The apostle Paul exhorts the Colossian Christians in Colossians 3:1-3 to “…seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” to “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
A big ask, one would think.
It is, however, not groundless. Nor does it appear out of nowhere. It has root. There is genesis here. Something that came before and gave rise to it needs to be seriously considered and constrain those who are in Christ to seek that which is above and set their mind on the things above.
That something is the reality of being raised with Christ. The premise of Paul’s demand to seek and set our minds on the things above is the truth of our being rasied with Christ. This is what leads the apostle to insist that we tune our hearts and calibrate our thoughts heavenward. It is because this resurrection with Christ has taken place that there now needs to be a calibration of hearts and engineering of minds in line with it, in line with the new nature.
The exhortation to seek the things that are above and set our minds on them is tied with the person and position of Christ.
…you have been raised with Christ….
…where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
…your life is hidden with Christ in God.
…Christ who is your life…
These are not peripheral but central and key truths of the Christian faith and results of our association with Christ. The reality of our union with Him in His death and resurrection are central to who we are, the new creation we have become in Him, shaping our conduct and life. Our lives are to be a living out of that which has already taken place within. Seeking the things above and setting our minds on the things above are but natural outworkings of that which has already happened inside, within us. The apostle is not demanding mere behavioural changes or that we put up external appearances but simply insisting on an outflowing of that transformation which has already taken place within. This is not an isolated commandment to accomplish that which has not already been achieved but a reminder, an exhortation, to keep focus on that which is of major and lasting significance allowing it to dominate our lives and not that which is on the outside and passing away.
Here’s what Paul, in a nutshell, is doing – he’s insisting you align your thinking and affections with the reality of the new you.
Your becoming a new creation is no joke.
“…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This is the true reality and genuine state of affairs. The question that begs answering is one and one only – are you in Christ? If so the old has indeed passed and the new has come. It is not yet to come, it is already here.
Seeking the things above and setting your minds on them is consistent with your newly acquired and permanent identity in Christ. Don’t neglect but heed this call to seek and set your mind on the things above. Take it to heart as you go about this life remembering that your life is Christ and hidden with Him where He is seated at the right hand of God in heavenly places.
Tune your heart and calibrate your mind heavenward. The measures that you take on this level are the ones that enable you to live consistent with your identity and position in Christ. This is where the battle for holy living now is won or lost – on the object of our affections and focus of our thoughts.