To die is to be with the Lord. It is not just an idea, it is a reality. – Francis Schaeffer
“She’s with Jesus now. We can have comfort that she’s dancing with Jesus as we speak...” Have you ever heard that said at a funeral? Probably. Me too… because as a pastor, I’m probably the one saying it. It’s not that this isn’t true; it’s that it’s not the whole truth. It’s that the timing is wrong. The good news isn’t just that the dead person is now alive with Christ. It’s that our dancing and living in unity with Christ begins long before our physical death.
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth… you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. ... Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." (John 14:16-17, 19-20)
Please understand. Scripture says I died with Christ 2,000 years ago on a hill outside Jerusalem. As a little boy, I received Jesus’ free gift of salvation and that death was applied to me. He then indwelled me by His Spirit, giving me His Life. Thus, He’s dwelled in me since the age of 4. It’s not an idea or a romanticized notion. It’s a reality. I died and I’ve been “with the Lord” every moment ever since. Sure, it’s going to change when I shed this creaky body and can relate to Him “face-to-face” on a purely spiritual level. But the fact that He is already in me is the mystery, and the joy, and the unique truth of the Christian message.
Isn’t that beautiful? Perhaps you’ve never thought of it before – that you don’t have to wait until eternity to live in Christ and Christ in you. Perhaps you thought it was far off in the future – only a reality through death.
But the good news is this: It’s now.
- What God does, He does through you.
- Who God is, He is through you.
You’re not a little god. No. The news is better than that. You are filled with God. You’ve always been made in His image; but upon belief that image becomes living color.
I hope the words spoken at my funeral include, “Now there is a man who’s been with Jesus, dancing and living, for almost nine decades.” And I pray they say that about you too.
Indwelling God, I believe that You are in me and live in me. But it’s a reality that’s hard to wrap my mind around. In Your wisdom, lift the veil over my mind that keeps me from understanding how Your indwelling changes everything about life here on earth. Please, I want to dance with You now, live with You now, walk with You today. Show me how. Amen.