Citizens of Heaven

Kerri Ash, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | September 15, 2023

“But our citizenship is in heaven.”  
Philippians 3:20

“They do not belong to this world any more than I do.” 
 John 17:14

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  
John 16:33

I’m not sure about you, but in recent years, I have been more susceptible to frustration with how things are going here on Earth. For example, the way people are treated, the way governments are run, what is valued, and the casting aside of our amazing Creator. When these things start to cause choppy waters within me, I hold tight to the fact that these problems are found only in the world—they are not of Heaven.  In fact, this world and everything in it is temporary. That sure cuts these worldly issues down to size! 

Even though the world is filled with chaos, because we are “citizens of Heaven,” we can experience Heaven in our own lives by embracing the peace that Jesus offers us. For me, this peace is found in knowing that the discomfort of this world is temporary and that my heart is for God.  

It begs the question, how do we want to spend our short time here—stirred up over things of this world or operating from our peace-filled citizenship of Heaven? I think we know operating from our citizenship of Heaven is a wise choice, but in a chaotic world, what does that look like?  

  • It looks like trusting God with the moments and events of our day/week/life. He is trustworthy, and as our trust in Him grows, Heavenly peace spreads within us.
  • It looks like loving on all those whom God puts in our sphere—asking Him to show us how He sees them rather than believing our own judgmental eyes.
  • It looks like desiring and praying for major change in this world—not just policy change (policy change is great, but murder has been illegal for centuries and people still do it), but heart change. Our hearts have God’s attention (1 Sam 16:7), and heart change is God’s specialty. The more hearts that are turned toward Him, the more Heaven is here on earth.

What operating from our citizenship of Heaven doesn’t look like is living with an angry or fearful spirit, canceling or breaking relationship over a disagreement, or engaging in judgment or name-calling. These are actions of this temporary world.

Although we don’t have the exact details of Heaven as a place, we know that we will experience ongoing perfect peace for our soul, joy in our spirit, and a new and improved body. The beautiful part is that because we are citizens of Heaven, that same peace is accessible during our temporary journey here on Earth. Thank you, Jesus!

Next Steps 

A key aspect of operating from our citizenship of Heaven is partnering with God. Ask God to help you be in tune with His Holy Spirit and sense His leading—rather than mindlessly pushing forward in your own strength and plans. 

If you haven’t already committed to following Jesus, perhaps today is your day. When you follow Him, His Holy Spirit will lead and guide you into partnering with God. Find a Christian friend to pray with, or contact the Willow Creek Prayer Ministry here to pray with a member of the team.