The Atmosphere of Heaven

February 3, 2012

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Atmosphere of Heaven

As we come into a greater revelation and unfolding of our identity in Christ one of the things we should find is that it brings us into the atmosphere of the kingdom of heaven.  In that place of identity, unity and oneness with Father we experience His presence and those qualities and attributes in our lives that characterize our heavenly estate.
We walk in righteousness because we are in Christ who has become our righteousness.  It is not in our righteousness or goodness that we boast, but rather the righteousness that comes by faith.  Paul said it so eloquently in Philippians 3:7-9, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.”  When we are willing to lose those things we once counted valuable and significant to gain Christ then it is because we want to be enveloped in His identity and not our own.  In that place we no longer operate out of the law of righteousness, but rather we operate out of the faith of righteousness which takes on the righteousness that is not only of Him, but found “in Him”.
In that place of His presence there is perfect peace.  It is not that peace like we find in the world.  It is the peace that our life is hid with Christ in God.  It is the peace that our lives are sold out to Him so that we live out of the blood covenant of the New Testament that has been established with us through Christ.  Our dependency, our reliance, our provision, our peace is no longer based on this world or in its circumstance, because Christ is our peace.  We know that because He is in us and we in Him we can weather any storm and even if we were to perish physically it wouldn’t move us out of that place of peace.  Jesus tells His disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  You can imagine how incomprehensible it must have been for the persecutors of Christ’s body to see the perfect peace of those believers when all there earthly belongings were ravished and destroyed and they willing laid down their own lives also.  You can’t have that if you are operating out of the world’s peace, because it is circumstantial and conditional.  God’s peace comes out of the rest that we found in Him through faith in His faithfulness.
The last attribute of the kingdom it speaks here of is joy.  In Psalms 16:9-11 David declares this observation of Spirit, “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.  11You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  The greatest joy we have in Christ is that which Romans 8 declares to us that nothing in heaven or earth can separate us from the love of Christ, not even death.  We have such security in Him that we know that because He was raised to incorruptible life; we shall be raised up also.  The greatest fear of the world is death and yet for the believer it can only release us more fully into His presence, but it can never take Christ away from us.   Even as we abide in the presence of the Lord on earth and as live out of and walk by the Spirit, we experience the joy of His presence.  In Philippians 3:1 Paul writes, “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.”  Rejoicing safeguards our faith, because we can have righteousness, peace and joy in every circumstance.  We see our lives through the eyes of faith and we have such confidence no matter what befalls us.  God is still upon His throne and we are there next to Him in Christ.  Finally Paul goes on to write in Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
You see, when we can get a revelation of living out of the kingdom of heaven now as we walk in the Spirit, then we can enjoy and partake of heaven’s benefits.  It is as we walk in the Spirit that we walk in the heavens and we bring heaven in to the earth.  Righteousness, peace and joy are that atmosphere and the fragrance of it should rest upon us who walk in that faith and confidence of Him.


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