christ and one day he would be free from pain, disease, and suffering. He knows his future is secure, because he’s a citizen of heaven.
Transformation energized Paul. His experience of Christ on this earth and his hope of heavenly citizenship keeps him straining forward. He keeps running the race for the joy set before him and because of the joy of Christ in Him. Christ is with you, too. If you are in him, your citizenship is in heaven. Now you can wait, like Paul, with joy and great anticipation for a day of complete and final victory. Think about an area in your life where you need God’s help to keep pressing on. Today, imagine life on the other side of the struggle. Imagine how you’d view this struggle as a citizen of heaven. Then, take your concern to Jesus in prayer. Ask him to help you keep pressing upward.
Set your minds on things that are above,
not on things that are on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is your life appears,
then you also will appear with him in glory.
– Colossians 3:2-4
By Donna Burns