Your Heaven-born citizenship gives you bold entrance to the halls of Heaven in the same way that my British passport allows me to freely come and go in my natural-born homeland here on planet earth.
The rights and privileges this new conversation afford you are infinite in scope.
You know, there are a number of different things that can block our prayer pipes, if you like. And I just want to talk about what the King James version of the Bible calls a conversation. And this is a conversation that you really don’t want to miss. I just travelled abroad. I went very recently to Slovenia. Just preaching and teaching out there on the subject of prayer, I had a really wonderful time. But as you know, when you travel from country to country, you need a passport. And as an Englishman, the passport that I hold affords me the rights and the authority of a citizen of Great Britain. It’s essentially a proof to one degree or another of my proof. It’s proof of my heritage and my identity. But as I reminded my dear Slovenian brothers and sisters when I was there, I also hold another passport and identity card that proves and ratifies my other citizenship. I have a dual citizenship, as do you. Okay. And that other passport held it aloft in the meeting that I was in is my Bible. This amazing document grants you the Covenant right to operate in two realms, the natural and the spiritual.
And thank God, by virtue of his sacrifice on the cross, his resurrection from the dead, Jesus is Lord of both those realms. I’m at once a citizen of Earth and a citizen of heaven. Scripture says, Where does this come from? It’s in a number of different places that you find in Philippians 3:20. Specifically, we are told that our citizenship is in heaven, and then elsewhere, Jesus speaks of his followers being in the world, but not of the world. In a sense, I was in Slovenia, but not of Slovenia. Hebrews 13:14 reminds us that here on Earth, as pilgrims, as men and women, of a different realm and a different country, if you like. We have no abiding city. Our life, our hopes, our allegiance and our expectation resides somewhere else, somewhere far more enduring. I love, actually, the King James rendering of this Philippians verse. One thing just a little rabbit trail here. Looking up different verses in different translations of the Bible is just a great way to kind of unpack the truths that are hidden in there. And to a degree, I love the fact I’m actually building these thoughts on this.
I guess in some ways, more modern translation of this citizenship is in heaven, but the old King James Version says, for our conversation is in heaven from whence we also look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, that’s Philippians 320. In the King James Version old King James And it’s from here our eternal spiritual dwelling that we exercise eternal principles, the principles of prayer. It flows. And this is why I do enjoy this more archaic rendering. It flows from a conversation we are included and invited into the administration and the extension of this heavenly homeland as well. In a sense, it’s like it’s not only our primary place of allegiance and residence, our primary citizenship, but it’s also the language that we speak. It’s very difficult to enter into a deep, meaningful conversation when you speak two entirely different languages. Yeah, but when we come into this conversation, when we come into this fellowship of the Godhead, there is a conversation taking place that we are invited to enjoy. And I think to a degree, this is why we find so many frustrated Saints, because essentially they are trying to operate in one realm on the basis of their citizenship in another.
If we go back to my British status, I can’t properly exercise my rights or full rights as a British citizen. If I try to operate by the laws and practises of an entirely foreign country, I need to operate according to the tenets of the Constitution of the Commonwealth that I want to enforce. And that word citizenship or conversation in Philippians literally means a Constitution of a Commonwealth. Yes. And this is why prayer, I think, is so often a frustrating practise for many people. Many Christians, they roll up, if you like, with the wrong citizenship papers, expecting that natural laws can somehow produce spiritual results. In prayer, we have to know which passport to pull out when we stand at the gates, when we come into the courts of heaven, what passport do you pull from your pocket? Imagine coming there. You come to border control, and they ask for proof of citizenship to enter in and enjoy the benefits, the rights, responsibilities of the country that you want to enter. The guard on duty eyes you very carefully. You know, that where they sit in those glass boxes and kind of checking you out, looking at your passport.
It takes a document from your hand, but all that’s on the document is some letter of recommendation from your mum or your employer, your best friend or your pastor, maybe even all of them. Maybe they all signed. It signed, sealed and delivered. They offer the assurance that you are indeed a trustworthy person and should be allowed into the country. Is that God really going to let you pass through unhindered? Yeah, I don’t think so. Yet. How often do we come to prayer with a natural mindset, relying on whatever it may be so often, maybe our good works or our efforts to take us through equally. It’s not just those who come in that religious ignorance, very sincere, but often sincerely wrong, who fall into the natural trap. Even those who are well versed in heavenly ways can really trip up the wire that entangles them and keeps them earthbound is sometimes familiarity certain principles that have worked powerfully in the past, and maybe particular forms of prayer that have yielded favourable results. Familiarity leads to just aping the emotions and the actions that worked yesterday. And there’s a subtle move from fervency to just mere emotion.
Prayers in a sense are just parroted sometimes, maybe even with convincing enthusiasm. But in reality, it’s just hot wind. There’s no heart, real heart behind it, just soul. We need spirit praying at all times in the Spirit, we need to engage our spirit at every level of prayer, whatever kind of prayer we’re praying. And there are many kinds. That’s why it’s so exciting and such a rich area of growth and exploration, one that never ends. Let me ask a quick question as we continue this conversation. Are you sitting comfortably? Because prayer is not conducted from Earth to heaven, we often think of the guy or the girl down below, like shouting up, crying out God, help me or whatever, crying out to the living God. But really, our effective prayer is not based on earthly principles of religious rigour. Yeah. Instead, we operate from our place of heavenly authority based on this citizenship that we’ve been granted by virtue of Jesus sacrifice on our behalf. He took upon himself as humanity, so we in turn could sit with Him in heavenly places. And it’s from here, way above the fray, that true prayer actually begins and true prayer takes place.
Scripture describes how our heavenly citizenship grants us a seat far above spiritual powers and principalities spiritually. We are seated together with Christ in heavenly places. Let me just read a couple of verses from Ephesians 2:6 and then 122 through 23. He has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, far above all, Principality, power, might, Dominion, every name that is named not only in this world but also in that which is to come and has put all things under his feet and given him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all, it’s very difficult to crush Satan underfoot if we believe that he is actually over our head. Satan is not over us. We are over Him far above all power, Principality, might, and Dominion of any kind because we are seated together with Christ in heavenly places. So my question really is, where are you sitting? To which government do you give your primary allegiance and loyalty? Are you more comfortable and familiar with your heavenly home or are you shackled to this temporary residence in your brief sojourn on Earth?
Which Kingdom do you consider to be your true home? And it’s our daily allegiances and our energetic attendance to whatever matters consumers that really revealed the answer to that question. Whatever we say, our daily life is going to show up somehow and let everyone know what’s really going on. So do ask yourself honestly, which of your citizenships do you most dearly and clearly relate to? Satan wants to block your prayer pipes if you like. He wants to keep you so vitally aware of your earthly nature and dimly ignorant of your heavenly identity and he does all he can to tie God’s people up in all sorts of sanctimonious knots, cramming their prayer pipes with the fatty Grizzle of religion. The fatty gristle of religion. Doesn’t that sound disgusting? I’ve cleaned some pipes in my time and it’s just not pretty. And that’s really how I look at all sorts of the religious antics and gymnastics that the devil wants to get people jumping through all of their Hoops. No, religion, essentially, is man vainly trying to reach God by his own efforts or behaviour. But in the real world, God has already taken the initiative.
Thank God we don’t have to try and reach God. He has reached us. The entire gospel is about God reaching man and restoring mankind to the privileged place in his affections and in his authority. We’re told to come boldly to the throne of Grace. This is not an earthly throne that we’re talking about. It’s not an earthly throne or an earthly court that we’ve been invited to step into boldly and confidently. Essentially, instead of us in prayer saying, hey, God, come down, God himself has already said, well, no, you come up. Let’s do things. From my perspective, it’s permission to stop screaming helplessly below the clouds, hoping some distant deity will squeeze an ounce of mercy our way. The God that we serve as believers, born again men and women of God is far greater and a great deal closer to us than all of that. Your heaven born citizenship gives you bold entrance into the halls of heaven in the same way that my British passport allows me to freely come and go in my natural born homeland here on planet Earth, you have freedom of access. Hallelujah. Prayer is such a magnificent thing.
So powerful, so real, so vital, so immediate, so engaging. As we’ve already said, how can the words boring and prayer appear in the same sentence? Certainly not real prayer. Yeah. The rights and privileges of this new conversation, this citizenship that you have been given afford, the rights and privileges that it affords you are infinite in scope, I guess, with a lot of questions today, have you been enjoying and exercising your rights as a citizen of heaven? I really, honestly, truly believe that prayer is where our true citizenship is exercised and enjoyed here on the Earth. And so come up into his presence. Come up. Remember who you are. Remember that you do have rights, you have authority, and you have all that you need. You are equipped for intimacy and victory.
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