(by Bob Pulliam)
I have been given to understand that things worthwhile, and of great value, require some amount of effort to attain. Surely there is nothing more worthwhile than heaven. And it is no exception to the rule (Phil 2:12). Within salvation, there is a "working out" process that involves zeal and diligence. In other words, there is work to do (as much as our Calvinist friends would deny it).
So here we affirm that there is work involved in heaven. If you will pardon the terribly barbaric word play, one must heave to get to heaven.
While the play on words might make one say, "Oh brother!", there is still a matter of interest here for your attention. Webster's New World Dictionary defines heave, "1. to raise or lift, esp. with effort." As we lift our souls to heaven by the grace of God, and obedience to his will, how do we esteem the work given us. Is it dreaded labor, like heaving a loaded palette onto a ship?... or, is it joyful labor, with continual consideration of the prize that awaits us (Phil 3:12 - 14).
The effort we present to God in obedience will betray our true feelings about the labor in which we are engaged. And let us never forget the contents of the load at which we heave. We are heaving at our own weight. For some, this is dead-weight that will never get off of the ground. Others will work with a joyful labor, trusting the Christ who gives strength to endure all weights of life,... and who provided the rope to begin with?