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. Colossians 3:1,2
Many Christians go through a time where they are spiritually weak. Some might describe it as a faith that feels cold. Other may feel spiritually bored. Have you been there? I believe we often get to such a place by not dwelling on and with Christ. The cause of much of our spiritual coldness is not because we aren’t “doing” but because we aren’t “dwelling.”
Paul speaks to this issue in Colossians 3. He basically says if you belong to Jesus you need make sure you aren’t dwelling so much on earthly things, but are setting your mind on spiritual things because that is where Christ is found.
Our Relationship with Jesus is what makes it possible to:
Seek the things that are above:
We make time to seek a lot of things. Fitness, beauty, continued education and retirement make the list. We can spend hours looking on Pinterest for ways to get more organized, new recipes to try, or crafts that we may or may not get to.
While none of those are bad things they can and often times do contribute to the neglect of seeking spiritual truths. It is easy to spend time on facebook finding out what everyone is doing while forgetting to spend time in God’s word figuring out what he want us to be doing. We need to spend more time seeking to know more about the God who created all those good gifts. We must find out all we can about his kingdom, his promises and his blessings. We must seek eternal things and we must make the opening of our Bibles and the intake of God’s word a priority.
Don’t conclude that because you have Christ you have no need to keep seeking. Seeking is the heart of the christian life for in doing this we maintain communion with Jesus.
Set your mind on the things that are above.
Where is your heart? What has your heart? Do you allow your mind to dwell on Jesus, his person and work? Do you make time to wonder at all that God is and does? Here’s a principle I find to be true: Wherever my mind dwells, there my heart swells.
I’m not just talking about reading the word, but dwelling long on what is revealed in the word. We really need to learn to meditate. Meditation is not an emptying of one’s mind but a filling of it. It means to speak the truth to ourselves. Meditation is basically preaching to yourself about the things you have read in scripture.
“To preach to yourself is to challenge yourself, push yourself, and point yourself to the truth. It is not so much uncovering new truth as much as it is reminding yourself of the truth you tend to forget.” Joe Thorn (Note to Self)
And this isn’t something we do thoughtlessly. We are to be thinking about the meaning of the words, the implication of the verse and the application to your life.
“As you read, pause frequently to meditate on the meaning of what you are reading. Absorb the Word into your system by dwelling on it, pondering it, going over it again and again in your mind, considering it from many different angles, until it becomes part of you.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss
We must slow down. Reading the word in a hurried manner or skimming through Christian books will not help us grow in our faith or our love. It is during these busy and hurried moments that most things we read are forgotten and therefore have no impact on our lives. As time goes on we wonder why we are not excited about the word or why we feel cold or a bit bored with it. It is because there has been no meditation.
“Remember that it is not hasty reading, but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, that makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time on the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.” Thomas Brooks
Let the things you meditate on fuel your prayer (a powerful way of seeking and setting our minds on the things above). Do not just come before God with a list of requests that you rattle off half-heartedly, but appeal to God with his character and his promises. Let’s say you have an Aunt Betty that you want to see saved, instead of simply saying “Please save my Aunt” pray “Lord because you are a God of mercy and grace save my Aunt. You have said that you want people to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) so I ask that you cause my Aunt to turn away from her sin and come to you.”
When you are seeking wisdom appeal to the promises that God has made to you in scripture. He has promised in James 1:5 (and Proverbs 2:6-7) to give wisdom (generously) to those who ask him.
The next time you have a chance, go for a walk, take a few verses with you, think and pray. Do not allow the things of the world to crowd out Jesus. It happens far too easily.
Looking to Jesus,