2002-07-02 - Real Aviation
2 Peter 3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
I suppose that July 2 will go down as one of memorable days in Aviation history. The Balloonist Steve Fossett is likely to complete the treck to Western Australia on July 2 of this year. This will mean that after five attempts he finally was able to fly his balloon around the world by himself. This makes him the first person to do so. It was also on July 2, 1937, when Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean during her attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world.
The two above people left the ground for a little while and though it might seem to Fossett that he is in heaven now by completing a task he had been laboring towards for years, his joy has nothing on the joy of a Christian when thinking of heaven. We should think of heaven from time to time because life can beat us up and discourage us every once and a while. But a resolute heavenly mindedness can also be a great encouragement to us.
Remember the words of Paul in Philippians 1:21-24? They are worth repeating and we must be careful to recall that Paul was in prison when he wrote these words, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain, but if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose, but I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake." Paul wanted to depart and be with Christ but he clearly knew his work on earth for Christ was not yet done because he was still needed.
However, Paul had the desire and the longing for heaven. There is nothing wrong with such desires. They are helpful and can be motivating for the Christian. Notice also that Paul did not bargain with God. He did not say, "if you get me out of this prison, or church, or into a better house, it would mean fruitful labor for me." Not at all, but rather, it appears that he was ministering right where God had put him. He was ministering in jail. We see this explicitly in other sections of the New Testament. So we seem to be without excuse here. We have many advantages that Paul never had. Besides modern technology, and multimedia, we have beyond that, a completed New Testament which was still being written with Paul.
There is nothing wrong with being heavenly minded. Let us seek to be such Christians. However, in doing so, let us do something with it and serve the Lord with our future heavenly motivation.
Soli Deo Gloria,