There’s an old saying, “too heavenly minded for any earthly good.” It has often sounded a little offensive or even sacrilegious to me at times. But this week after pondering the word “saturate,” I am beginning to see it in a different light, especially after reading the word’s definition: “to become thoroughly soaked with liquid so that no more can be absorbed.” The part that struck me the most was the last phrase, “no more can be absorbed.” As a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit, is it actually possible to reach a point of being so spiritually bloated that “no more can be absorbed”? The picture that immediately comes to mind is from the movie WALL-E, where the people on the planet have to be transported from place to place on space mobiles because of their extreme obesity.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we as Christians shouldn’t be saturated with the knowledge and goodness of God. The Lord has clearly instructed us to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to seek first His kingdom, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. But He has also instructed us to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” Luke 10:2. We are called to carry His light into the world and seize every opportunity to share what He has so graciously given to us.
The other morning I was challenged by Priscilla Shirer in her Bible study on the life of Jonah. She pointed out how Jonah had become too comfortable with his role as a prophet to the nation of Israel. As you may recall, when God called him to Nineveh, a pagan and ruthless city, he refused to go and literally tried to run away from God in the opposite direction. At the end of the lesson, Priscilla then presented a charge to her readers, “Pray and ask God to put someone in your path today who needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.” I have to confess, this was a bit uncomfortable for me, but I was compelled to pray and believe that God could do something supernatural, regardless of my insecurity. There was an unusual expectancy in my heart as I began to think about all the places I had to go that day--first the grocery store, then the coffee shop to grade papers, and later that evening to see a play with my parents and sister.
The day continued to roll by, still no prospects. I started to wonder if I had missed my opportunity. By the time of intermission at the play, I proceeded to the restroom and surprisingly ran into an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in years. Our children had attended Masters Academy together at Hebron Baptist Church nearly ten years ago. At the time, she was a practicing Buddhist, but I had remembered her as one who was seeking truth and had many questions about Jesus. We embraced each other, stood in line together at the restroom, and soon caught up on the latest news, particularly the children.
Then the moment came when it dawned on me, this was my opportunity! I prayed, waited, and tried to listen to what the Holy Spirit wanted to say to her. Time was of the essence; I knew the play was about to begin any minute. Pushing through my fear, I boldly took a leap of faith and said, “Van, it is no coincidence that we are standing here having this conversation. The Lord put you in my path today and has something special to say to you, but I’m not sure what it is.”
She quickly responded and said, “Girl, we have got to talk!” We exchanged numbers and said we would meet sometime soon for lunch. I knew this was a divine appointment, and God was obviously not finished with it yet.
Since then, we did meet for lunch. I was overjoyed to discover that Van had recently become a follower of Jesus in the past year. She spent over ten years praying, searching the scriptures, and asking many questions. Her testimony is powerful, supernatural, and inspiring. She still has many questions about the Bible, Jesus, and truth. We spent three hours that day sharing from our hearts, and I tried to answer all of her questions. She was like a sponge, soaking up my every word. Afterward, we agreed to meet again in a month.
I left that meeting feeling full of the joy of the Lord, saturated and overflowing with the Spirit. Reflecting on the word’s definition and my experience with my friend, I am convinced more than ever that I am made to absorb and release the Spirit in such a way that draws others closer to Him. No longer do I want to live life in my comfortable, spiritual little bubble, or rather “too heavenly minded for any earthly good.” God longs for all of His children to share His life with others, to be poured out as “a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of our faith” Philippians 2:17 NASB. We are miraculously designed to be continuously filled and poured out.
~ Meet Laura Bachtel ~
Laura Bachtel and her husband Bryan have been married for nearly twenty-eight years. They are the proud parents of five amazing children, from age twenty-four down to sixteen. Laura homeschooled all five of her children during their elementary years and then sent them to Artios Academies in Gwinnett for the remaining years. She now teaches high school English at Artios and loves sharing with her students her passion for writing and great literature. Some of her favorite hobbies include finding new ways to make healthy food taste really yummy, traveling to new places with her family, and enjoying a savory cup of coffee and dark chocolate while reading a good book. Laura's children are in age order as follows: Sara, 24; Alicia, 22; Maryellen, 20; Caleb, 18; and Josh, 16