“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:13 – KJV)
This verse from the book of the prophet Jeremiah is extremely quoted in the evangelical churches. I at least grew up hearing this for years. From my ignorance, perhaps I have never given so much attention to the word “all”. On the other hand, I certainly learned a lesson recently.
For the first time here I will talk about myself and something that God has done in my life. It will be a testimony linked to something that the Lord has placed in my heart. I hope the Holy Spirit speaks in some way to everyone.
My name is Marcelo Brandão. I have little more than two decades of life and work with communication and social media. Before I started working with the Bible Offline and writing for this blog, I had another function:
I’ve always been passionate about photography and football. At some point in my life I joined these two things and started working together with a club in São Paulo. Later, I was invited by ESPN to write a blog about this team. In the midst of all this I have made many famous friends in the current scenario and started to tread my career amidst football players and youtube influencers.
So far, no problem, my life with God was growing stronger. My job, too. My image was being established among these personalities and I was very happy. Every day I asked God to live the dreams of Him for me and also for Him to take from my heart everything that was not for His glory. I thought I was really on the right track.
Then came the fateful day when I felt the Holy Spirit speak clearly to my heart that I should drop my soccer blog. And also my Instagram with a few thousand people following me. Among them, all those my famous contacts and full of influence.
I reacted negatively to this for a month and tried to lower the volume of God’s voice with thoughts that this was my head. I discovered after these days that you can not try to walk with God and go against His will. Sometimes we try to sit in the driver’s seat, but the car never gets out of the way if we are not sitting still in the passenger seat, letting people really know how to drive everything.
I finally took a stand after seeing a preaching of brother Igor Siracusa (Dunamis Movement) at my church. He spoke exactly about where we put our heart. That day I began to look at the rich man of Luke 18 with mercy. I always found it absurd that he rejected an order from Jesus himself, and at that moment I found myself in the same situation.
Lc 18 (KJV)
(18) And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
(19) And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
(20) Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
(21) And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
(22) Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
(23) And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
That word broke me. It seemed that Jesus himself, incarnate, was talking to me. The rich man recognized Jesus as the Good Master and God himself. We see this by the ask about eternal life. He was a righteous man who had kept all the commandments of God from his youth. The only problem, however, was not his wealth (being rich is not a sin, even if no one else would bless God with earthly riches), but where his heart was.
You may be saying “I’m not rich”. But surely Jesus would speak to you in a specific way, as he spoke to me. I thought my heart was totally in Jesus, but the truth is that he too was torn between my old job, my contacts and my personal image. My career, which I myself planned.
Leaving “everything” behind for something better
The hardest part of it was being honest with myself at first. The second more difficult, to fulfill the order and to drop everything by the faith that God was really speaking with me. I firmly set foot and did what I should have done much earlier. After that I started to live new things with God. That’s even why I’m talking to you today through this app. His plans really were far greater than mine. Today, for the glory of Him, I can reach many people with their love through these texts.
I became very attached to the story of the prophet Elisha at that time. That only with the call of Elijah, he said goodbye to his parents and burned everything that gave him provisions so that he did not have a plan B. A place to return. Elisha’s heart was in the right place, and so it was so used by God in his life (1 Kings 19:21).
It was a shock, I began to reflect in the scriptures and realized that God loves me so much that he instructed me in a way so that I would not lose my salvation through a load of baloney.
It was obvious why I was not so sensitive to Him. After all, my heart was divided! And the scriptures are clear when they say that we only find it when we seek it with all our heart!
And it is also clear when Jesus says that to inherit eternal life my heart should be totally in Him.
I invite you all the brethren who are reading to reflect now. Where is your heart? It may not be in riches. But is it in any person? Any relationship? Some vice? Maybe in your work.
Who has been most worthy of your time and your attention?
Is your heart really all in Jesus Christ?
Pray for it and give your life to Him if you truly want to follow Him. It may involve some pain, but it is undeniable that the Lord’s dreams and ways are far greater than ours.
After some time away, already treated and with God’s authorization, I’m returning to instagram. That I will now use as a tool to speak of the love of Christ and reach more people. And no longer as a way to self-demean me, as I did before. You can look for me there with the name @zmbrandao, if you are interested in it.
Grace and peace be with all the brethren who have their hearts fully established in Jesus!
We want to hear from you
I take this opportunity to ask the brothers to send us their testimonials by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Share with us the experiences you have had with God.