“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
Philippians 3:21 KJV
The 17th Century King James Version of the Bible restores a 1st Century clarity to the meaning of Paul's message, by the use of words that have been devalued in the 21st Century. See if you agree.
One contemporary translation has substituted, “citizenship," for “conversation." This good faith effort to provide clarity offers a meaning with an American version of Biblical truth. It is not an improvement. Stay with me.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” V. 20 NASB
"Conversation” hardly conjures up an image of “citizenship.” The two translations of the same word must be related, but at first glance they hardly seem to share the same DNA.
"Citizenship” is a rooted in the same word that provides the English language with the concept of “politics.” It carries the meaning of a constitution, or a commonwealth, with agreed upon guidelines to influence the conduct, and the behavior of the citizens. We need to have a "Conversation” about this.
Paul meant for the behavior of citizens of The Kingdom to be influenced, and expressed by loyalty to, and agreement with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The 17th Century concept of "conversation" is not so antiquated. It it just misunderstood.
Nothing influences a person’s behavior, and conduct on earth quite like having steady, consistent, uninterrupted conversations with Jesus. The citizens of the Kingdom are praying people.
Citizens align themselves with the rules of the constitution of the Kingdom, because they are ruled by a relationship with the King. Rules without a relationship will always breed rebellion.
Jesus lives to intercede for the citizens of His Kingdom. In Heaven, He is seated at the right hand of The Father, and prays for His followers. When the children of God pray, The Spirit of Christ carries, and interprets their most feeble groan, or their most intense petition to Jesus. He intercedes, on their behalf, before His Father.
The essence of prayer is an uninterrupted “conversation in Heaven.” There is nothing like consistent conversation. It influences the behavior, and the conduct of a Christian citizen on earth.
Prayer is a “conversation in Heaven." It purifies a citizen’s Christ-like character on earth, and it intensifies a citizen’s expectancy for The Lord’s return to earth.
Prayer accomplishes its greatest work, in the hearts of Christian citizens, when it gathers them together into The Body politic. The Father is pleased to hear His children pray, “We eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” V. 21 NASB
Prayer creates a spirit of expectancy, and a sense of urgency in the hearts of Christian citizens. It fuels their passion for Christ’s companionship, and desire for His return.
Prayerless people are not left on their own, but they choose to be on their own. Trusting in their own self-importance, and self-sufficiency, they soon break off their "conversation in Heaven." Prayerlessness is a sign of the foolishness in their hearts, and it leads to a barrenness of their souls.
There is nothing more “vile” than the pungent odor produced by the body politic posing as The Body of Christ, while operating in their own strength. When an individual, or a body of Christian citizens lose the fragrant aroma of The Fruit of The Spirit, they do not lose their salvation, but they lose their most attractive feature, the scent of Heaven.
Prayerless people, led by prayerless preachers, sweating it out in their own efforts. Attracting a crowd on earth, without maintaining a conversation in Heaven, produces sweat equity, not the fragrance of The Spirit.
The prayerless produce the same odor of the flesh found in a machine shop. The Body of Christ releases the aroma of fresh fruit of a farmer’s market. No matter how much a prayerless body of believers is willing to sweat, they will never pass God's smell test.
Prayer transforms the prideful into the humble, by bringing proud people to the end of themselves and into conversation with God, through their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
"who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” V. 21 NASB
NOTE TO SELF: Prayer is your conversation in Heaven. It reveals you to be a loyal subject of The Lord Jesus Christ. When you pray, The Spirit of Christ infuses a spirit of expectancy in you, for His return. Pray for a spirit of desperation to be ignited in hearts of the prayerless. Strike the match.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!