A Heavenward Focus

December 1, 2020 – Tuesday Late Afternoon

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” ~Colossians 3:1-4

This first week of Advent focuses on the hope that is found in Jesus. This living hope, this confidence, comes through right relationship with the Father through the Son and it eventually results in a face-to-face glorious eternity with Him. It is a LIVING hope that involves DEATH – the death of Jesus and our own death to sin and self. The one leads to the other: Jesus died for our sin so that we might die to it; because He died we have died – in order that we might be set free from sin once for all. Then, because we died with Him, we have been brought to newness of life with Him by the power of God (Romans 6).

In light of these facts, the passage above gives us some practical instruction for our daily lives as disciples of Christ: 1. If our identity is now in Jesus (through His death and resurrection), we ought to be intent on seeking the things of God. (Think of Paul’s pressing on in Philippians 3.) 2. In order to truly seek His things, we must set our minds on Him and His things. 3. This heavenward focus naturally sets up a conflict with the things of the world; we must not be distracted by the temporal and earthly, but look to that which is eternal and glorious. 4. The second part of the passage gives the reason for the first part: Those who have died with Christ to sin have had their true identity concealed in Him and they look forward to the final unveiling.

There is nothing earthly that will last into eternity. This is true in the physical sense (our food, our cars, our bodies, etc.) and in the spiritual sense (sin, sinful desires, sinful passions, etc.). So why would we spend our lives here chasing earthly pleasures, fulfilling earthly dreams, and focusing on the physical? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be wise with the physical bodies and lives that we have! Rather, our physical bodies and lives must be controlled by the spirit that is constantly focused on the eternal and in pursuit of Jesus. A life that is earthly-minded ought not to expect to see the glory of God for eternity.

Is that discouraging to you? I hope not. Yet, even if it is (due to our weakness, little faith, and small perspective), let your mind think on the glory that awaits us and the pure joy and pleasure of knowing face-to-face the One who has rescued and redeemed us! Living this short life with a heaven-focused mind trapped in a finite, broken body is quite a puny trial compared to that! And on top of that, He has filled us with His own Spirit for the here and now!

Don’t be deceived by the world, the flesh, or the devil; direct your mind on to the Lord and set your heart on living with, in, and through Him. He will give life to your mortal body and enable you to be the slave of righteousness He has freed you to be!