On Earth as it is in Heaven

 

Through lips accustomed to tradition, these words are spoken in churches all over the world. They are desperate pleas for a certain utopia here in the chaos of the world. It’s in the midst of desperate times do these words bring solace and comfort—there is a heaven out there and it has to be better than this.

The tragedy of the story is that humanity was once part of the blissful original creation—a place of order, beauty, and abundance. We walked with God, communed with Him, and were never in need of anything more. That is, until sin entered our world. It was then that we were convinced doing life on our own was better than with God, our Father. It was then that we allowed the order, beauty, and abundance to become chaos, ugliness, and scarcity. The world has never been the same since—but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

You see, we have a renewed Spirit within us—one accustomed to bringing order, beauty, and abundance wherever we allow it. That is the character and nature of our God. When life seems out of control, we rest knowing that God remains in control. When life doesn’t seem to make sense, God teaches us what it all means. In times of lack and desperate need, God’s hands provide in ways humanity couldn’t on its own. Our God is an awesome God. What’s even more amazing? He wants to bring order, beauty, and abundance here on earth with us, not by Himself.

Our heart as a ministry is to give the women on the streets of Los Angeles a tangible representation of Christ and, by doing so, bring the Kingdom here in the midst of their reality. But, what does that look like? What does it look like to bring order, beauty, and abundance into their lives?

When we think of chaos, we tend to think of a hectic scene: objects scattered about, loud sounds echoing, a feeling of panic. Whereas, when we think of order, we tend to think of a scene in which everything has a place, one where there is structure, peacefulness, and security. These scenes aren’t just scenes, they can easily become a representation of how life feels sometimes and, for the girls we reach, this tends to be their norm; it can easily feel like their lives are falling apart at the seams. But that is a great opportunity for us to come in and help them make sense of what’s going on. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to speak into the areas of their lives that need order; we are able to give Godly direction and wisdom because of the Spirit that lives within us. For us, when things feel like they are falling apart, we cling to the hope we receive from the Lord and the words He says regarding what we are going through. We believe He has the same desire for the girls we reach here; He desires to help them make sense of it all and we get to be a vessel of that.

If we look at Jesus and the life he lived when he was here on earth, he was beautiful not because he was attractive or handsome, but because of the kind of life he lived—one in total communication with God. He radiated beauty simply because of the joy that comes from the overflow of love from the Lord. He was completely focused on bringing the Father’s heart to the people he spent time with. He served the people around him, went out of his way to love them however they needed, and eventually laid his life down for others to be able to have the same communication with God. That is self-sacrificial love for the benefit of others. That is the kind of beauty God has in His heart and, because of Jesus, we get to receive this beauty as we spend time with Him. How do we bring beauty into these women’s lives? We serve them—joyfully. Jesus saw each person he encountered as a brother or sister. If we did the same, wouldn’t it be easier to understand God’s heart for them? Wouldn’t it be easier to know what to do when they are hurting? God’s heart is beautiful. May we continue to spend time with Him so we can carry God’s beauty to those we encounter in ministry.

Creating abundance in the life of a victim of human trafficking is one that, I feel, encompasses the previous two. Often, it was out of a place of scarcity that lead them to fall into the trap of the commercial sex trade. Their lives were marked by a lack of finances, skills, and healthy relationships. To create a life of abundance, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus by coming alongside them and taking part in healthy relationships with them. We can love them with the kind of selfless love that we could learn only from our relationship with Christ. We can even use the skills we’ve been given by the Lord to teach them skills to prepare them to come out of the life and thrive in a different occupation that will not only give them hopes and goals for their future, but also provide the finances they need to live on.

When we think of bringing heaven to earth, it can feel like a daunting task. Heaven is enormous and we all know how broken this world is. But when we realize bringing heaven to earth is synonymous to bringing order, beauty, and abundance and when we focus on bringing it to people individually, it begins to feel a whole lot less daunting and a lot more like what God had in mind in the first place. My prayer is that we can come alongside God in partnership with His heart to bring heaven to earth for His children.