Christ Is Your Life
It is easy to set our minds on everything but heavenly things during the day. You might be tempted to replay the hard conversation you had with your friend repeatedly in your mind until you are overwhelmed. Your race for academic success or career advancement might be wearing you down. The behavior of your child might be worrying you. The disappointment you feel in marriage might be discouraging you. You think that if only you had parented differently your adult child would not have walked away from Christ and His church. But Scripture tells us to “seek the things that are above” and “set your minds on things that are above” (Col. 3:1-2).
Seek the Savior Above
Paul does not doubt that the Christians in Colossae have been “raised with Christ” (Col. 3:1). He has already told them that they were “raised with him through faith” (2:12) and “made alive together with him” (2:13). But he had just finished warning them of false teachers who taught that you have to believe in Christ plus adhere to strict regulations and guidelines, and seek special spiritual experiences (2:16-23). So by way of contrast, Paul is saying— Since you have been raised with Christ, don’t seek special spiritual experiences or adhere to strict rules that can’t stop sin; instead, seek Christ, who is seated at God’s right hand in heaven. He is reminding the Colossians of who they already are in Christ, so that they will live in light of it. We too need to be reminded of who we are in Christ and live in light of it.
Set Your Minds on Things Above
In fulfillment of Psalm 110:1, God the Father, “when he raised him [Christ] from the dead…seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places” and gave Him the name “above every name” (Eph. 1:20-21). As believers who are united to Christ, we are to “set” our “minds on things that are above” (Col. 3:2), remembering that Jesus is our prophet, priest, and king. We are to “lay up…treasures in heaven” while on earth (Matt. 6:20). Our gaze is to be set on Jesus so that our “whole body is full of light” (Matt. 6:22). And our master is to be Jesus, not money, so our love for Christ is not compromised (Matt. 6:24).
One of the primary ways to set our minds on things above is to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16). Reading, studying and meditating upon God’s word should be of utmost importance in our lives. Failing to set our minds on heavenly things is costly. Consider the apostle Peter, for example. He loved the Lord, but when he tried to interfere with God’s plans, Jesus replied, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matt. 16:23). By failing to set his mind on things above, Peter became like an enemy of Christ in that moment. May it never be said of any of us that we are a hindrance to God’s work in the world, but instead are those who go about “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).
Paul reminds us that believers “have died” and our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). David longed to be hidden in the Lord, and he believed he would be, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Ps. 27:4-5). In fulfillment of David’s prayer, those who are united to Christ, the true temple, dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Because we have been raised with Christ, He is our life (Col. 3:4). Upon death our souls go to be with Jesus in heaven, and upon His return our souls and bodies will be reunited in a resurrected body (1 Cor. 15:20-28, 42-49). This appearance “with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4) should be at the forefront of our minds each day, as we eagerly await His return. Then “the dwelling place of God” will be “with man” and “He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev. 21:3).
Is your mind set on heavenly things during the day, or are you replaying hard conversations, racing for success, worried about your child, disappointed with your marriage, or blaming yourself for the way your adult child is living? Dear believer, seek the Savior above. He knows you by name and what you are facing today. His presence is with you. You might feel out of control, but He is not. He is seated at the right hand of God ruling over all things, including every detail of your life. He has not put you with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has ordained your days and orchestrated your dwelling places. “Your life is hidden with Christ in God” and “when Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:3-4).
Sarah Ivill (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a Reformed author, wife, homeschooling mom, Bible study teacher, and conference speaker who lives in Matthews, North Carolina, and is a member of Christ Covenant Church (PCA). To learn more, please visit www.sarahivill.com.