Mindset Dictates Direction

Message:  Right off the top of Colossians 3 was the first verse to grab my attention this morning. “Set you mind on things above, not on things of earth.” I have heard that scripture literally all of my life but as I reread that I had to back up a bit to catch the context. Verse 1 starts with “So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.” The “if” of that scripture caught my attention because it presented like a challenge and I’m a challenge kind of girl. Paul was challenging them (and us) that if we are really believers and followers of Jesus, and if we believe he is the Messiah then this cannot be ignored. This is not a suggestion it is a directive and we’re about to understand why this is so important. The next few verses are hinged on that big “if”. “If” we believe, “if” we follow then verse 3 says “for you died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah which is your life is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.” This is all of the good news but now the “Therefore” in verse 5 explains our death. When we believe and follow, we die in Christ which means we “put to death what belongs to our worldly nature.” These things include sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire and greed. These things are all considered idolatry because they compete for our obsession and our worship. They are the things that go from capturing our interest, to non-negotiable things in our lives. Things that will cause us to push God to the side so we can pursue them. Even if we try to keep God in our lives, those things will compete for our affections. This is why God often compares us to a cheating spouse. We wouldn’t tolerate our spouse having a side fling and God expects the same faithfulness out of us. He will not compete for our affections and like an unfaithful partner he will force us to choose him or our sin. The next list of things also need to be put away: Anger, wrath, malice, slander, filthy language and lying. Paul tells them (and us) that since we put off the old man and put on the new man this is the way our minds have to be renewed. How do we do all of this?? This takes us back to verses 1 and 2. We have to set our minds on things above, not on things of earth. When our mindset is right, our body will follow. This is why this verse is a directive and not merely a nice suggestion. It’s impossible to accomplish this if our mindset is focused on junk, frustrations with those around us and if we’re on social media getting angry with everyone else. We need our minds renewed and the only way to do this is to focus our mindset so that Christ can do the work in us. This was a great reminder for me today because like many of us, I get caught up in the happenings all around us. The outrage of our world demands our commitment and attention. We can’t give these things the proper attention or even apply the proper response without getting our mindset focused on the most important thing. God can’t give us direction on how to move if we aren’t looking to him. Without his direction we are like someone driving a car aggressively without looking out the window. We will be moving but we will inevitably cause damage and hurt some people. Lord, please help us to look to you to renew our minds. We want to see you and hear from you. We humble ourselves and ask for your wisdom and truth to shine through our lives as we look to you.

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