Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heavenly Minded

It's funny how we have these phrases to express what it is we really want to say. Some years ago a friend said to me, "We can be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good."
Have you ever heard that phrase before? There is some merit to it. What they were saying is, we don't want to be so "spiritual" that we "live in the clouds" and avoid living in "reality". There can be a tendency to "live in the clouds" so much so that our feet are not on the ground. No one relates to a "flaky" Christian - you know the type: always looking for the next supernatural sensation, yet lacking in character and integrity in day to day life.
That's not who Christ is, and as "Christians" we are called to represent Him as He truly is.
It is true, we don't want to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. Fair statement. Yet let's look at this from another angle just to bring some balance. What "minded" do we want to be? What mind does Christ want us to have?
Let's be honest, while some tend to be too heavenly minded, there are far too many "Christians" that are too earthly minded. To which I say, "We don't want to be so earthly minded that we are of no Heavenly good?"
We do need to have our feet on the ground, yet we also need to have our eyes fixed on Jesus, and our heart, spirit and mind set on the things above.
How else can we be "in this world but not of it"? (paraphrase of Jn 17:15-18)
"Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world... my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:35-37
There is a greater Kingdom to which we are called to serve, while here on earth.
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 14:16-18
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." 1 Corinthians 4:19-21
We are called to live life here on earth, yet from a heavenly, Kingdom perspective.
"...God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" Ephesians 2:5-7
We are seated with Christ in Heavenly places! How in the world do you do that, and still live here?
"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-4
With our feet still "on the ground" we are somehow called to have our hearts, eyes, spirit... "in the clouds" so to speak. We are called to live in heavenly places here on earth... a wild concept if you stop to think of it...
"God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise..." 1 Corinthians 1:26
I'd say He did!
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:7-9
That is quite the understatement. God's ways are much greater, higher, and far reaching then ours could ever be. He is the Creator, we the created!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-3
Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, and we are seated there with Him! WOW!
"...He raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." Eph 1:19-21
Seated in Heaven with Christ, high above all evil forces... WOW! Sounds "Heavenly minded" to me!
As if that isn't challenging enough, look at what Jesus tells us to be about recorded in John 14:12:
"Very truly I (Jesus) tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12
Think about that. WOW! What did Christ do? He Loved people, He did what the Father said to do, He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons... He did many miracles, signs and wonders... He obeyed the Father (even onto death)...
WOW! How are we doing?
It sounds like Jesus has called us to live higher!
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-3
OUCH! Looks like we, as the Body of Christ, have some renewing to do if we truly want to represent Christ?
There is a higher way of living that Christ died and rose again for us to experience here on earth. There is a greater purpose Christ has for our lives than just getting by, being "successful", self-sufficient, and leaning on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Our Creator has a greater purpose and desire for His creation! He desires for His will to be done and His Kingdom to come here on earth as it is in Heaven, through His people who are seated with Christ in Heavenly places!
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one." Matthew 6:9-13

Here's to being so Heavenly Minded that we do the earth some Kingdom good!
Enjoy The Journey!

1 comment:

  1. Right on, Bart! Being Heavenly Minded isn't easy, and often feels "unnatural" (even though it's perfectly natural (since it's the way God created us to be).

    This is a great 'Birthday gift' to all of us, in your Birthday week. Thank you!