So Heavenly Minded…
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Being “so Heavenly minded that you’re no Earthly good” is an oxymoron of sorts. Those who are truly Heavenly minded are in fact all about what is happening on Earth, because Heaven’s intentions are about invading Earth and affecting every square inch of it for the Kingdom of God.
In many cases, I’ve found myself with my head so stuck in the clouds of Heaven that I have had absolutely no ability to get my work done. I’ve also constantly had my work interrupted while walking someone through an area of breakthrough in their life and having to turn my work in late, or work late to get it done on time.
Being truly Heavenly minded should in fact result in making an impact on Earth, but without the Heavenly mindset first, we’re of no real lasting effect. We’re in fact reactive in the flesh to circumstances, rather than compelled by God’s grace.
When we dwell in the Heavenly places, we’re in fact partnering with God and His intentions on the culture we live in. Unfortunately, most Christians today are too Earthly minded to be any Heavenly good. Our personal intentions may be “good” or hoping to be pleasing with our lives, but we can completely miss what His intentions are for us if we concern ourselves too much with what is happening in the world from an earthly perspective.
Jesus said, “seek first His kingdom and all these things will be added…” He was in fact speaking of God meeting our needs – clothing, food, basic provision – and when our pursuits become more than that, they become a pleasure-based lifestyle that has actually become upside down and backwards from His intentions and purposes for us on the earth.
As a worship leader, I have two main pursuits – to dwell in the presence of God and to lead people into His presence.
Why? Because if all I do is lead people to sing songs of the great power and awesomeness of God and yet have no personal experience of that truth, I am basically giving “lip service” and am leading others to do the same.
I will also choose my songs, whether I’ve written them or am using someone else’s, according to my knowledge of the attributes of God. But if my knowledge is solely based on what I’ve read or what I have been taught, I am merely regurgitating someone else’s revelation or lack thereof. This is what is known as “religion.”
James sets us straight when he says, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Now, if I read what James says and then go do it, I am in fact partnering with God in the greater sense. But if I do not partner with Him through seeking His presence and keeping my eyes and ears attentive to what He is doing, I’m going to become “a noisy gong and clanging cymbal” to those around me.
Most of us have had an experience with someone who is stuck in the religion of humanitarianism or religiosity, but has no sense whether they are actually affecting those they are “ministering” to.
Those who are truly partnering with God will see and hear things supernaturally and will be responding to those things that change lives, not merely meet a physical need.
When we hear and see what He is doing, our response may look and sound different than what people might expect.
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. 4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” 5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” 7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. 8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
We all know that Peter and John were those who spent time in much prayer and filled with the Holy Spirit. Their response could have been one of pity, but because they were partnering with God, what would normally be a pitiful response, “oh here’s a couple bucks. Hope that helps.” or let alone “sorry bro. I don’t carry cash…(for this very reason)” instead became a life-changing experience for that man! And not only was this an awesome experience for that individual, but because, again, they were partnering with God, it became a place of opportunity for Peter to preach the Gospel to the crowds that gathered and bring transformation and salvation to well over 5,000 people!
All throughout Ephesians, Paul keeps referring to the “heavenly Places.” Most famously, he speaks of it when talking about our struggle not being against flesh and blood, “but against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
This kind of perspective is not natural. Most of us today spend more time struggling against those who have offended us or have attacked us and are seeking retribution for their actions. Even Paul, when defending himself and the Gospel, did not rise up against those who were attacking him, but allowed himself to be arrested and beaten (much like Jesus). This is the man who while in prison, worshiped. Some might look at that as him being boldly defiant against his accusers as a sort of “spit in the face,” but in reality, this was his natural response! Why? Because he once was lost, but now was found. He was blind, but could now see… He was both once in their shoes, but had also experienced the Heavenly places. And the next thing that happened, much like what happened with Peter and John, the earth shook and many captives were set free! …including the jailer.
Our goal as Christians is to be so Heavenly minded that the earth shakes wherever our feet may fall.