Setting Our Hearts & Minds on Heavenly Things
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2
To set our minds on things above means to set them on God and His kingdom. John Calvin defined these things as:
- Knowing God
- Knowing His fatherly favor in our behalf, in which our salvation consists
- Knowing how to frame our life according to the rule of his law
The first step towards getting our minds fixed on God is to recognize our need for setting our minds on things above in the first place! We must see all of the things that compete for our attention in the world today, and be determined to set those things aside and have time with the Lord. You want to set your mind on heavenly things? You have to know what they are! You want to fix your eyes on Jesus? You have to know who He is! You know how we learn these things? Through study and mediation of the Bible, and through prayer.
It’s important that we read the scriptures daily and meditate on God’s word. It seems lost on us today that we have God’s very word before us and yet how often we ask why He is silent! Paul reminds us that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. As we read the Scriptures we ought to pray, “O Lord, open my eyes to see yourself and the wonders that you are and the wonders that you promise.” If we want to fix our eyes on heavenly things, what’s more heavenly than the word of the living God?! These are the things of heaven.
You don’t build relationships without communication, and prayer is personal communication we have available between God and ourselves. This is a necessary discipline if we are going to continue to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to align our wills with His. F.B. Meyer, the author of the great little book, the Secret of Guidance said, “The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.” How often do we read in the gospels that Jesus was off alone, praying? He understood where His strength came from and was always determined to stay in tune with the Father’s will. How much more so must we do the same!
The Apostle Paul tells us that the things we focus on is even an indicator of our current condition: “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” – Romans 8:5–6.
At the end of the day we can only accomplish this heavenly mindset through commitment and discipline. The Holy Spirit makes it possible, but He won’t do it for us. Set aside time regularly where you can have quiet time with the Lord in study, and prayer, and in fellowship! Open the word, read it over and over again and meditate on it. Set time aside to pray throughout the day. Seek guidance. Intercede for others. Commune with God in silence. Crawl before you walk and break up a few times for these things. If you can will yourself to the gym, or to get out of bed for work, or to be a good spouse or parent you can surely discipline yourself to spiritual growth!