Colossians 3:1-3 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Many of us have found ourselves caught up in an event or activity and wondering, “Where did the time go?” Whether it has been playing with friends, a project at work, a hobby we enjoy, or just reading a book; we’ve all stopped and asked that question.
During these times of quarantine, many are stuck at home with limited things to do and people with which to do them. For some, it means home projects, reading that book we’ve put down, or puzzles, games, and binge-watching programs. Searching and staying productive can be a challenge.
As I read this today, I see a simple principle Paul gives to the church at Colosse.
“Seek those things which are above.”
“Set your affection on things above.”
Both point us upward. Both put a laser pointer on what God tells every child of God to do.
“Seek,” tells me I need to have a purpose and a plan to find those things which God would desire me to have, possess, watch, or influence my heart.
“Set” means to settle in and treasure what I find and make it where my heart dwells.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
We underestimate the power of the influences in our life. We often justify our sin, thinking it doesn’t hurt anyone but ourselves. We have a principle in my ministry that states:
“Our sinful habits do hurt those who follow us.” Based on Romans 14
Romans 14:7 “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”
Couple that with another principle:
“Small compromises lead to great disasters, or, little sins lead to big sins.”
Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
So, let’s bring this thought home.
When we are presented with a new ‘normal’ such as we are living in this present day, we have to make choices as to what we will allow influencing our hearts. David shares with us a principle he used to guide him while at home.
Psalm 101:2-3 “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
When we, as children of God, realize that God is present with us whether we are in our pajamas all day, working to paint that room, or just vegging on the couch, we must take into account that God still expects us to be as would become a child of God – even when no one is watching.
It is a truth – we will see Jesus Christ one day. When my heart is set on things above, I can look forward to that meeting with expectation and joy. If I waste the opportunities we are given, we will be like that unfaithful servant asked to give account of his stewardship.
Matthew 25:25 “And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”
I think we can all agree that the servant’s fears were unfounded and nothing more than an excuse. With all the promises God has given His children to be fruitful, we must seek and set our affections and our hearts on those things which are above. What things?
Do I spend more time in front of a screen or on my face before God? Is there more time spent on social media or reading God’s Word? What of prayer, meditation, memorization, and service?
How are we using what God has gifted us and given us the talents used for His glory? Is there someone in need? Alone? Scared? In need of some encouragement? It takes but a moment to decide, minutes to call, and we often find that God can use it to strengthen friendships, form new ones, and lift one that may have fallen otherwise.
This situation is trying to our wellbeing, our relationships, and our finances. Businesses are hurting. Some won’t survive, while others will feel the effects for some time. If we are those who seek and set our affections on things above, are we giving to our church faithfully as we receive increase?
The church’s needs have not been put on hold. There are still bills to pay. We, as members, are all responsible for doing our part. In so doing, God promises He will meet all our needs.
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
When our hearts are trusting God for His part, and we do ours, we can rest in the faith that God has not let us go hungry, have a place to rest our head, or clothes to wear. Often, our expectations of what we need versus what is our actual needs, miss the mark.
We are upset because our internet connection is slow, or our lives are restricted temporarily. When our hearts are seeking and setting itself on things above, we can live above the fray.
An eagle will fly high above the clouds during a storm to avoid the rain, wind, and lightning. Above the clouds is where the sun is always shining. While we cannot fly like the eagle, we can live above the chaos of this world.
By setting our affections on those things above, we are allowing God to minister grace, hope, and healing to our hearts.
When we settle our hearts to trust God for the future wholly, we can praise Him while others murmur and complain.
God can take you from fear to faith.
Our doubt will turn into determination.
When you find the peace that passes all understanding, it may not make sense to us.
But I can tell you, and there is nothing like it this side of Heaven!