“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)
What things are you seeking in your life today?
I continually have to examine my own life and much of the time, I find that I am seeking earthly things, not those things which are above.
The key to today's passage is: "Where Christ is."
That's really clear. It doesn't need to be reinterpreted to find some hidden meaning. God clarifies His meaning just in case we don't see it: "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."
Consider all the things on the earth that we humans strive so hard to pursue. Status. Beauty. Pleasure. Material things. Lands. Houses. Cars. Entertainment. Riches. Power. Position. Immoral and harmful things.
Solomon, perhaps the wisest and richest man who ever lived, said this of his earthly pursuits:
“Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11)
King Solomon is said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He had wealth and riches we cannot comprehend. And near the end of his life he said it was all vanity and grasping at the wind. He lamented that all his earthly pursuit of pleasure, power and wealth was worthless and futile.
God has written all these truths and lessons in His Word for our learning. For our protection. For our good.
So why do we so often disregard them?
While spending some quiet time alone with God this morning, He led me to the Book of Ecclesiastes. I read all of it. Couldn't put the book down. It has been a long time since I read this book. God knew exactly what I needed to hear. And what I was to focus on in writing this blog entry.
When looking for deeper meaning and life application to Colossians 3:1-2, please read the wonderful book of Ecclesiastes.
King Solomon, "The Preacher", carefully lays out the life experiences of a man who truly had it all, and who found that all his earthly pursuits are vanity and grasping at the wind. Vain, futile, and worthless pursuits. And he writes out the wisdom that God taught him.
Chapter after chapter, and passage after passage stood out to me. The book of Ecclesiastes really sums up this entire earthly life.
The following verses declare the sovereignty, providence, and, at times, the mystery of God:
Another verse that stood out to me on the mysterious sovereignty of God is this:
“As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
In Isaiah chapter 55 God declares:
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
We humans consider ourselves to be very intelligent. We think we have it all figured out. But God says otherwise.
God does everything according to His own will and wisdom, not according to what we think or want. And for that, I will be eternally grateful. And He has foreordained our steps and the direction of our life, that we should walk that path. Here are three verses that speak to this truth:
“A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24)
“The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23)
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
That last one really speaks to me today. I've always tried to plan my own direction for my life, but God already has it mapped out. It has been foreordained by Him. Sometimes I have tried so hard to change the situation I am in, such as my job. But the Lord would not let me leave. He has a purpose for putting me there and I need to submit to His leading.
As to Proverbs 20:24... "How can a man understand his own way?" Stop trying so hard to figure out out why you are where you are, and start trusting God that He has you there for a reason. We spend so much energy and emotion on trying to change our position or situation when God has a purpose for us being there. Just because I may be suffering much in a present situation does not necessarily mean that God wants me to get out of it. Perhaps He wants to do great things by using me in that difficult situation? However, I'm certainly not saying that a person who is being physically abused should remain in that abusive environment.
But down through the ages, God's people have endured times of great suffering and persecution for His kingdom. Prayerfully ask God for His wisdom on whatever situation you may currently be suffering through. He will help you.
When seeking the things which are above, start by going to God in prayer. And in reading His Word. Ask Him for wisdom. He has promised to give it to us liberally.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
I wasn't sure what I was supposed to write today. The book of Ecclesiastes was not even on my radar at all. So I asked God for His wisdom on what to write, and what to say. And the book of Ecclesiastes was what He led me to. I'm still amazed. I have been so blessed by reading this book today. He's given me answers to some things I am going through personally. God is good!
Perhaps this blog is speaking personally to some of you today? If so, praise God for it! He gets all the glory.
When I look to God in His Word and set my mind on Him, the things of earth loose their appeal. No one or nothing else can begin to satisfy my deepest needs.
So what are you seeking today?
Set your mind on things above—where Christ is.
—God is Love and Love Never Fails.