“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
Recently I was at work and decided to listen to music. I opened Spotify and went to the T4G Live playlist, as I love listening to live worship music.
The first song I played was “Jesus, Thank You.” That song never gets old to me. For me, it’s not just the lyrics. It is also hearing the voices of thousands of believers come together to make one voice in praise to God.
As I sat there listening to this song–and others like “Behold our God” by Sovereign Grace Music–I couldn’t help but “set [my] mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). It is very easy to not obey the command in Colossians 3:2. Each day, we face the temptation to move our eyes, hearts, and minds away from heaven and steer them toward the world.
However, I have found that listening to worship music–specially the album I mentioned above–puts my mind in a proper, Colossians 3:2 perspective. It steers my mind away from worldly worries, anxious thoughts, etc. All of that melts away when your mind is fixed on heaven. You know why? Because all of those things won’t matter when we’re in glory.
Setting our Minds
When we set our minds on heaven, the cares of this world go away. That’s not to say we don’t care for people–family, friends, etc.–and other things, but that we don’t worry or get anxious about worldly things.
We “have been raised with Christ” (Colossians 3:1), so the proper response to that glorious truth is we must be people who have heavenly mindsets. We are people of heaven, not of earth. Though we are here for a little while, we are ultimately citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Let’s act like heavenly citizens by fixing our gaze on our future home!
Even more so, we “have died,” and our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). The reality of dying to our old self and being hidden with Christ compels us to have the Colossians 3:2 perspective.
We think about heaven.
We fix our eyes on heaven.
We act like people who are going to heaven.
We evangelize in light of heaven.
We set our minds on heaven!
Not a Suggestion
Setting our minds on “things above” is not a suggestion, but a command. As Christians, we must set our minds on heaven. We don’t do this only because God says so; no, we do this–and all other commands–because it’s what is best for us. Worldly anxieties, among a vast number of different things, go away when we obey this command. It benefits us. It’s not only for God’s glory, but for our good.
God’s commands shouldn’t be burdensome to Christians. His commands are our delights. When we look at His commands, our response shouldn’t be, “Oh, I have to do this”; no, our respond should be, “I get to do this!” Christians take joy in the commands of God because we know they help us be who God made us to be.
So when you’re struggling to keep your mind fixated on heaven, remember that these commands are for your joy as well. Fixing our eyes on heaven is for our benefit. It keeps our mind in the proper perspective. It melts away worldly cares and replaces them with heavenly joys.
But the question, then, is How do we practically set our mind on heaven?
How Do We Do This?
In an article at Desiring God, John Piper points out that there’s a major step we must take at first. We must realize they are other things that catches our eye:
We must recognize that there are many competing claims upon our minds and our attention, and we must resolve to find a time and a place where we will not be bombarded by TV, radio, the telephone, or the internet (source).
The first step in keeping your mind fixated on things above is recognizing there are “competing claims” from earthly things, such as TV and internet, primarily social media. If we don’t understand that, it will be that much harder to keep our eyes on heaven. We will quickly become consumed with earthly things and, in turn, not have a Colossians 3:2 perspective.
This is practical, everyday Christian living. You set your mind on heaven by reading the Bible. Be a reader. You can’t “set your mind” on heaven if you’re not reading the Bible. It won’t happen. And that takes discipline. You must put out effort and be intentional. Once you see the glory of God in the pages of Scripture, earthly things will fade and fixing your mind on heaven will be easy and desirable.
Soli Deo Gloria