A Mind Filled With Heaven
“Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).
As Christians, what do we think about and how do we behave daily? Are we intentionally living our renewed lives in Christ with purpose and zeal, or have we simply blended in with the world and adopted secular ideologies? Have we possibly fallen into a routine where we’ve become stagnant in our faith? More so, have we failed to keep our old lifestyles nailed to the cross?
For our brothers and sisters in Colossae during the first century, the apostle Paul had to redirect their minds and remind them of the supremacy of Christ in their lives and of their new way of living because they argued about human philosophies and were living fleshly-driven lives (Colossians 2:8-23). Today’s culture is no different; in order to remain strong and faithful in our walk with Christ, we are called to have a mind filled with heaven in every area and circumstance of our lives. We enflesh the life of Christ by walking after the Spirit and displaying His fruit in all that we do (Galatians 5:16,22,23,25). Shadows of heaven permeate the world through the church of Christ. As His church, we are to be living a Spirit-filled life with eternity on our minds. What does that look like in everyday moments?
Below is a brief list of heavenly, Christ-centered perspectives and attitudes to adopt in various journeys of our lives:
On marriage, raising children, and homemaking
In a culture that’s becoming more and more opposed to the divine institution of marriage (or changing the holy standard of God’s design found in Genesis 1:26, 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6) and that looks upon child-raising and being keepers of the home with disdain or as a burden, here is a gentle reminder that marriage between one male and one female serves as a reflection of Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:29b-32). Both the husband and wife are called to submit to each other (5:21), but how that looks differs.
Husbands, you are called to reflect Christ’s sacrificial love towards your wives. Are you bitter against her or loving and honoring (Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7)? How are you nourishing and cherishing her spiritually and emotionally the way the Lord is doing so for His church? The man of God’s greatest charge as a husband is not to just provide, but also to spiritually strengthen his household (Ephesians 5:25-29; 6:4).
Wives, we are called to selfless, voluntary submission to our husbands and treat them with godly respect (Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:1). Contrary to the scoffs received from modern-day ideologies, we have the honor of wearing the heart of our Servant Lord. We have the privilege of planting seeds of love, beauty, holiness, and truth in the hearts of our children. I see you in your overwhelming moments of frustration, doubts, and/or fears of trying to nurture little ones or serve your husband, I am currently in the same boat as you. Here is a reminder to help us keep our minds filled with heaven: we get to foster and guide our children to grow into their potential of greatness already within them because they are image-bearers of our Great God. We have the opportunity of cultivating beauty in our homes and creating a safe haven from the troubles of this world for our family. As Christ is preparing a place for us (John 14:2,3), so we as wives have the privilege of preparing a home for our family. As we’ll soon be at the table of fellowship with all who are in Christ (Matthew 8:11), we get to prepare a table of feasting for our family. Reflections of heaven enter our homes and in our marriage through us.
On our interactions with our fellow neighbors
The saying, “I’m in this world, but I’m not of it” for the Christian is true (John 17:15,16; Romans 12:2a). We must take careful thought to how we behave in the world; here are some things to keep in mind:
Our speech must be seasoned with grace (Colossians 4:6). That means whether we’re at school, work, or among family members or friends, we are to let “no unwholesome speech, vulgarity/profanity, or coarse joking” leave our mouths (Ephesians 4:29, 5:4). What we say should be beneficial to everyone we encounter.
Our hearts are to be flowing with thanksgiving as we do all things before the world without complaint or grumbling because we are lights shining in this dark world (Philippians 4:14-15).
We are to treat ALL people with love, gentleness, and consideration in order to bring them to Christ (Titus 3:2b). Remember, every person who you speak to—regardless of their lifestyle and religion (or lack thereof)—are image-bearers of the Creator in need of restoration by Christ, so what you say and how you treat them matters.
The Pourover wrote, “The promise of heaven does not remove the pains of this world, but it does give us hope, strength, and peace during life’s most difficult seasons.” Suffering does not vanish when we become Christians; we live in a fallen world where death, injustices, poverty, and many other pains occur. The difference is that, in Christ, we are not alone and we have the sure hope of a new, better, and eternal life to come where there are no sorrow, tears, death, and injustices, but righteousness will reign forever (Revelation 21:3,4 2 Peter 3:13). In moments of suffering, we can have a mind filled with heaven by sharing in each others’ suffering, comforting one another, bearing each other's burdens, looking for ways to meet someone’s need and serving them, and casting our cares to the One who cares deeply for us (2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Galatians 6:2; 1 Peter 5:7).
This is not an exhaustive list, but I pray this will serve as ideas and push us to further study God’s word and look for practical, day-to-day ways of “striving after things above, where Christ is.”
The Pourover. “Flooding.” https://www.thepourover.org/news/flooding
(Date Accessed July 19, 2021).