As Christians, we are already “raised with Christ” (Col. 3:1), but we have not yet received our new bodies that will be given at the final resurrection (1 Cor. 15:35-54). We are already citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20), but we are not yet in heaven. The Kingdom of God is already here and Christ is already ruling from heaven (Luke 11:20), but the kingdom of God is not yet here in its consummation (Matt. 26:29). Because the Kingdom of God is still “not yet” here in all of its glory and power, Christians still struggle with sin and suffer sickness and death. I am reminded of this “already but not yet” tension between this age and the age to come when I listen to the song “Abny” by Swoope and Alex Faith on the W.L.A.K. album. Here are three sets of lyrics from the song that help me meditate on this truth and that will, prayerfully, do the same for you.

Groan and Wait

“They say when in Rome, do what Romans do/ but this isn’t Rome, so we do what Romans do/ I ain’t talkin population, it’s Romans 8/ we groan and wait for the One alone on the throne to save”

The apostle Paul mentions this “groaning” and “waiting” in Romans 8:18-22, which comes not only from believers, but also creation. The world is physically decaying and spiritually infected with sin. Because of man’s sin, God cursed the physical universe (Gen. 3:17-19), and now, no part of creation entirely fulfills God’s original purpose. One day all creation will be liberated and transformed. Until that time, creation waits in eager expectation for the resurrection of God’s children.

The “already but not yet” tension for believers is also present in Romans 8:23-25. Even though we have already been adopted into God’s family (Gal. 4:5-7), the process is not yet complete, so we wait eagerly for the culmination with our glorification (Rom. 8:23,29,30). Even though we have already been imputed with the righteousness of God through our faith in Christ (Rom. 3:21-22, 2 Cor. 5:21), we are still not yet perfect. So we groan with grief over our remaining sinfulness (Rom. 7:24, Ps 38:4,9,10), and wait eagerly for the redemption of our bodies (1 Cor. 15:35-44, Phil. 3:20-21, 2 Pet. 1:3,4, 1 John 3:2). Are you groaning and waiting?

Take Me Home

“But I’m so alive now, it’s like he pulled the sky down/ I know what I look forward to, I think I could just die now/ Nah for real, Jesus come and take me home/ this world is breaking my heart, I know this ain’t where I belong”

Alex Faith says, “I know this (world) ain’t where I belong.” Christians are “aliens and strangers” to this world because our citizenship is not here, but in heaven. John Piper explains this well: “The whole human race is homesick for God, without knowing it. When we go home to Christ there will be a contentment beyond any sense of security and peace we have ever known.”

So we have much to look forward to when we die (Phil. 1:21). We look forward to the joy of freedom from suffering, pain, and death. We look forward to the end of our inner war with sin. We look forward to our resurrected bodies. We look forward to being “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8) and in His presence forever. And so Alex Faith beseeches the Lord to come and take him home with confidence. Can you confidently say to die is gain?

Maranatha

“Maranatha, maranatha, is the song of the saints!/that’s what we sing sing, until he frees us/until we hear that ring ring calling us home to be raised”

Maranatha, used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:22, is Aramaic for “Our Lord, come!” or “the Lord is coming.” In light of our “groaning and waiting,” not only should we want “to depart and be with Christ,” (Phil. 1:23), but we should also desire Christ’s return. Notice that Swoope says believers sing “Maranatha, maranatha” until Jesus frees us and calls us home. Each day we should long for and expect Jesus to come. Each day we should live our lives in light of the fact that He can come at any time.

Until Christ returns again, we will not experience the fullness of the kingdom of God in all aspects and areas. Are you ready for Christ to return at this very moment?

May we fix our eyes on the glorious and wonderful not yet, and so endure living in the already.

“I get past what I’m goin’ through by knowing where I’m goin’ to”

Which lyrics from the song stand out to you?

Prince graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of science in Computer Engineering and currently works full-time as a software engineer. He lives in Dallas, TX, with his wife Carol. Prince’s singular passion in life is to show the magnitude of Christ’s value in everything he does.