Set Your Heart on Things Above

If no one has called you nuts (meaning crazy, foolish, strange) after seeing your attitudes towards the things of the world; then there is something wrong with your walk with God.

Like how a foreigner is easily recognized in a crowd of natives; you should be seen different in your attitudes and lifestyles because you are heavenly-minded. This is what Paul meant when he said, “set your heart on things above (Colossians 3:1).”

He is asking us to look at Christ now seated at the right hand of God. Along with Christ we too have been raised up to be there. Our position in God’s eyes as a believer is that we are seated with Christ in heaven (see Ephesians 2:6 also). Right now it is so even when we live on earth.

We should be conscious of this fact. It can happen only when we die to earthly things–earthly glory, ambitions and pride. This death is hard to die. Like Lot’s wife we love to look back (Luke 17:32) and hold on to the things that we held dear before.

The question is, “Whom are you trying to please; God or your loved ones and friends?” Jesus always did what pleased his Father (John 8:29). Today, each one of us finds a false security in the standard of spirituality practised in one’s immediate spiritual circles–be it the church, prayer fellowship, or online Bible Study groups.

This is not enough. Have you set your hearts on things above? Is Christ your life? That means, “Is he your everything?” Whom do you love more than him? Your loved ones, your possessions, your reputation, or your career? Does he have supremacy in your life as he has supremacy over all creation, the church and everything in heaven and on earth (Colossians 1:15–20)?”

From where does your sense of security in life come from? Is it because you have good health and wealth and education and beauty and wisdom? Or is it because “your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).” What a blessing it is to realise that you are secure in him, even now. It is in that realisation you can sing the song with which Habakkuk ends: “Though the fig tree does not bud . . . I will be joyful in God my Saviour (Habakkuk 3:17, 18).”

Paul continues to move on to practical things on what it means to set your minds on things above:

Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature which includes sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. Paul equates greed with idolatry. We may not bow down before real idols but greater idols are there in our hearts.

Paul is not saying, “Don’t worry. Jesus will forgive.” He is saying, “Put to death.”

You cannot put to death by gentle feather-light touches; you have to take a knife and plunge it into the flesh to kill. Have you take that drastic decision to put to death all that is sinful in your life or are you like Samson being put to sleep on Delilah’s lap?

The old self is characterised by anger, rage, malice, slander (an many of us have that as a main diet in our menu each day; saying bad and untrue things about people we know and finding happiness in it), filthy language (you cannot have one language for your church, another language with friends, yet another in your home, and still another at office) and lying.

The new self which God has given you should experience growth each day in the knowledge of God. Paul says, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Romans 13:14).

Therefore recall these truths each time you have a change of dress. Make a picture in your mind about clothing yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. And removing from yourself the old things, the sinful things, the things of the earth, the things that displeases the Lord.

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