Just before Moses went to be with the Lord, the Lord instructed him to go up into Mount Nebo, and this, in order to “behold the land of Canaan.” (Deut. 32:49). In spite of the fact that Moses was not permitted to cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, the land of promise, God would give him the opportunity to behold the land, “…which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession.” Now, why would God do this when shortly Moses would die on the same mountain, and “be gathered to his people?” It is very simple…God rewarded his servant with a heavenly perspective of all that He had promised, accomplished, and would achieve for the people of Israel. It was a testimony of the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God. What then is our perspective? And are we not called to enter fully into this “land of promise” in Christ, experiencing again today that which He has promised, accomplished, and actively working to achieve in this earth, in us and others?
Perhaps the most essential element to this “perspective” that we need, is that vision of heaven, what (Who) is in heaven, and our relationship with heaven. Paul tells the Colossians, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which ARE ABOVE, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind) on THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth.” Now why does he say this? Again, the answer seems to be simple, and yet, it is beyond our full understanding, “…for ye are dead, and YOUR LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD.” (3:1-3) Not only are we to climb “Mt. Nebo” to gaze into heaven, but we are called to live from there, derive all from there.
The Lord Jesus tells us to pray to, “…Our Father WHICH ART IN HEAVEN.” (Matt. 6:9) So, we are to look heavenward to our Father who is there. Note that in the same chapter, the Father (from heaven) seeth in secret…and rewards openly…again, from HEAVEN. And yet, we are to meet the God of heaven in the quiet place, the place of aloneness, where He hears, and answers, “…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask of Him.” (Matt. 6:8) To emphasize the necessity of having a heavenly perspective, the Lord Jesus instructs us to pray, “…Thy will be done in earth (in us), AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” And how shall we know the blessed will of God, if we do not look at the Risen Christ in heaven, at the right hand of God?
The Psalmist wrote: “…Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I IN HEAVEN but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” (Ps. 73:24-25) Does the Psalmist have a vision of heaven? Is he looking heavenward? Yes, and the result is that he is sure of guidance from heaven. He goes on to declare, “…God IS the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (v. 26) It is because he is looking into heaven at the One who is his all, that the great truths of his relationship with God dominate him and his prayer. He is a man living by faith, according to truth, according to what he is learning by gazing upon the One who IS truth.
So, today, may God give us grace to look upward…not to just a place, but primarily to a Person, “in whom we live and have our being.” And let us remember that we are called to come boldly unto the “throne of grace,” that throne in heaven, to receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16) We are called upon TODAY to know fellowship with the God of Heaven. And how amazing it is that this God of Heaven will meet us in the place of aloneness and quietness, seeing us, answering us, revealing to us the things that are of Him, in Christ. “Praise my soul the King of Heaven.”