Have you ever heard the statement “That person is too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good?” Most of the time it seems to be heard second hand, or perhaps faintly in the background, but rarely to ones own face is it spoken. In my opinion, it is a derogatory saying, and I contend that the opposite is true, only those who are continuously heavenly minded are of any earthly good.
As you are possibly aware of, only two things are going to last forever, the Word of God and people, (Ezek. 18:4 + Matt. 24:35) for the Word of God will remain forever, and all souls, whether in heaven or the lake of fire, will never cease to exist. We are not immortal, only God is, but we have eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, (John 10:28-30) and it is in Almighty Gods own wisdom that all those who reject His Son will receive eternal damnation.
One of the ways that the opening statement of this letter to you can become a contention point, especially amongst other Christians, is in the fact of one of the blessing that God has given to man, common sense, the ability to use deductive reasoning skills in both a linear and non-linear pattern. If you know it is going to be cold tomorrow, you do not need to pray to God for an answer as to whether or not you should wear a coat, no one jumps into deep water by their own choice unless they first have learned to swim. These are common sense issues, and though many of them come from the experiences learned in life, some need to be taught and others do not. If a small child sees a venomous snake on the ground, he will instinctively reach out for it, for common sense has not been taught to him yet that the snake poses a danger, and so in this case, knowledge taught is not common sense. Yet all of mankind, every single one of us, was made in the image of God, (Gen. 1:27) and only the saved have the Holy Spirit living inside of them, (John 14:26) yet there is a spark, if you will, inside of each person alive, that when they have grown beyond a certain physical age, an age of grace that only the Lord God knows, this ‘spark’ speaks within them that there is more than this life, that there is something else besides the seen and known of this world, and that something else is Him. (Rom. 1:20)
There is an old saying that speaks a type of truth and has been around almost as long as man himself, “If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent Him.” Can a Christian be of both heavenly and earthly good, of course, but what should be our main goal is the question posed. In your place of employment are you known as a Christian, or a religious person, do you tell others of Christ, or simply invite them to church. For those of you that are climbing the ladder of success in the world, are you seeking the next level up in your chosen field for your own personal ambition, or for the Glory of God. Herein lies the differentiation we must discern between common sense and spiritual wisdom.
Satan’s ploy has always been one of personal ambition, (Isa. 14:13-15) and the beginning of his sin and desire to disrupt the efforts of the children of God has always had its roots in pride. Look at these verses in Isaiah and notice how many times the phrase “I will” appears. Now reverse the opening statement of this letter and notice the extreme difference it makes, “That person is too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good.” Now, is it easier for you to see this trick, this deceiving ploy, that it is not of God, but from our adversary, and from all those that deny the Lord Jesus Christ.
Common sense says that you have to go to work to provide for you and your families need, in fact the Scriptures are quite clear, “that if any would not work, neither should he eat,” (2nd Thess. 2:10) yet Jesus told us that God would provide all of our needs. (Matt. 6:26) Those who live, as it were, in the land of common sense are now saying, “Yes, but He supplies my needs through my employment.” Common sense says, “I can’t,” faith says, “Trust in God.” Does common sense tell you that if you cannot work that God will still provide your needs, or is it faith.
I am going to presume that many of you that are reading this are employed, some of you may even have an investment portfolio, while others are living paycheck to paycheck, for either one the end goal is the same, to receive enough money to meet your personal needs and the obligations that you have committed yourself to. For those who have been blessed with much in this area, wants most generally begin to enter into their hearts, and because of these desires many times the needs of others take a backseat. For those who can foresee no future financially, for whatever reason, the only escape from a life of servitude in poverty seems to be the end of their lives. For both though, what they have been given, they, as will we all, will be held accountable to God for, (2nd Cor. 5:10) were our desires and pursuits on heavenly or earthly concerns. Jesus was very clear on this subject, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” (Matt. 6:21) “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” (Matt. 6:33) “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
You cannot with the same intent be both heavenly and earthly minded, you must make a choice, for God will not accept second place. So, how then do we become continuously heavenly minded, how do we let the world go along on its path to destruction and the wrath that the Lord promises is coming, how are we to deny the world and every single thing in it and remain on the one true path. If the statement is true, and it is, that the only created things that will last forever, save for angels and demons, is the word of God and people, then the path is quite clear, these two items are what should be our daily main concerns. Of course, to do this work that has been placed before us we must study the Scriptures daily, seeking His will for our lives in these two areas, for those who are not discerning the Word properly can be of little use when the task comes to hand. For this endeavor I would recommend Col. 1:9 as a memory verse, an ardent, fervent daily prayer, for when we are filled with knowledge of His will, it is His will that will be accomplished in us.
I most generally only ask of God daily four things for myself, to be blessed with a heart that is able to discern between good and evil, (1st Kings 3:9) to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, (Col. 1:9) for wisdom and the ability to apply it, (James 1:5) and to be the type of husband the Scriptures say I should be, (Eph. 5:25) all other areas of my life I leave in His loving and capable hands, trusting that He knows much better than I do what is best for me.
Take a look around you, do you see all the people scurrying around, running to and fro, concerned only with the cares of their daily lives and of the world that is in their immediate vision, the maintenance of their daily lives, seeking all of those things that every one of them will lose when their last day arrives. I feel, as it were, only two things for the lost, extreme sorrow and extreme hope, sorrow, for if they die today, they will die in their sins, hope, because they are still breathing, so there is still time to repent. I will formulate a conjecture here that I will leave to your contemplation, I believe the lost, those that do not accept Jesus Christ as Savior and will die in their sins, are here partially for the saved, to maintain, at least in an earthly and worldly sense, the running of the planet. God is using them to provide for the food, water, heat and other physical necessities that man requires to continue his existence here, and by Gods great provision that He supplies. This is not to say that the children of God are not assisting in this endeavor, but it should not be their main focus, for common sense says that all who are alive now will eventually die, as it has always been, and if your commitments are only earthly, then here on earth is the only place that you will receive your rewards.
Those who are heavenly minded are not concerned with their employment, not with money and all the things that it can purchase, not with food and clothing, nor even with their own lives, they are concerned with one thing and one thing only, being an obedient, willing servant of God, nothing else matters. Upon this statement common sense laughs and mocks, the fear of “What if” enters in, the phrase of “God takes care of those who take care of themselves” is heard. Do you really believe that God needs your assistance in providing for you? “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?
If you are not heavenly minded, you will never be of any earthly good, for the only earthly things that are going to last forever in your realm of influence is people, and if you are not speaking to them of His wonderful grace and love, if your life does not reflect the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, then of what heavenly good are you. The task that He has set before us is impossible, it cannot be done without faith, our lives must wholly and completely rest in Him who has promised “He who has a begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6) Love is the key that the Master has chosen for this work, and the love that He has and continues to show to all of His children is the love that we must show to the lost, or we have neglected to do our responsibilities diligently.
We must always and continuously be heavenly minded and let the Lord God take care of all the earthly matters, He has since the beginning of creation shown that He is quite capable in this area. Trust Him, set your face like a flint to the task that He has enabled you to do.