Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”
When God “activated” me five years ago, I began a transformation that has drawn me ever nearer to Him and led to some exciting adventures. While the miracles, dreams, connections, and other fun stories have been an amazing part of the journey, the best part of this change has been the simple desire to be closer to God, to grow in intimacy with the Father, his Son, and the Holy Spirit. I find that God is always on my mind, and the feeling of His constant presence is better than anything else I will ever experience.
One byproduct of this new life is the desire to share this with others, because I want others around me to have this same experience of closeness with the Father. When we accept Jesus into our lives, and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we can’t help but want to share this with others – God puts it into our hearts to share the good news!
But you will find that many people don’t share this enthusiasm for more with God, both Christians and non-Christians alike. This will include close family and friends, who just aren’t going to see what you see, or have this same desire. I had this experience with a close family member, who warned me to “not be so heavenly that you’re no good on earth.” I was then told about my grandmother, who went through a similar awakening and enthusiasm for the Lord, and she was given the same advice from a spiritual mentor.
Unfortunately I took this advice to heart, and started to temper my enthusiasm around others. But as time has gone by, and I continue to grow in my faith, I’ve come to realize that this advice is wrong – if you are acting in accordance with God’s will and purpose, and letting the Holy Spirit work in you. I looked to my true role models, and wondered how they would have reacted if someone had said they were being “too heavenly”:
- Was Paul being “too heavenly” when he went into unknown cities and was stoned to near death for his faith, and was ultimately killed?
- Were Peter and John being “too heavenly” when they preached the good news and were brought to trial, and threatened with death for sharing what the Holy Spirit put on their heart?
- What do you think the disciples’ families said to Peter, Andrew, James, and John when they threw aside their nets and left their families and jobs to follow Jesus? Were they being “too heavenly”?
- What about the countless others in history who obeyed the yearning in their heart to align themselves with God’s purposes? And those who are killed even today for denouncing their former lives to follow Christ – are they being “too heavenly”?
When you surrender your life to God and are obedient to His purpose for your life, in many cases this shift will not be rational or reasonable to others. Being “heavenly” means seeing life from an eternal view, knowing that relationship with God takes priority over anything else in life. I now wonder if my grandmother held anything back – did she miss out on something more, or did she choose to focus on what God was telling her rather than others?
So what will choose? Comfort? Favor in earthly relationships? Or will you choose life, by surrendering yourself to the better way? There is risk in it, and it’s not the easy path, but the ultimate reward awaits those to stay true to their calling as children of God. We may not fully see the fruit of this decision in our earthly lifetimes, and we may face resistance and persecution, but we will see the reward for all eternity.
May each of you be seen as “too heavenly” in your walk with the Lord!
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Adam Gellert is an award-winning author and book marketing coach. You can find his book Activation: A Story of God’s Transforming Power here. Adam also blogs at ActivationMovement.com and enjoys writing articles about Christian living. He attends Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas and serves on the Freedom Ministry Team.