Set Your Mind On Things Above—Colossians 3:1-2
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2)
The beautiful thing about coming into a revelation of Christ is that it allows you to be free. Not only does it release you from obligations that stem from human notions, but it frees you to pursue the things of God.
I recently shared how I struggled for years with materialism but found release when I learned to find contentment in the Lord rather than in material possessions. This came through God revealing to me who I am in Christ. It did not happen all at once, but through a journey of discovering who the Scriptures say I am.
Once I started seeking the Lord, His truth started rewriting my perception, the result was freedom in the areas I struggled. The amazing thing in all of this, is that this process works each and every time, which is why Paul instructs to “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (vs. 1b), because God is in the business of change!
Here’s Some Amazing Truth...
Truth—Christ is alive and seated in heaven (Ephesians 1:20; Acts 2:32-33; Romans 4:25; 8:34).
Truth—You are already raised with Christ (Romans 8:11; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).
Truth—Your citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
Truth—Christ is seated permanently; which means your position with Him is also permanent (Hebrews 1:3; Mark 16:19; Hebrews 10:12; I Peter 3:22).
Because of these truths we are urged to set our hearts on things above not on earthly things. Here’s what Paul lists as earthly things; sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (vs. 5). As well as the behavior these things cause; anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language and lying (vs. 8-9).
These earthly things are the roots of the behavior; we won’t be successful by addressing only the behavior instead we need to address the cause. By setting our hearts on the things above this has the power to change us from the inside out. The heart and intent of our mind changes behavior. We are reminded, “You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:9b-10).
The renewal process is what causes change in our daily lives. Paul said in Romans, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). Transformation happens when we renew our mind to God’s truth letting it become our truth.
Change will take place through this renewal and here’s what you can expect to be evident from this; this is also what Paul lists as heavenly things; compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (vs. 12). As well as the behavior these things cause; we will bear with each other, forgive, love deeply and strive for unity (vs. 13). He said something similar in the book of Galatians; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22-24).
Given all of these things, this advice about pursuing and setting our hearts and minds on heavenly things will produce the life-giving change needed to live the holy life we’ve been redeemed for.
Your Turn for Reflection...
Think of an area in your life where you desire change. Start today asking God to give you an eternal perspective and desire for the things of God. Then spend some time reflecting on one this promises to you; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (II Corinthians 5:17).