5 Tips for Being More Heavenly-Minded

by Jonathan Edwards, adapted by Bibles.net
Time: 10 Minutes

From Bibles.net Editorial Team: Here are five tips from Jonathan Edwards about how to live a more heavenly-minded life. Although our world may say that it’s possible to be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good, the Bible says the opposite. The Bible instructs us to look to eternity so as to make the most of the time God has given us to do his will now (1 Peter 1:13). May Edwards’ reflection encourage you to set your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2).

1

See the Things of Earth as Serving Heavenly Purposes

Our days on the earth, are as a shadow (Psalm 144:3-4). It was never designed by God that this world should be our home. Neither did God give us these temporal accommodations for that end.

If God has given us ample estates, and children, or other pleasant friends, it is with no such design, that we should be furnished here, as for a settled home, but with a design that we should use them for the present, and then leave them in a very little time.

If we are called to any business, or charged with the care of a family, [and] we improve our lives for any other purpose than to journey toward heaven, all our labor will be lost.

If we spend our lives in the pursuit of a temporal happiness, like riches or sensual pleasures, credit and esteem from others, delight in our children and the prospect of seeing them well brought up and well settled, etc., then all these things will be of little significance to us. Death will blow up all our hopes, and will put an end to these enjoyments.

2

Believe That Your Happiness is In Heaven, Not on Earth

Heaven is that place alone where our highest end and highest good is to be obtained. God has made us for himself. “For from him and through him and for him are all things” (Romans 11:35 NIV). Therefore, then we attain to our highest end when we are brought to God: but that is by being brought to heaven, for that is God’s throne, the place of his special presence.

There is but a very imperfect union with God to be had in this world, a very imperfect knowledge of him in the midst of much darkness: a very imperfect conformity to God, mingled with abundance of estrangement.

Here we can serve and glorify God, but in a very imperfect manner: our service being mingled with sin, which dishonors God. But when we get to heaven (if ever that be), we shall be brought to a perfect union with God and have more clear views of him.

There we shall be fully conformed to God, without any remaining sin: “for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2 NIV). There we shall serve God perfectly and glorify him in an exalted manner, even to the utmost of the powers and capacity of our nature. Then we shall perfectly give up ourselves to God: our hearts will be pure and holy offerings, presented in a flame of divine love.

God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.

God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.

To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.

Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey towards heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives, to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life.

Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?

3

Learn More About Heaven

Labor to be much acquainted with heaven.

If you are not acquainted with it, you will not be likely to spend your life as a journey there. You will not be aware of its worth, nor will you long for it. Unless you are much conversant in your mind with a better good, it will be exceeding difficult to you to have your hearts loose from these things, to use them only in subordination to something else, and be ready to part with them for the sake of that better good.

Labor therefore to obtain a realizing sense of a heavenly world, to get a firm belief of its reality, and to think about it often.

4

Seek Heaven by Seeking Jesus

Seek heaven only by Jesus Christ.

Christ tells us that he is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6 NIV). He tells us that he is the door of the sheep. “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture” (John 10:9 NIV).

If we therefore would improve our lives as a journey towards heaven, we must seek it by him and not by our own righteousness, as expecting to obtain it only for his sake: looking to him and having our dependence on him, who has procured it for us by his merit. And expect strength to walk in holiness, the way that leads to heaven, only from him.

5

Don’t Journey Alone

Let Christians help one another in going this journey.

There are many ways Christians might greatly forward one another in their way to heaven. Therefore let them be exhorted to go this journey in company: conversing together, and assisting one another. Company is very desirable in a journey, but in none so much as this.

Let them go united and not fall out by the way, which would be to hinder one another, but use all means they can to help each other up the hill. This would ensure a more successful traveling and a more joyful meeting at their Father’s house in glory.

This article has been adapted from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon titled, The True Christian’s Life: A Journey Toward Heaven. This originally appeared here.
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