“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 ESV
Do we know what this looks like? – To seek the things that are above, and to set our minds on things that are above, and not on things on the earth?
I am asking myself that question right now. And, I am asking God to show me here what he wants me to see right now, too. So, I am sharing with you right now what I believe he is teaching me at this moment.
To seek after what is from above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God, is to seek what is holy, righteous, godly, pure, and honest, etc. And, to seek after something is to pursue it, to seek it out, to chase after it, and to follow it. It is also to practice it, too, and to engage ourselves in it.
Do we do that? Do we chase after and follow the way of holiness, truth and righteousness? And, do we put these things into practice in our daily lives?
This isn’t a casual matter. This isn’t something that just happens on Sundays or for 5 or 10 minutes of devotion time each day. This is something we are engaged in 24 hours a day 7 days a week, or at least all our waking hours. It is what we are passionate about, too, and what we are in earnest about. We want to live godly and holy lives pleasing to God in all of our conduct all of the time, and so we pursue and we chase after this wholeheartedly.
The things on this earth? What are they? Well, they are definitely the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. They are all that is sinful, such as pride, lies, immorality, stealing, cheating, adultery, and gossip, etc. We are not to seek after or chase after any of these. But, they can also be laziness, the thirst for entertainment, complacency, worldliness, wealth, power, prestige, possessions, and the acceptance of man, etc., too.
So, how do we do this? How do we seek after and set our minds on the things that are of Christ and his eternal kingdom? And, how do we not seek after and set our minds on the things of this sinful world?
It is only by God’s grace. It is only because Jesus died on that cross, and that he gave his life up for us, that any of us can be delivered from our slavery to sin and that we can follow our Lord in obedience to his will and to his ways. And, it is only through God-given faith in Jesus Christ that any of us can truly die to our flesh and put on Christ and walk in the Spirit. And, then we need to put this into practice, by the Spirit of God:
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:5-11 ESV
We have to be serious about this or it won’t happen. We have to be determined, too, and conscientious about setting our minds on what is from above and not on what is of this earth. And, we have to be walking daily in fellowship with our Lord in obedience to what His Word teaches us, or this is not going to happen, either.
Also, if we are engaging ourselves in what is worldly, and if we are pursuing and seeking after what is of the flesh, and what is self-serving, and self-fulfilling, and self-satisfying, then we are not going to be able to set our minds on what is above, because our minds are clearly set on what is of this earth.
So, daily we have to die to sin and self, by the Spirit of God, and daily we have to take up our cross and follow (obey) Jesus Christ. And, sometimes this is moment by moment, especially when we are under attack from the enemy and he is working us over. So, we have to keep resisting the devil, and we have to keep putting on that armor of God until the devil flees.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14 ESV
If we want our minds to be set on what is from above, and not on what is of this sinful world, not only must we put away from our lives all that is of our sinful flesh, but we must put on all that is of God and is of his holiness.
If we have been practicing telling lies, then we need to practice telling the truth. If we have been making a habit of gossiping, then we need to control our tongues, and we need to say only what is beneficial for those who are listening, and only what is kind and loving about others. And, if we have been habitually engaging ourselves in sexual immorality of any kind, then we need to be honest, faithful, and pure in all of our conduct.
Wherever there is a put off, there is a put on to go in its place, in other words. And, it all begins with us dying with Christ to sin and us living to Christ and to his righteousness, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and in the power and strength of God’s Spirit within us.
And, then daily, by the Spirit, we can put to death all that is wicked and is of our flesh, and we can put on all that is righteous and is of God. And, the more we obey our Lord and we say “No!” to our flesh, the less we will want to follow the flesh, and the more we will want to obey our Lord. And, the Lord will be conforming us to his likeness and making us holy by his Spirit through our cooperation with his work of grace in our lives.
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”