If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:1-2 (RSV)
In our initial teaching, Life Lived Desperately Seeking, we identified those things that people wanted out of life but couldn’t seem to obtain.
In examination of this list, it was observed that the top items were “intangible, internal, and subjective”. It was obvious that the “things people wanted” in actuality were those things that are matters of the “heart” and not the “hand.” That heart is missing a piece that only God can fill. God has placed “eternity” in our heart and it cannot be satisfied with the things of this world (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God alone satisfies. Knowing this should calm restless hearts and direct those who are still desperately seeking what they want out of life.
We should also look at Jesus for our model as to what we are to seek in life. If we were to look at the list of things Jesus sought while on earth, it could be summarized in four (4) words—the will of God. Jesus often emphasized to both His inquisitive disciples and His devious opponents that the only thing that He sought in life was to accomplish the will of His Father.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34)
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38)
And what was the will of the Father?
“…that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
Eternal life is not only a place with God in the future but it is also a state of being, right now, that makes available spiritual blessings for living victoriously in this present world (2 Pet. 1:2-4; Gal. 5:22-24).
When we seek the will of God, we no longer live for ourselves or for the things of the world (1 John 2:17). A life that seeks the will of God is lived pursuing those things that are above (Col. 3:1).
“Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. (Ephesians 4:17-19)
Paul describes this “no longer living” for self as being “crucified with Christ.”
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
Peter advises those who “no longer live” to themselves to “be armed” with the same thought or motive as Christ. To arm ourselves is both strategic and intentional.
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer by human passions but by the will of God. Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. (1 Peter 4:1-3)
The motivation for “seeking” is no longer self-gratification, self-serving, self-aggrandizements, or self-satisfaction. Our motivation…our life style…our mindset should be directed at understanding and seeking the will of God.
The scriptures used today were chosen so that we as believers will fully grasp where and who our focus is to be on. Our satisfaction is to be found in the will of God. Living in a materialistic society, we may be tempted by the alluring promises of possessions, power, and privilege. But as attested by those who are “still” desperately seeking, the world often falls short of delivering on its promises.
Only God can give what we truly need. Within God’s will is the “missing piece” for our heart; therein lies God’s provision, peace and joy. Stop seeking satisfaction from worldly counterfeits. “Set your minds on things that are above.”