In Colossians 3 we read about how we should get busy getting godly. Let’s look at the first two challenges in this passage:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We are commanded in verse 1 to “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is.” And in verse 2 we are again told to “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Setting your heart and setting your mind are not automatic choices the believer makes. We need to be challenged to emotionally and intellectually focus on things eternal.
Why should we “set our hearts on things above”? Because that is “where Christ is.” Now, I don’t understand God’s omnipresence (as one theologian put it, “Wherever there is a where, God is there”), but the divine Son of God can be (and is) both in the believer and at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. But we are not commanded to set our hearts on the Jesus who lives within us, are we? The emphasis is on His location — “seated at the right hand of God.” His atoning work was accepted by the Father and His glory and honor (veiled during His incarnation) are fully restored or made manifest.
Why should we “set our minds on things above”? Because we naturally give our best attention to “earthly things.” But we have died to this world and its “things.” Our lives are now “hidden with Christ in God.”
This does not mean we are to hate this world. This is, after all, “our Father’s world.” But our primary attention — both emotionally and intellectually — is not to be given to the finite, fallen, fractured system which so easily distracts us from our new status in Christ. Choose to set your hearts and your minds today!