Ephesians 2:6 changed my life:
. . . and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
I read this verse in the context of Rees Howells’ biography. It struck me that this verse kept appearing in the writings of different revivalists. It captured my attention for a period of about 6 months.
I got the impression that I was missing something. This happened to me once before. As I immigrated from the Netherlands to Canada at an impressionable age, I realized that the people in my home church in Canada had something that I had not previously witnessed: a personal relationship with Jesus. It led me on a path to experience the same thing.
This time around I came to the conclusion that those writing about revival emphasized an aspect of Christ that I had perhaps not given the same weight: the importance of Jesus’ Ascension.
I valued the cross and the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. I valued the resurrection and the victory that was ours in Jesus’ Resurrection. I valued the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost and the power that was available to us through that. However, I had not given due attention to the Ascension of Jesus and the implications for us.
Rees Howells was confronted with the question of whether he had been raised up to sit with Christ in heavenly places. Even though he had seen the Crucified Christ and the Risen Christ, he had not seen the Glorified Christ until he had an encounter. In this encounter he saw the Glorified Christ and he heard a voice that said, “Would you like to sit there with Him? There is a place for you.” (Rees Howells: Intercessor, Norman Grubb, p.34) He saw himself raised up with Him and in that moment he knew what it meant to be glorified.
Not wanting to be left out, I yearned for a similar type of experience. Rees Howells’ moment was one that was followed by a process of unconditional surrender. I wondered if needed to undergo a similar process.
How would I know that I was indeed seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus? Was it important? It was to me. One day Bill Johnson was speaking in the first year of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. I don’t remember what he had us pray for but all of a suddenly I saw in the Spirit God’s heavenly throne and steps leading up to it. I went up the stairs and it was as easy as 1,2, 3. Just like that I was invited up and seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6 had become a spiritual reality for me.
Do you know that you are seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus? This is a biblical reality. You don’t need to have a spiritual experience in order for it to be true. It is a matter of perspective that has important implications. It is a position of authority, victory and power that is ours because of Jesus’ Ascension into heaven and His taking His seat beside the Father.
By Ralph Veenstra