Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are You Too Earthly Minded to be of Any Heavenly Good?

Have you ever seen the movie, "Witness" with Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis? The premise of the movie goes something like this: Kelly McGillis is an Amish woman taking her young son on a visit to a big city, and while waiting in the train station, her young son goes to the bathroom and is a witness to a murder. Harrison Ford is the policeman who is sent to question the boy and ends up in Amish country after being shot while trying to protect him. It is an excellent movie with some foul language and some nudity and lots of apparent lust.

My quiet time study made me think of this movie this morning. I was reading a study by T. Austin-Sparks on "The Overcomer". If you would like to read the entire study, go HERE. I wrote on being an overcomer HERE earlier this year, and my desire to be one.

One of the main plots in the movie "Witness" is corruption within the police department. Corruption is defined as:

cor·rup·tion [ kə rúpsh'n ]
dishonesty for personal gain: dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain
depravity: extreme immorality or depravity
undesirable change: an undesirable change in meaning or another error introduced into a text during copying
Synonyms: dishonesty, exploitation, sleaze, bribery, fraud, venality

As a general rule, the police department has a reputation of being a brotherhood of sorts. When one member is hurt or killed, it affects the whole unit. So when corruption creeps in, because of the tight nature of the group, it begins to eat its way through the whole unit and has an effect on the menmbers.

Mr. Sparks' study speaks of the position of the overcomer in Christ:
"What then is the Church's place, centrally and supremely? It is what you have in the letter to the Ephesians (so-called), which was an encyclical letter to the churches including that of Ephesus. Well, the Church's place is there seen to be in the heavenlies in Christ. That is the ringing note throughout the letter to the Ephesians. First of all, blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ; then seated with Him in the heavenlies; then ministry in the heavenlies — "that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenlies..." So you go on to the end, the warfare in the heavenlies: our wrestling is in the heavenlies. In virtue of a state of righteousness through faith, the Church is represented as having a spiritual position above."

What Harrison Ford (as John Book) does in the movie is rise above the corruption in the police department and clean it out in order to restore it to its position of obeying and enforcing the law. It is not possible to enforce the law and be held in a position of respect, honor, and obedience if all the members of your organization are involved in or associated with corruption.

Likewise, as Christians, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:52-54 that when we are raised from death to enter the heavenlies for eternity, our bodies are changed from corruptible to incorruptible.

Here in this life, we are filled with corruption from the moment we are born. Satan's number one job description is to corrupt mankind, and if by God's grace we come to a knowledge of who Jesus is and submit our lives to him, satan will redouble his efforts to corrupt us and keep us from living a life of holiness and devotion to God in the manner that God planned from the beginning.

Jesus is our "John Book" so to speak; cleaning out the offices of this mortal body so that all the members of his body can be clean, honorable, holy and devoted to loving God and loving and protecting all of God's creation.

And, while the young boy in the "Witness" was a witness of the evil act of murder committed by a corrupt member of a corrupt organization, we as Jesus' followers are to be witnesses of Christ's transformational power in the lives of the corrupt. When we submit to Christ, we literally "put on" an incorruptible "new man" and shed our corrupt "old man".

I haven't watched this movie for quite a long time, so I'm not sure why this study brought it to my mind but the Spirit gave me a really clear vision of the similarity in the corruption in an organization and our human bodies, minds and souls, and why we have to put on a new body, mind and spirit in order to enter into God's realm in the heavenlies. This life doesn't just begin after we die or after the rapture. Christ came to introduce the kingdom of God now as we live and breathe today. Our minds are to be stayed on Him, and He will keep us in perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3

Also, Philippians 4:8 tells us to keep our minds on heavenly things, i.e., things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy.

It's hard for corruption to be found in places where the focus is things that are of this nature. This was another one of the moments when God gave me a glimpse of what this verse really implies and what our lives are to be representative of in the here and now. Life in Christ and all the things inherent to that do not have to wait until I pass on from this life to be enjoyed; they can and should be a vital, vibrant part of my life now if my mind is focused on the "heavenlies".


  1. Kim, more true & encouraging words were never spoken, joy is ours now in Jesus. We don't have to be weighted down with these passing corruptions, we are being perfected day by day,His peace is beyond understanding.:)

  2. Thank you, Musemater. With all that is going on in the world, it's difficult to keep the mind on heavenly things, and it's easy to dwell on me, myself and I. I am praying that with His opening my eyes little by little each day that I can become more and more diligent to focus on the fact that this is ALL about Him, and I have a bit part!