“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). Christians who live according to the standards of this world are willingly violating God’s standards of living a Godly life—and it hinders their witness for Jesus Christ. When people see our actions and hear our words, can they say, “There’s a person who has entered into the secret places of the holiness of God!” If our mind hasn’t learned to live in heavenly places, our witness for Jesus Christ will have minimal effect on this world. Christians who are preoccupied with the world’s systems, money (greed), fame, popularity, and the fashions of this world will not be good witnesses for Jesus Christ. Christians whose minds are on worldly things are being controlled by their fleshly desires, not the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). God will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is totally occupied with God (Isaiah 26:3).
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). We have to work in this world to make a living for ourselves and our families, which occupies our time. And it’s easy for even active church-going Christians to get caught up in habitually chasing this world’s material things and pleasures. But Christians whose minds and attitudes are habitually preoccupied with worldly things and pleasures are demonstrating where their real priorities are. What people love the most rules their life; what they talk about and how they act shows where their allegiance is. Christians must take an active role in pushing themselves away from worldly activities and systems. God has given Christians His Holy Spirit to provide us with the power to resist ungodly worldly thoughts and activities (John 17:15). “Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). We need to remember that the things of this world have no eternal value (1 John 2:15-17).
“Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4b). The word “wants” is from the Greek word “boulomai,” which means a strong desire that makes a deliberate choice to have a powerful affection for the pleasures and things of this world rather than a love for God. Either you are a believer in Jesus Christ and a lover of God, or you’re an enemy of God—there’s no middle ground! If your mind and actions are constantly on the things and pleasures of this world, it’s a good indication that your commitment to the Lord is superficial, and God calls you His enemy. God is personally the enemy of those people who habitually disobey God’s word to satisfy their lustful and worldly desires. Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and mammon (worldly riches)” (Matthew 6:24). You might call Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, but if you live an ungodly lifestyle, He says He doesn’t know you (Matthew 7:21-23). Words and actions matter to God!
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Before a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are spiritually dead—we are born that way. Sinning doesn’t make us sinners; we sin because we’re natural-born sinners. After a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they become spiritually alive in Jesus Christ. “I am crucified with Christ, yet I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). From an eternal perspective, God has placed every Christian in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). We still live in our earthly body on this earth, but heavenly thoughts should occupy our minds, and our actions promote heavenly activities. Christians have to constantly guard their mind against fleshly lusts and earthly things. Peter said, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but the world” (1 John 2:16). The word “pride” is from the Greek word “huperephanos,” which means “showing oneself above others, pre-eminent, overtopping, conspicuous above others,” and it’s always used in an evil sense in the New Testament—arrogant, disdainful, and haughty. The Bible says our life is like a shadow, a puff of smoke, a vapor, flowers, and grass that withers away, a breath, short and full of trouble, our days flee away, and there’s hardly a step between our physical birth and death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
“When Christ who is our life appears, you will also appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Christians who seek after heavenly things groan in their earthly bodies, waiting to be clothed with the eternal body that’s waiting for us in heaven (Romans 8:23, 2 Corinthians 5:1-8). Someday this sinful world will see that the Jesus Christ we worship and the heaven we talk about is real because we will return to this earth with Jesus Christ. When Jesus returns to this earth, the armies of heaven will be following Him, dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Christians will be clothed with their perfect, eternal, and heavenly body when they return to this earth with Jesus Christ. And we will rule with Him on this earth (Revelation 19:14-15, 20:4-6). You can be among those who return with Jesus Christ; all you have to do is trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.