A Heavenly Vista
[Part 2, Chapter 14]
My sister came to visit us years ago when we lived in Sydney. Janet and heights have never been good friends. It’s possible my brother and I may have had something to do with a number of Janet’s childhood fears.
We had planned a city centre day trip where Centrepoint Tower was on the must-do list.
Rocketed 250 metres skyward, the lift door opened wide to present us with the most spectacular panorama, the windows intriguingly angled inward to provide maximum viewing. Julie and I rushed straight over to the window for our first glimpse, only to wonder what had happened to Janet. We turned around, and there she was, on all fours, crawling from the lift towards the view.
What about you? How are you with heights?
My observation is many Christians are afraid of heights. Let me explain.
The Apostle Paul says we have a high position, seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6).
In Colossians, he invokes us to set our mind on things above, where Christ is (Colossians 3:1-4).
Are we fearful of what that means? Or do we struggle to understand it? That was certainly the case for me.
Rather than running and grabbing hold of the vista Father puts before us, we crawl through life, fearful of what we can’t yet see. Or we’re stuck in the lift, fearful of what may happen to us if we make a move. Or we’re stuck on the ground, missing out on the view from the heavenly places where we are seated.
Being seated with Christ is about living from our true identity. We are joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). That means we get to see what he sees. We see life from the viewpoint of acceptance and favour. We see from the perspective of resurrection and victory. We see things from a God-given vantage point. We even get to face challenges with his outlook. Our starting point is that of an overcomer.
This is the heavenly vista of favour.
In the face of favour, fear dissipates. Fear is not necessarily instantly eliminated. Rather, it dissolves over a period of time. The more favour we apply to our fears, the less of a stronghold it has on our thought processes, outlook, emotional responses, and faith.
We may still be frightened, but favour enables us to make small steps forward into the freedom and vista Father has for us.
Being seated in heavenly places is living in favour. It opens up a vista of opportunity. In time, we’ll courageously take them up, sometimes at a crawl.
And what we’ll find, is that the view of ourselves—and others—is quite extraordinary. A view grounded in favour.