Colossians 3: 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Autumn is my wife’s favorite season. She is enticed by all of the “pumpkin” and “pumpkin spice” drinks and treats that so many establishments are advertising presently. There is nothing she would love more than 365 days per year of fall colors, warm pumpkin spice lattes, cozy flannel shirts, and sitting near a fire or under an electric blanket to stay warm. So a few weeks ago when the nights began to get chilly, requests were made from both home and the Summer’s Best office staff to “turn on the heat”. It’s an easy enough request to oblige, I simply give the furnace a “once over” and then turn on the thermostat and choose the desired temperature (67 for all of the men out there, and 77 for all of the ladies, am I right?). In less than an hour it becomes comfortable as the furnace blows hot air until the thermostat temperature is reached.
Our text verse makes me think of a thermostat and furnace. “Set you minds on things that are above.” I truly believe that if we are going to live a Christian life that pleases God, we need to be less like a thermometer, which reflects the temperature of a room, and more like a thermostat, which “sets” the temperature of a room. As much as we would like to “follow our hearts” in pleasing God in all things, our heart is “prone to wander” and Jeremiah said “the heart is deceitful above all things, desperately sick; who can understand it?”. The world that surrounds us is pretty good at taking a walk past the thermostat of our life and “turning it down”. So if you are like me, there are days when the “furnace of your heart” won’t spontaneously fire up, you need to use your mind to “set” the temperature of your life. Daily struggles and worries take our mind off of Christ “seated at the right hand of God” and make us focus on our present state. It takes a refocusing on Christ and His sacrifice on the cross to remind us that we are to be dead (verse 3) to the world and alive to a vibrant relationship with God. It takes a daily resetting of our minds to keep our life focused on the fact that Christ is in control of our circumstances, nothing is catching him off-guard.
The best way I’ve found to do that daily resetting of my mind and heart is to sit down in the morning and read a few passages of scripture. Often I’ll revisit something I read with my son as we drive to school. When I pray throughout the day I try to think of something from my morning reading and pray it into my day. At night it’s great when I can look back on my day and see how faithful God was to affect my life by allowing my mind to be set on Him and His truth. If we are able to exercise our minds in this way, we will soon find that we are able to easily “work heartily as for the Lord” (verse 23) and live a life that is on fire for God and dead to the world.