“What’s on your mind?”
That’s a question we ask one another from time to time. If you’re like me, you’re always thinking about something. It could be something fun, like daydreaming about an upcoming vacation. Or something important, like a family need. Too often our thoughts are filled with worries – work, money, schedules. It’s easy to be consumed by the wants and needs of this life because the joys and sorrows of this world are our daily reality.
But there is another reality. Yes, we live on earth, but there is a spiritual, eternal reality, that is just as real. Through faith in Christ we have been transformed into a new life.
Colossians 2:12 teaches that through faith in Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, our old self was buried with Christ and we have been raised with Christ into a new life. Colossians 3:1-4 goes on to say:
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
While we still live on earth in a broken, sinful world, it is just as true that we have been raised with Christ, seated at the right hand of God. Our identity as earthly creatures died with Christ and we now have a new life hidden with Christ in heaven. And when Christ returns, we will appear with him in glory. Then there will only be one reality, our eternal reality.
So then, in light of this, we are called to seek the things that are above. That means we live in light of our new reality. Of course this is a challenge in the day-to-day of earthly life. And so, Colossians reminds us to “set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.” This doesn’t mean we never think about the things of this life – we still need to pay bills, buy groceries, go to work – but where do you set your mind? What consumes your thoughts? Where is your passion?
To set your mind on things above means you dwell on the beauty of God, the love of God, the purposes of God. Think about your new identity in Christ. Instead of being caught up in the pursuits and practices of the world, prioritize what God prioritizes. Instead of worrying about the things on earth, pray to your Savior above! As Jesus taught us, we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things [the necessary things of this life] will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Of course life on earth is still incredibly important. God cares immensely about the people and events in our lives. As we set our mind on things above, it doesn’t mean we ignore the world around us – but it does mean we have a radically different perspective. Our goals at work, our priorities with money, our desires for our children, our pleasures each day are all set in the context of our new life in Christ.
Christian, set your mind on things above! Remember, you have died, you have been raised, and you are seated with Christ above. This is a true reality!