People talking behind your back is generally not a good thing, but there are those few occasions when it can actually be a win!
Here are a few scenarios:
- When the CEO of an organization is talking to a friend who likes you about a potential job opportunity.
- When your buddy is talking you up to a great girl/guy who’s a perfect romantic fit.
- When someone with plenty of material resources to spare is being told how diligent and faithful you’ve been to other commitments.
Pretty cool, right? In those instances, we’re actually thankful someone is talking about us behind our back!
Here’s another scenario you’re likely to have never considered:
- When God the Father, God the Son – Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit have a conference meeting in the halls of heaven about their next move in your life.
You know what’s most incredible about that scenario? It’s not just speculation. It in fact is a reality! Your name and your story has always been a topic of discussion near and dear to the heart of your Father in heaven.
In fact, heaven was talking about you way before you were even born.
The Psalmist describes God’s intimate knowledge of your pre-life this way, “[O God] You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
It might seem unreal, but in heaven, prior to your birth, you were already fully loved by God the Father, God the Son – Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. In their great love for you, they enthusiastically discussed and planned out the time and place in history you would be born, the family lineage you would be born into, the length of days you would live, the gifts and abilities you would be entrusted with, your temperament, height and body mass.
All this before your parents ever even saw each other naked!!
Allow this Biblical truth to blow your mind for a moment: GOD. KNOWS. YOU!
I don’t mean that in the sense that God knows and loves you like he knows and loves everybody. No. I mean that God knows you personally and intimately. He knows what makes you tick and what gets you jazzed. He knows what makes you laugh so hard that you cry. He knows your secret crush and your innermost ambitions. He knows every moment of your past and every detail of your future. He knows what role you’ll play in His global narrative and what starring role He’ll feature you in when eternity begins.
Speaking of eternity and God’s intimate knowledge of your life, did you know there are books in heaven with your name and documentation of everything you’ve ever done on earth?
Revelation 12:20 references such books, including the Book of Life, a special book that has the names of those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s at times also called, “the Lamb’s Book of Life.” [Your name gets in that book when you acknowledge before God that you are a sinner and desperately need Jesus Christ to rescue you from sin and reconcile you to God.]
I point out that detail about books in heaven to make the point that you matter to God so much so that He is journaling down every activity of your life. That means that though the names of 7 billion people are being discussed at any given time, heaven takes out the time to talk about you! The Holy Trinity talks about you not because you’re special or because you have accomplished anything great, but simply because it gives them great pleasure to have you as an adopted son/daughter in their family.
But wait. There's more...
There is a future moment coming when every follower of Jesus Christ will stand before Christ. When that time comes, and after your life has been evaluated to determine how you will be rewarded for your faithful service on earth, Christ says He “will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”
While I can speculate about what that might mean, I prefer to lean in to the mystery of it. But here’s what I can say for sure; God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit took plenty of time discussing your life and your faithfulness in order to determine what your new name means and its implication for all eternity.
That means, even now, they’re talking about you in halls of heaven!
Pretty sweet, right?
So what should be your response to this heavenly confabbing?
Remember those Books in heaven I mentioned earlier? Only one of them contains the names and works of people whom God has chosen to preserve in heaven for all eternity. The rest of the books contain the names of those who will be judged for their sin…. and not in a good way.
I know that sounds like a shocker and downer in light of all I’ve just said, but Jesus Himself did sound this alarming warning, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”
His point? Examine your faith! Test yourself to ensure your name is being discussed in heaven in a favorable manner!
In his book, “Follow Me”, author and pastor David Platt writes this about multitudes who haven’t examined their faith. He says, “Churches are filled with supposed Christians who seem content to have casual association with Christ while giving nominal adherence to Christianity….Scores of people around the world culturally think that they are Christians when Biblically they are not.”
Yes. God knows you and is talking about you even now. But the more prevalent issue here is, are you being talked about because you are truly an adopted child of God, a God-initiated act that happens when you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead? Or are you being talked about because your supposed faith is barely an inch-deep, your spirituality is monotonous, and you’re simply giving nominal adherence to the sacrificial cost Christ paid on the cross for your sin? One way or another, heaven will talk about you behind your back. It may amount to preservation for all eternity or separation for all eternity.
So here's a Biblical way to determine if you are truly in the faith and in the family of God.
Acknowledge that you are a sinner and that your sins have separated you from God. Repent of your sins, as in, turn it over to God and away from it. Then, confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. The Bible says this is all you need to do to be saved.
From there however, you can examine your life through these filters to ensure what you have is real. The fact is, true intellectual knowledge of God will naturally result in a deep emotional desire to love and live for Jesus Christ.
So, answer these questions as honestly as you can:
- Do you have a growing affection for Jesus Christ? Deep down inside, do you desire to worship Him?
- Are you bothered by sin in your life? In spite of the daily struggle you may have with any particular sin, do you genuinely long to be free of it so you may devote more of your attention to Jesus?
- Do you desire to read God’s word (the Bible) so you may grow in your knowledge of God and love for Jesus Christ?
- Do you crave community with other Christ-loving Christians (despite the fact that pop-culture tells you we are all judgmental?)
- Do you still long to be a follower of Christ when God’s hand is heavy on your life and you feel like you’re being disciplined?
While I can’t say for certain what’s in each person’s heart, I am Biblically convinced that a positive response to all these questions is an indication that you are truly a ransomed child of God, and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Oh that heaven may speak delightfully about you!