Understanding The Economy of Heaven – Introduction
Aligning youself with God’s Priorities
One of the earliest lessons God downloaded to me through my Joseph Gate, was that His economy was nothing like any economy that exists on the earth today. The earth is filled with many different economies.
In the United States of America, our economy is based on capitalism. Emphasis is on a free market driven by supply vs. demand. To a certain extent, it is predictable. When the supply of a product grows, prices go down. When prices rise, the supply shrinks. This type of economy is in a constant state of flux. In this economic system, private ownership and distribution of goods is common.
Communist countries have economies controlled by the government. Private ownership and distribution of goods are prohibited. The government allocates goods, resources and even set the prices. In theory, this system is based on the needs of society. Everyone is allocated the same share. There are no rich or poor. That’s the theory anyway.
Sandwiched between these two economic systems is socialism. This economic system is based on state ownership of capital. Major industries are owned by various state entities that compete with each other. However, the pricing system is set by market demand.
All earthly economic systems are a variation of these three. All of us were raised in one of these systems. Like all children, we grow up exposed to one system and assume it is the norm.
However, all three economic systems are perversions of the economy of Heaven. Many people believe that Adam and Eve lived in the economy of Heaven, but it was lost as a consequence of the fall of man. Heaven’s economy ruled in the Garden of Eden – man’s economy ruled outside the Garden.
While there is some underlying truth to this, the economy of Heaven has always been available to God’s children. The good news is that it still is today. Let’s look at some keys to living in the economy of Heaven.
Align yourself With God’s PRIORITIES
Every economic system has a foundation – basic guiding principles that it is based on. God’s economy is no different.
God’s economy is based on the principle of inheritance.
Let’s look at a couple of relevant scriptures:
“Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession” (Ps 2:8).
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph 1:18).
I could go on and on listing verses about the principle of inheritance. For now, I’ll leave that Bible study to you.
The point here is that Jesus was promised an inheritance by His Heavenly Father. That inheritance is you and I. We are both His possession and His inheritance.
To function well in Heaven’s economy, we must recognize that Jesus Christ is the true owner. Next, we must align ourselves with His will – His purpose – on the earth.
For example, let’s look at Jesus’ own words:
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3-4).
There are two interesting concepts here that we must understand:
- When we pray or believe God for something, He looks at our motives before answering. Jesus makes it clear that prayers with wrong motives are never fulfilled.
- When our motives are wrong, it has to do with fulfilling our own pleasures or lusts.
These are critical keys to functioning in God’s economy. God will never release His blessing unless it lines up with His eternal purpose – Jesus’ inheritance. Jesus Himself never desired a worldly thing when He lived on the earth – unless it had its fulfillment in His inheritance.
A reclamation process
God does not have a problem with us experiencing pleasure. However, our earthly pleasures are misguided. When He created Adam and Eve, He placed them in a garden called “Eden”. In its root form, “Eden” means “pleasure and delight”.
Man was originally created to tend God’s Garden of Pleasure and Delight! God wanted man to be fruitful and multiply – to increase God’s pleasure and delight. Mankind was the key component to expanding God’s pleasure and delight.
Did you ever think about the fact that God Himself walked with Adam and Eve in the garden? His pleasure and delight was increased when He could share it with His highest creation.
They walked together every day! God came in physical form to walk and share His pleasure and delight with them. Physical form… it was Jesus! Even then, He was enjoying His inheritance – until the fall of man.
Mankind fell when God’s pleasure was no longer primary in Adam and Eve’s thoughts. Their own pleasure became primary.
Jesus shed his blood, took those lashes, died, rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven – all so He could begin to restore his inheritance – His relationship sharing God’s pleasure and delight with man – with us!
In some respects it is a reclamation process. The process is not over; He is looking to each of us to do our part to restore His inheritance in its fullness.
Now consider this concept – Jesus is sitting in Heaven today, wanting to return for us, but has to wait. He is being retained in Heaven. See for yourself:
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets”. (Acts 3:19-22) NIV – Empahsis mine.
One of most successful lies of the enemy is that this verse is pointing to the future – deferred hope if you will. Look at verse 19 again, this time from the King James Version:
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19) KJV – Emphasis mine.
When we repent of asking God with impure motives; when we line our purposes up with Jesus’ inheritance; when our focus becomes God’s pleasure and delight – then the presence of the Lord comes. It brings refreshing as we know we are firmly planted in God’s will.
Jesus is waiting
God always intended His presence to be with us today – not at some distant point in the future. He is holding Jesus back until we get this and begin to function in it daily.
Like in the Garden of Eden, God wants to walk with us daily. However, instead of Jesus walking with us today, He sends His precious Holy Spirit.
This is the same Holy Spirit that breathed life into Adam. In the original Hebrew, the words breath and spirit are the same. This also applies in the Greek language.
When God breathed into Adam, He was depositing His Holy Spirit into him. This is what brought life into that old clay shell. It was subsequent to this that Jesus came and walked with him.
When we are born again today, the Holy Spirit of God comes and takes up residence inside us – just like Adam. We are still waiting to walk with Jesus as Adam did.
The irony is that we have that backwards. Jesus is waiting to walk with us. He is waiting for us to walk in the economy of Heaven.
We must begin by looking internally. Why do we pray what we pray? Why do we want something? Are we seeing through God’s eyes? Is this desire burning in God’s heart?
If we can answer, “Yes” to these questions, we will feel His presence and know we are on the right track. We have begun our part of the journey toward Jesus receiving His inheritance.
The wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, understood this principle. While Jesus had not died for our sins yet, Solomon’s main concern was God’s pleasure and delight.
Solomon built a lavish temple for God. Only the best materials, craftsmen, tools, utensils, etc. were used. It was God’s desire at that time. It brought God pleasure and delight.
Consequently, God made sure that there was enough of this elaborate provision for Solomon to have a majestic home of his own – a palace that had no earthly counterpart.
“When we live to tend to God’s pleasure and delight, He takes pleasure and delight in blessing us – and blessing us abundantly” (Eph. 3:20; Jn. 10:10).
A different way of life
In his wonderful book, “Key’s to Heaven’s Economy”, Pastor Shawn Bolz writes,
“Human beings often strive to gain and wield authority. They form human networks; they are focused on pleasing others, gaining positions – serving themselves, getting absorbed in politics, dominating others. This describes the human culture, the earthly economy.
Jesus, on the other hand, always demonstrated a different way of life. He showed that love wields the greatest authority and can displace any authority gained by human effort. Jesus created a new economy whose currency is spiritual hunger. An appetite not just for the trappings of Heaven but for its very core – hunger for Jesus!”
Ask yourself if you are hungry for Jesus. If you are not, or think you could be hungrier, simply ask God to make you intensely hungry. Ask Him to change your heart – to fill your heart with His love. Ask Him for the ability to see others through His eyes.
Your life will never be the same. These are the types of prayers that line up with Jesus receiving His inheritance.
I’ll never forget when I first prayed this prayer. I was in my living room around midnight. I was dissatisfied with my spiritual progress (impatient?), as well as struggling with a number of things in the natural.
My study of God’s Word kept leading me back to needing more of Him. While I had prayed that prayer many times, there was a desperation about it that evening that I can’t describe. I just had to have more of God!
I just had to have more of God!
Every so often, I engage my imagination as I approach my Joseph Gate. Usually, once I start this process, God intervenes at some point and takes over. He transforms my imagination into a vision. This was one of those times. I pictured myself approaching God’s Temple. My goal was to get into His presence – into the Holy of Holies. I remember being so determined…
As I approached the temple, there was effort involved. There was a long flight of stairs to climb! It was as if God was testing me – was I hungry enough to make the climb?
After finishing the exhausting climb, I found myself at the entrance to the temple. Before me was a large altar. The altar where animals were sacrificed! I found myself climbing on top and lying on my back, stretched out upon the altar.
As I closed my eyes, I renewed my prayer. I asked God once again for His heart to replace my heart of clay. I pled with Him that I would love what He loves. Nothing else seemed to matter.
It was at this point when I felt the knife cutting deep into my chest. I was undergoing a heart transplant! In this vision, God replaced my heart with His own.
The love that flooded my soul was overwhelming. I remember bursting out into uncontrollable tears as He showed me my family, friends, pastor, business associates… I was seeing them through His eyes and feeling His intense love for them.
Suddenly, I was lifted off the altar and brought to the laver. Jesus met me there and began to methodically wash the blood from my body. Then, He dressed me in a white robe and led me toward the temple entrance. I remember thinking that I never felt so clean before – inside and out.
We climbed the stairs together to the temple porch and entered the door into the Holy Place. As I walked through the door, I realized that Jesus was no longer beside me. To my left was the Great Menorah – the Golden Lampstand with its seven-branches.
This menorah was fueled with special oil, so I was not surprised in the least when I encountered the Holy Spirit here. The oil smelled so sweet and was heavy to the touch. It was as if I was saturated with oil – with the anointing – both inside and out. My robe was saturated, yet still bright white.
I didn’t want to leave this moment, but I knew I had to move on. Behind me was the Table of Shew Bread. As I approached, Jesus met me again and we shared an intimate time as He fed me this special bread. My body felt so strong that I thought I could conquer anything.
Jesus pointed toward the back of the Holy Place, where I saw the Altar of Incense. This altar was right before the torn veil, leading into the Holy of Holies. This is where the High Priest would scoop up a handful of incense and some burning coals. He would pour the incense over the coals as he entered God’s presence.
I followed the biblical pattern and poured incense over the hot coals as I entered through the torn veil. The sweet smell of the burning incense was intoxicating. I was reminded that this represented my prayers lifting up to God. He receives my prayers as sweet smelling when I ask with His purposes in mind.
The atmosphere in the Holy of Holies was intense. The Ark of the Covenant was there and the giant cherubim. It seemed almost impossible to speak. I dropped down on the floor in a prone position and worshipped.
The rest is too personal to share. However, my life has never been the same. Seeing others through God’s eyes, feeling His love for others, aligning yourself with His purposes, will revolutionize your life, as it has mine.
Revolutionize your life
Applying this principle to your business will revolutionize your results. Take some time to evaluate why your business exists, or why you wish to start a new business. Does the true purpose stem from a burning desire to see Jesus receive His inheritance?
Please keep in mind that you can have a secular business geared toward seeing Jesus receive His inheritance. One of my businesses is a learning center where we train people to become registered nurses.
That doesn’t sound very spiritual does it? However, I learned that God doesn’t see it that way at all. Literally hundreds of students are exposed to my staff and me each week. We spend time praying with them and sharing God’s heart. We openly talk about the kingdom of Heaven whenever possible.
It’s not church and we don’t impose our beliefs on anyone. Yet, it amazes me everyday how many people will call in or come early for class – just so they have some time for prayer, encouragement or fellowship.
We are also helping our community develop a nursing force which is badly needed. These people leave as RNs and spread God’s love throughout the community.
Finally, we are very much aware that God holds us accountable financially. As far as we are concerned, 10% is not God’s – 100% is! He provides for us through this and directs us how to use the rest.