In this article, we will explore what it means to set your mind on things above and how as Christians we can do this. So, grab your Bibles, and let’s get ready to dig in…
If there is a struggle that we have as Christians, it is setting our minds on things on earth. This includes everything that pertains to our life here on earth and in the flesh.
Colossians 3:2 reminds us of where our focus should be…
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
When we get born again, we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and our focus shifts from worldly things to things above. It’s like our eyes have been opened and we can see everything in a new light.
Now, let’s look a little deeper into Colossians…
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. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-3
When the Bible tells us not to set our minds on earthly things, it means that we are to keep away from the things of the world. They are not of God and they distract us from the things that God wants us to give our attention to on a daily basis.
1 John 2:16 tells us that all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but of the world. Earthly things keep our minds glued to the pleasures and passions of the world and this is not God’s desire for us. He wants us to focus on the things above.
What Are “The Things Above”?
Setting our minds on things above means that we focus on the things of God. These include growing our relationship with Him, fulfilling our God-given purpose, making disciples of all nations, and keeping away from the pleasures and passions of the world.
I love the passage Philippians 4:8. It’s what I named my site after...and I think it hits perfectly on what it means on setting our minds on above.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
We will spend eternity with God and we are to set our minds on things with eternal value.
How to Set Your Mind on Things Above
But how can we set our minds on these things? It might seem a little daunting, but the truth is it’s easy especially when you focusing on your relationship with Him. Here are some practical ways to help you:
Draw Near to God by Reading the Bible and Spending Time In Prayer
One of the greatest things that we should set our minds on is growing our relationship with God. James 4:8 tells us…
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
This means that we should spend time with God. This looks like daily reading His Word and praying. We will know God more when we meditate on His Word and allow Him to give us a revelation of Himself. It’s just like an earthly relationship. The more you spend time with someone the more you will know that person.
Now, if there is any sin standing between God and us then we ought to repent knowing that God will cleanse us and make us new. By having a devotional time daily and fixing our eyes on God, we will draw closer to Him. It’s that simple.
Try to set a time daily for Him. I talk about this in my morning routine post, but setting an appointment with the Lord is a powerful way to help you stick with a routine that hopefully developed into a habit.
Growing in our relationship with God means that we go to Him in prayer and pour our hearts to Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
When we give God all our attention, earthly things seem to fade away and our focus is drawn to the heavenly things.
Fulfill Your God-given purpose
God created each of us for a purpose and we are to fulfill it while we are on earth. He sets us apart for the work that He has for us. He told Jeremiah that He set him apart to be a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5).
The apostle Paul also recognized that God set him apart from his mother’s womb to preach Christ to the Gentiles (Galatians 1:15:16). These men and many others in the Bible spent their lives fulfilling their purpose.
God is the one who reveals your purpose and gives you details of what He wants you to do (Galatians 1:11-12). Your God-given purpose is unique and it provides a solution to this world.
God prepares us to do His work through our relationship with Jesus. This means that God’s desire is that we fulfill our purpose within a relationship with Him.
Our purpose has eternal implications and is one of the things of God that we should focus on while we walk this earth. But remember our calling should never take priority over our relationship with Him….relationship before service!
Sharing the Gospel with Others
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus gave us the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations. While on earth, our work as Christians is to share the gospel with others around the world so that they may know Christ. Jesus spent the better part of His time on earth teaching people about the kingdom of God. We continue His work of ministry when we bring others to the kingdom of God.
There are many ways we can share the gospel with others. We can tell them through face-to-face encounters, writing books, videos, podcasts, teachings, sermons, etc. God has given each of us spiritual gifts that we can use to evangelize to others.
A good way to share the gospel with others is to tell them what Jesus has done for you, and what He can do for them. By telling others about Jesus and inviting them to have eternal life, you are setting your mind on things above.
Keep Away from The Pleasures and Passions of the World
If we are to set our minds on things above, then we have to take our minds off earthly things. Titus 2:11-13 tells us that by the grace of God, we can reject ungodliness and worldly lusts and live self-controlled, godly, and upright lives. I wrote more on this topic, in my article Do You Serve More Than One God? This means that we can ask God to give us His grace to keep away from the ungodly things that tempt us to sin.
After rejecting worldly lusts and passions, we can embrace upright lives that please God. Things that do not bring us closer to God should not have room in our minds because they will distract us from the important things.
I hope you have enjoyed learning how you can set your mind on things above and that it encouraged you to draw closer to Jesus! Remember earthly things will pass away, they are never are all in all. He is our everything…lift your head up and keep your eyes on Him!
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Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…