Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Recently, I had the pleasure of relaxing for hours in a coffee shop and conversing with a woman whom I consider to be the wisest and most fierce lover of Jesus. Debbie has been my mentor and spiritual mama for more than 13 years and whose life is saturated with the love and truth of Jesus.
During these hours together there was laughter, tears, honesty about our struggles, admission of sin, celebration of God’s goodness and faithfulness, and marvel over what God has been teaching and speaking to each of us.
Debbie shared a truth with me that had I not already been sitting down—hands holding steady on my frothy cup of chai—I would have fallen face first to the ground. You know that whistling noise a firework makes before it explodes? That’s exactly what my mind sounded like leading up to the bang from the explosion.
It was everything I could do to focus on the rest of the day, because I could not get what she told me out of mind. Come nightfall I couldn’t stand it anymore.
Once the girls were in bed and I had a moment to myself, I tore open the Bible, strong-armed my hefty concordance, and scoured every word study tool at my disposal until I had before me a list of scriptures that painted an astonishing picture of profound truth.
So what in the world is this truth? I’m so glad you asked.
It is this:
What are the streets in heaven made out of? According to Revelation 21:21, “…the main street was pure gold…”
With what precious metal do we crown the heads of men and women? Gold.
From the kings and queens of the Old Testament to the kings and queens of today, the loftiest position on earth comes with a crown of gold. These crowns are a declaration of position, power, title, supremacy, achievement, and status. They represent a person’s identity.
But remember Revelation 21:21. The streets of heaven are paved with gold; so that means we crown the heads of people with the pavement of heaven.
Let. That. Sink. In.

The most royal people on earth are crowned with heaven’s asphalt.

I do not have a tiara of pure gold next to all my accessories in my closet. I am not by any means of earthly royal heritage. And the chance that I’ll ever don a crown of gold on my head is zilch. But I most certainly have a host of worldly crowns I place atop my head.
I’m sure we can all agree that we like to wear our positions, power, titles, supremacies, achievements and statuses as our crowns. We want everyone to know who we are, what we do, and we will stretch ourselves to the ends of the earth to make sure everyone sees how good we look doing it.
This reminds me of a situation in Esther when King Xerxes (drunk as a skunk after partying for seven days straight) called for Queen Vashti to be brought before him and all his drunk friends. He made a very specific request—that she come to them wearing her royal crown. Scripture tells us that Queen Vashti was a very beautiful woman and lovely to look at. But King Xerxes wouldn’t settle for just her physical beauty to be paraded about; no he demanded her royal crown to be on display. Because royal crowns bring royal bragging.
But just like the golden crowns of nobility, anything we place atop our heads as a declaration of identity is but the footpath of heaven.
Everything this earth possesses is temporary.
So, while we’re busy exhausting ourselves chasing after crowns that retain no worth, God has in His royal treasury crowns that come with eternal value. His crowns can never be attained through our works or efforts. His crowns can never be taken away. Because the crowns He places upon us while here on earth are the same crowns that await us in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).

So what are these crowns that God has for us? If we are in Christ, we are crowned with…

A crown of honor (Psalm 8:5)
A crown of love & compassion (Psalm 103:4)
A crown of salvation (Psalm 149:4)
A crown of splendor (Proverbs 4:9)
A crown of blessings (Proverbs 10:6)
A crown of everlasting joy (Isaiah 35:10)
A crown of beauty (Isaiah 61:3)
A crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
The crown of life (James 1:12)
And yet we keep chasing pavement.
No everlasting benefit accompanies worldly crowns. Their brag spans the lifetime of the head they adorn. But such is not true with God. He desires for us to be a people who cast away momentary crowns in exchange for the eternal crowns of His everlasting glory that are both available now and await us in heaven.

And the greatest and most radiant crown that is promised to us…

“…the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:4)

And the bang from my mind explosion continues to ring strong in my ears.
On February 29, 2004, my severely fractured and flawed truth collided head on with the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ. I took one look at Jesus and knew I could never separate myself from Him again.  I have asked Jesus to show me who I am and reinstate my identity. My real one. Not the identity I conjure up in my head. Or the one society screams at me to be. But the woman that I am in Christ. (Check out Gretchen's blog here.) 

This post reprinted with Gretchen's permission.

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