Being a citizen of heaven while living on earth can be difficult at best.
Especially when we’re working to provide for our families, gain new clients, and earn money.
Part of the difficulty comes in the fact that we are to have our minds set on heavenly things but we’re busy pursuing earthly things.[tweetthis]How do you keep the balance between being a citizen of heaven but a resident of the world?[/tweetthis]
The answer: By keeping yourself focused on the REASON behind your business endeavors.
And the reason is more than “to provide for my family.”
A citizen of heaven works to see heavenly purposes fulfilled on the earth
Notice Paul’s loving caution to the church at Philippi…
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. – Philippians 3:18-19
Notice the things that characterize those who he says are “enemies of the cross”
- Their appetite is their stomach (their desires)
As citizens of heaven we’ve got to be careful about this one. There’s a lot in this world to desire, isn’t there?
Automobiles – smart phones – clothes – trips – experiences – success – a thriving business
The reality is that there’s plenty for us to want, but nothing that we really need.
Jesus has already met those needs, He’s already done the heavy lifting to provide us with forgiveness and everything else thrown in on top. One of my favorite faith-building passages lately is this one:
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:32
The forgiveness and restored relationship of the cross are just the beginning for us as Christ followers. Jesus has committed Himself to care for us, all the way into heaven. There is no reason on earth (literally) for us to be anxious that even one need will go unmet.
So – as a citizen of heaven, our desires are to be aimed heavenward… which takes us to Paul’s second description of enemies of the cross:
- Their minds are set on earthly things
I think this is the description of appetites that have taken over a person’s life.
You’ve known people like this.
All they can talk about is business – all they can talk about is money – all they can talk about is success hacking – all they can talk about is ___________ ?
Maybe you’ve been that person from time to time.
It’s not an easy path to walk, keeping our desires and thoughts under control. But thankfully we are not alone in that endeavor.
Jesus comes online to help citizens of heaven
The REASON for your business and for mine is not only to…
- Provide for my family
- Enable others to be employed
- Produce great products and services
- Bring blessing to the world
No, behind all of that is a bigger purpose – to Give God glory through those things!
Recently, in the Christians in Business community that I run on Google Plus, I posted a video on this subject.
It’s short. It’s sweet. And it’s below.
Please let me know if it’s helpful to you. I’d love to engage with you in the comments below.