Recently a friend shared this story with me:
At work this morning first thing (~8am) a couple of work colleagues and I decided that as it was such a beautiful morning a walk was in order. So we ambled down the road and back again - 2kms in total.
Then about 10am, the boss came in and said: "As it's such a lovely morning, who wants to go for a walk?"
I'm in. In fact, everyone was.
While walking down the road, "Who's up for a drink and bite to eat?"
I'm in. In fact, everyone was.
After a 1/2 hour social chat over said food and drink, "Who wants to continue walking round the lake?"
I'm in. In fact, everyone was.
Am not 100% sure if the walk completely offsets the stop we made…
When this little excursion by my friend, his coworkers and his boss was shared with me it made me stop and think about how things might be once we get to Heaven. Will Jesus just “drop in” someday and ask if anyone wants to go walking with Him? Will it be a small group, a private walk, or will there be lots of people?
Think about it, what’s it like walking with your best friend? Don’t they listen to your problems carefully and then give you encouragement and maybe a suggestion or two? Have you ever looked at them while you both were walking and found them looking intently at you? That look can tell you much more than any amount of words. You can actually “see” the understanding and care in that look. You can actually feel the deep admiration and even love between the two of you.
When Jesus comes to your heavenly house and asks you if you want to go for a private walk with Him I imagine that it will be a walk that you will never forget. You will be able to tell Him your deepest thoughts and ask your most secret questions. You can share with Him your hopes and dreams for the future, and He in turn will most likely tell you of His dreams for you. Maybe He will even ask you to work on a special project with Him? (WOW, can you imagine working “alongside” God Himself?)
And in another email he wrote,
“Another thing: sometimes I get to talk to the boss casually sometimes formally, sometimes 1-on-1, other times with small groups of staff and sometimes as the whole plant. Different type of talking and information ...”
I imagine that we will experience the same kinds of “meetings” too. We know that we will be coming together to worship Jesus weekly (Isaiah 66:23), and that it will be a (formal?) gathering of EVERYONE. That doesn’t include the time when we first get to Heaven. I expect that Jesus Himself will be putting a crown on everyone’s head. What a rush that will be to have Him so close, maybe even saying, “Well done, ________!” Can u imagine the look of pride He might give you?
But then I realized that Jesus has already invited me to go for a private walk with him right now. He wants to walk and talk with just me, with no distractions. He wants me to be able to ask him anything, and He wants to tell me everything. His invitation to me is an open invitation. He is available at any time, day or night.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.“ Matthew 11:28 - NLT
So then the question is, what am I waiting for? If Jesus has invited me to go for a walk with Him, and He’s the King of the Universe, the Creator of all things, then why am I just sitting here wishing I could go for a walk with Him? I don’t have to wait until I get to Heaven! (OK Jesus, let's go!)
I am reminded of one notable example before The Flood. That would be Enoch. The Bible tells us that he walked so closely with God that God took him to Heaven right away.
“Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.” Genesis 5:23-24 - NLT
Enoch’s relationship with God must have been extremely close because he and his Creator (Jesus) went for a walk one day and they evidently walked right into Heaven.
It would be nice to believe that just by having that close of a relationship with God He would take us immediately to heaven. But while I was thinking about that I thought of the Prophet Daniel. According to the Bible, Daniel walked with God so closely that nothing, not even the thought of death in a den of lions, could change his course. But even with that close of a walk Daniel himself did not go to Heaven. Instead, he was told that he would sleep until the end of the world when Jesus comes. So Daniel did not go to Heaven when he died, but is still sleeping, waiting for Jesus to come (Daniel 12:13). Then at the resurrection of the righteous Daniel will continue his walk with Jesus, and walk right into Heaven with Him too, and so will you if you trust Jesus totally.
“As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.” Daniel 12:13 - NLT
It’s important to note that it was not their deeds that saved either of these men. It was their relationship with their Creator God, it was their looking at Jesus, it was their private walk with Him.
Jesus, Creator God of us all, we want to have this kind of relationship with You. We have heard Your invitation to come and go for a walk with You, and we accept that invitation. So right here, right now, we ask that You will help us to have a 1 on 1 relationship with You that will eventually walk us right into Your kingdom in Heaven when You come.
Jesus, help us to love and appreciate You as we should! We ask this all in Your holy name, amen.
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I'd stay in the garden with Him
Tho' the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go; thro' the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.