As a speaker and musician, I spend a lot of my life on airplanes. I'm still amazed that I can get from LA to NYC in 5 hours while someone brings me a beverage—something that used to take a wagon months, possibly years to accomplish with the looming possibility of death at any moment from disease, animal attack, and the elements. Yeah, I'll definitely take my chair in the sky with peanuts and a drink.
I remember taking one of my first flights in grade school, unable to understand why the businessman who hoarded the window seat had closed the little oval shade and ruined my view while we took off into the wild blue. I stared at him with frustration and confusion, swearing to myself that I would never become like that that. Promising that I would always appreciate the beauty and wonder of flight! Forever, I say!
Years and thousands of flights later, where I'm often conked out with my eye patch even before wheels are up in the air, I sometimes remember my little vow and take a moment to stop and peer out at the landscape down below.
Because I live in LA, most of my flights these days are going to cross over a desert at some point. Deserts aren't pleasant if you're on the ground, as you know if you've ever made the painful drive across the Mojave desert on I-40 from Arizona to California. The signs warning that there is no gas, no restaurants, and no civilization for 100 miles is less that disconcerting. It's downright depressing. With the sun scorching and shriveling almost all life in it's path, you see waves of heat rising from the cracked, dry ground, and nothing but dirty, lifeless brown as far as the eye can see.
But from up above, the desert is breathtaking. Deep canyons run for hundreds of miles, carving windy paths into the hardened rock. Deep crags are painted orange then brown then crimson, only to repeat the desert rainbow again.
Down below, the heat and barren land can kill you. But from up above, nothing can touch you.
I was reading in my Bible on the plane as I flew over the majesty of the desert canyons. Ephesians 2 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”
Translation: if you are in Christ, you are not of this world. That's right, let me say that again….your truest self isn't part of this world anymore. You're a citizen of heaven. You've been raised up with Christ, and where is Christ? Seated at the right hand of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that you are IN Christ. That's right…YOU'RE IN HIM! And He's seated in heavenly places!
That means you're seated in heavenly places, too. RIGHT NOW! You've already been raised up!!!
We're in two places at once, friends. Our physical bodies are here on this earth, but scripture promises that somehow we're seated with Christ in heavenly places right now. Does that make sense to my head? Nope. But it makes sense to my spirit. As believers, we have the beautiful privilege of NEVER seeing the desert from the ground. We can always see it from the heavens. Why? Because we're seated there. We have access to the counselor, the healer, the one who restores, the one who always has a solution to every problem.
We never have to endure the desert ground again.
Are you living life on this earth from the ground, fighting towards victory, or are you living life on this earth from the heavens, fighting from it. It is finished means just that. It's finished. He's done the work. The more we can shift our mindsets (because remember, our minds are what need renewing!), the more we can experience the peace that passes all understanding as we see our problems, our deserts, and our circumstances from up above.
You're seated in the heavens. You can see from that perspective.
Take a moment, close your eyes, and think about a circumstance you've been looking at from the ground. It probably looks overwhelming, doesn't it? It probably looks like there's no solution, and it might suck the life out of you. Now, SEE yourself seated with Christ, far above earthly things. Talk to Him about it. What does He have to say? There are no problems in this world–only opportunities for the Holy Spirit to give you a solution. Why?
Because every one of His promises are true, and He loves you with an everlasting love.
Now, renew your mind every time you begin to descend into the desert today. Get back up in that airplane, far above your circumstance. See how it changes everything.