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New Dimensions

newjerusalem.jpg “What’s heaven really going to be like?” Streets of gold? Gates of pearl? Glorified bodies? Travel at the speed of thought? People often ask me these questions and invariably they stimulate my thought processes. Was John using figures of speech or describing literal objects? Many interesting conversations have spun off of these scriptures. For me, heaven includes these literal images, but it is even more. It exists as a separate reality, a dimension beyond our capabilities to know today.

But even though we can’t comprehend heaven, we do understand new dimensions. Paul said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” I Corinthians 13:11. For a child, walking, talking, and thinking depend upon maturation or development. In fact, despite of any amount of practice, it is impossible to teach a child anything for which his or her stage of development has not been reached. A six-month-old baby cannot catch a football. Neither can a four-year-old child grasp abstract truths. At maturity, however, things that made no sense before begin to come together. He enters into a new dimension.

Spiritually speaking, there are moments in time when we begin to think and act differently. We shed old concepts. We outgrow babyish feelings. We catch the view over the crest of the mountain. In fact, growth inevitably leads to new dimensions. Look at the new dimensions into which the Apostle Paul grew after his Damascus road experience:

  • From Jehovah to Jesus; from darkness to light.
  • From driving hatred to compelling love.
  • From tradition to revelation.
  • From leadership to servanthood, which became greater leadership.
  • From Judaistic prejudice to Gentile inclusiveness.
  • From intellectual control to spiritual guidance.

We could go on and on detailing benchmark experiences that thrust Paul into one new dimension after another in his transformed life. Each time, he had to be willing to let something go and take hold of something new. Each time, his heart grew, his mind expanded and his awareness of greater things eclipsed his older, immature understanding. Notice his language: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33. And again, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” Ephesians 3:19. The landscape of his life was changing.

I believe God intends for every church, every minister and every saint to move into a new dimension of Christianity. Dynamic services, powerful worship, potent ministry, serious prayer, commitment to the Word, outreach action, spiritual empowerment, lay leadership and sacrifice speak of a new dimension. But change often produces fear before it yields results. Perhaps that’s why God says “Fear not” in the Bible sixty-three times. We must stay the course. New dimensions happen at definite junctures. They occur …

  • When we realize the inadequacy of the old ways.
  • When we get frustrated with the limitations of immaturity.
  • When we begin to grasp that there is a higher order of divine power.
  • When we cast aside our fears and try our new wings.
  • When we put on the mind of Christ and think His thoughts.

I do not speak of moving from doctrinal truths and scriptural standards. I speak of personal revival, vision for growth, higher levels of prayer, more effective evangelism, and of development of ministry. I speak of maturity beyond petty feelings, sensual living and self-centered concerns. I speak of unity of mission and giving of ourselves. John’s heaven, Ezekiel’s river and Peter’s Pentecost beckon us onward. May each of us burst into a new dimension in our relationship with God!

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