And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:6 (ESV)
In Ephesians 2:6 Paul writes that God has made us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Notice this is not just a future hope but a present reality. You may wonder at times how anything on this earth could be heavenly. Regardless of how things look around us, in Christ, God has granted us a heavenly position. Maybe, at least in part, that is what Jesus meant when he said, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
There are many instances in scripture where ordinary people saw into the heavenly dimension. One such instance occurred when the shepherds saw and heard an angelic being proclaiming the birth of Christ (Luke 2:8-12). Stephen, the martyr, saw the Son of Man at the right hand of God and Isaiah saw the Lord in His holy temple (Act 7:55; Isaiah 6:1). Most of us tend to view heaven as directional when in reality it is dimensional. Heaven is all around us. God is not way off “up yonder” somewhere. He is among us in a dimension we cannot see with the physical eye.
As we worship we are joining thousands of other created beings. We are but one small part of creation that is worshiping its creator. Revelation 5:11-12 reads, Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (ESV) More proof of this creation worship is documented in the Psalms.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. (Psalm 65:12-13 ESV) Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy. (Psalm 96:11-12 ESV) Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together. (Psalm 98:7-8 ESV) Psalm 148 gives a list of various created entities which are commanded to worship. Among those are angels, the sun, moon, stars, mountains, hills, animals and trees. Psalm 150:6 sums it up by saying, Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! (ESV)
The whole universe rings out with praise and adoration for its creator. We do not have to wait until we die to worship with angels and the rest of God’s creation. From our position in the heavenly places we have the awesome privilege of joining in now.
Are you following God’s command to let everything that has breath praise the Lord?
Scriptures for meditation: