My parents have always been ones to travel. I can still remember the excitement I had when I was a child when they would return home knowing that there would be gifts inside their suitcases. The anticipation of knowing that little treasures would have been tucked away in them ready to be given on their return. Souvenirs of the places that they visited, samples of the chocolates and sweets. I still have the Beatrix Potter china cat from England and the Weather Barometer from Switzerland. I remember the mini chocolates from Europe. The gifts were little tasters of countries that I was yet to visit. Samples of what life was like or what traditions were important to each country. Treasures indeed! Years on, I too have travelled and in my suitcases are also little gifts and souvenirs tucked away for my children.
When we receive a prophetic word, a healing, an answer to prayer, when we feel the tangible peace of God, we are touching another Kingdom. They are tastes, samples of life from the Kingdom of Heaven. But the heart of God is that we don’t just experience glimpses of the Kingdom of Heaven, but that we would reside in it. That our experience of the Kingdom of Heaven is part of our day to day lives. And not just a part – but the main reality of our lives. That we would live from Heaven towards Earth.
The life Jesus lived was of one brings Heaven’s reality to earth, of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. When there was lack, He brought provision. Where there was affliction, He brought freedom. When there was sickness, He brought healing. Where there was death, He brought life. Bill Johnson wrote this “What is free to operate in Heaven – Joy, peace, wisdom, health, wholeness, and all the other good promises we read about in the Bible – Should be free to operate here on this planet.”
“Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, “Here it is” or “there it is”, because the Kingdom of God is within you. “ (Luke 17:20-21)
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)
After a long flight, on disembarking, there’s nothing better than knowing that you’ve reached your destination. Except officially you haven’t. You’re still effectively in transit and depending on the size of the terminal (Singapore – enormous, Rarotonga – not so much) you have a normally wearying journey ahead before you can step out into the land of your destination. Until then, you are essentially in no man’s land. You’re not in the country that you departed from (obviously – the travel time and probably the sheer distance travelled is a somewhat strong indication of this fact). But you’re also not officially in your destination country.
I’m thinking the movie “The Terminal” here. The movie, starring Tom Hanks, based on the true story of a man who spent 17 years (17 years!!!!!) in the Terminal of Charles De Gaulle International Airport. Not allowed to leave, not allowed to stay. Nomad’s land. Not there, and not quite here.
You see, on arrival there’s a little queuing, filling out of forms, presenting of passports that needs to occur. There’s protocol that has to be completed. You have to pass through Immigration and Customs. Your arrival (in hopefully a tropical paradise?!) needs to be approved. Visa’s checked, baggage checked, yourself vetted. Permission granted.
I think this is what life is like. We have the Promise from God, but there is Terminal that we have to transverse before we can reach the provision, the promise fulfilled. For the Israelites, their time in the Terminal (i.e. Wildnerness) lasted 40 years. For Joseph it took time in a Pit and a Prison. And as different the Rarotonga Terminal is to L.A, Singapore or Heathrow, so too is the time we spend between the promise and the provision.
And like International travel where the final step of the journey is to pass through Immigration and Customs Checks, so do we often face in life that important last battle, hurdle before we enter the Promised Land. Israel had to face Jericho, Joseph stood before Pharaoh and I have grappled with British Immigration who were being, well er rather British about be me visiting.
So if you’ve had the Word, the Promise and are yet to see the fulfilment, take heart, take encouragement. You’re travelling through an Airport and that’s just part of the journey. And here’s a tip – in this time fortunately there are shops, places to refresh and rest (but not to set up camp!). So take a lesson from me – enjoy the walk through the airport.
The journey is almost over and the next about to begin.