“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” is what the Lord commands us through Paul’s writing in Colossians 3:2 (ESV). But as I studied this passage of Scripture the other day, my mind was honestly set on everything else but things that are above. My mind was very much set on the things of this earth. And as the Spirit always does, He so sweetly convicted me of this and shifted my mind to Him.
What I love is that Paul gives some logic around this command. In the previous verse (Colossians 3:1), where he’s actually commanding that we seek things that are above, he tells us that we should do that because that’s where Christ is. Then, he tells us that we are to set our minds on things above because we have died and our lives are hidden with Christ (Colossians 3:3). As I read these passages in the quiet of my room, this makes sense. I love Jesus. He is my Savior and Lord. He is above, seated at the right hand of the Father, so shouldn’t my mind want to be where He is? When I accepted Christ, my old self died. I am now alive in Christ, and my life is hidden in Him. If my life is not my own and I’m chasing after eternity, shouldn’t that be where my mind is set?
Yes, this makes sense when I’m sitting in the quiet of my room with my Bible open, but the reality is that this is not how I live. I so often give into the temptation to set my mind on other things, things that in eternity, don’t matter. I set my mind on the “what ifs” of life as my imagination runs wild. I set my mind on if Hunter will be prepared for 4K. I set my mind on the to-do list that I’m not sure will ever be done in time for girls’ Bible study, but always seems to get done.
This day was no different. I was reading Scripture, and truly trying to study it. But my mind was set on the to-dos of work, adoption, and yes, even a trip to Disney. But as I read the command, “Set your mind on things that are above…”, I began to pray it. And friends, the Lord was so sweet to help me shift my mind to Him.
The Lord tells us to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7), and I think that we do this with big things, like cancer or financial struggles, but I think that we often struggle to do this with the every-day kind of stuff. So on this day, as the Lord was revealing to me that my mind was not set on the things that are above, He was teaching me how to shift my gaze to Him too.
The Lord taught me to take my to-do list to Him, literally every minute detail of it. Have you ever done this? It might seen unnecessary to take your need to do laundry, clean the house, and run errands to the Lord, but truly, it’s freeing. When you lay these things at His feet, it shows our dependence on Him, and oh, how we need Him every hour!
The next thing that the Lord taught me was to put an eternal prayer on each one of my to-do list items. So, for me, this is how that looked- I was worried about some t-shirts getting done for my business, so instead of fretting about the shirts, I prayed that the children that will wear those shirts would accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Instead of being anxious about our Disney-trip to-dos, He led me to pray that even in the middle of our vacation, that we would have opportunities to share Jesus and shine a light that He takes our brokenness and makes it beautiful. And instead of focusing on the adoption to-dos (most of which I can’t even do right now), I prayed for our child, that she would one day come to know this wonderful Jesus that I serve.
That discipline of taking my worries to Jesus in prayer and putting an eternal mindset on them was incredible. It was freeing. I left that time with Jesus not struggling with the worries of this life so much.
Friends, I encourage you to do this too. Set your mind on things above. After all, that’s where Jesus is and your life is hidden in Him. And, the things that are above are all that truly matter for eternity anyway. Cast your to-do list at His feet. As you do, pray big, God-sized prayers for those things.
Let’s watch God work as we take our minds off of the things of this earth and set our minds on Him!