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Heaven: Celebrating Our Relationship With God

We had it all! Then all was lost.

Man was in God’s presence: , ,
Genesis 1:26–30 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Eden’s greatest attraction was God’s presence.
Sin made it impossible to be in God’s presence: ;
God in his grace gives us glimpses into his presence.
Throughout Scripture – ; ; ; ; ; ;
By revelation from the Holy Spirit – ; ; ;
In creation – ;
The presence of God is central to heavenly life
He is what we truly long for.
We will, with confidence, see God in all his glory – , ; ; ;
He will dwell with us – ; ;
He will bless us abundantly – ;
He will serve us and we will worship him- ; ; ; ; ,
Is the presence of God central to my earthly life?
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.” Brother Lawerence
; ;
“Of all the events of Moses’ life, I find most intriguing.  After the golden calf incident, Moses comes down from the mountain and the only one more furious is God Himself.  Consequences are rolling.  Moses is grieving over the blatant disobedience of the Israelites; after they had been rescued from Egypt and yet so quickly reverted to their old ways.”
Moses knew the value of God’s presence because he experienced God’s works and faithfulness
, ,
“Moses says, “Forget it.  It’s worthless, vain, futile, if you take yourself from us.  I don’t want it if I don’t have You.”  Essentially Moses told God He would rather be in the wilderness with God than in the Promised Land without Him.
Beach analogy… Instinctively I examine myself.  What are my lands of milk and honey?  My deep, passionate desires?  My aspirations?  What I want in the space I call home?  What do I desperately want God to promise me?  Where do I hope He’ll lead me?  We all have them running through our heads, the things our sandals are pointing toward.  They’re the things we believe “When ____ happens, then I’ll have arrived”, “When _____ happens, then I’ll be content”, “When ____ happens, then I’ll be satisfied”, “When ____ happens, then I’ll be happy with God.”   I’m often looking at the milk and honey to determine how I see God.  If I don’t get what I crave, I find God lacking.  I assume He’s holding out on me.  Or I see Him as my ticket to get me where I want to go.  “Okay, Lord.  I’ll follow you as long as ... (I’m healthy and cancer free …  I can have children … I own my dream home … my job offers security and advancement … you save my reputation … the guy gets the girl….) Moses wasn’t hung up on the gifts.  He was hanging on to the Giver.  He looked directly at God and saw the milk and honey as secondary.”  
“I shall rise from the dead...I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as that sun shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began...No man ever saw God and lived. And yet I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen him, I shall never die.” - John Donne
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