Colossians 3:1-3 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. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
I was awake early this morning and as I walked through the living room the lights in the valley below caught my attention and I paused to sit for awhile on the couch to reflect on the beauty of God's creation. The stars were shining brightly in the sky and the view of the world below my home caused me to reflect on how God has placed us, as believers in Christ Jesus, far above worldly thoughts and aspirations. We live in the world but we are not of this world. We have been born from above and our thoughts and actions are to reflect the One for whom we serve.
When Christ Jesus came to live within me through His Spirit my whole life changed. Colossians 1:13 says that I changed residences from darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Colossians 1:13 NLT For He has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.
When I married my husband I moved from Kansas to Tennessee. My whole life changed. My home was different, my church was different, my associations with people were new; my daily activities changed. Through my name change I became a different person. So it is when a person becomes a born again believer in Christ Jesus. We call that becoming a “Christian”; which means a Christ follower. That's what Colossians 3:1-3 is talking about. The Apostle Paul said this about becoming a Christian:
2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!
When a person receives Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior they become a new person! The old way of life is changed and a new way of life begins. It is by thinking and acting on what God has said in His Word that the transformation takes place. Day by day old thoughts are forgotten and new ones take their place. As a person takes their rightful place in Christ Jesus far above all that is taking place in this world they are changed from faith to faith and glory to glory.
Romans 12:1-2 NKJV I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The New Living Translation of Romans 12:2 says: “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Let heaven fill your thoughts as Colossians 3:2 says in the New Living Translation. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Be heavenly minded! God has given you a new home!
Philippians 4:8 NLT And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
These are the thoughts of heaven. This is what we are to fix our minds on. Not the “what ifs” that come when a thought of fear enters our minds. It is at that time that we must arrest the negative thought and replace it with one that is true and honorable and right; that which is pure and lovely and admirable. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says that we are “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” when we change from a negative thought to a positive one.
Romans 8:5, 6 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Are you caught up in thinking about what is taking place in the world around you? Do you dread the future because of what you see happening in the world? If so, then you need to change what you are setting your mind on. For the mind that is set on the things of the flesh, of the world around you is death, but the mind that is set on the things of the Spirit, or of heavenly things is life and peace. Do you long for peace in your life? Then change what you are thinking about. Begin to look into the promises of God and see who you are in Christ Jesus and all that He has promised you as a child of God.
I remember as a new Christian how my mind was being changed from the fearful thoughts of the “what ifs” to the promises of God. I used to have to stop myself in the middle of a thought and say “now, wait a minute, what does the word of God have to say about my situation?”. Then I would replace the fearful thought with a scripture that promised God's goodness in my life. I had to arrest that thought and replace it with the truth of God's word.
2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
God has delivered us from the “power” of darkness! His promises are Yes and Amen, so be it, to the glory of God through us. The devil and this fallen world of pain and heartache no longer has a hold on a believer in Christ Jesus because the truth of God's word supersedes the negative thoughts of this world. Colossians 1:13 says that “He has delivered us from the power of darkness....”. That word for “power” in that verse means “authority or right to act, ability, and privilege”. That means the devil has no more authority, the right to act, ability or privilege to control the life of a Christian. The only ground that he gets is the ground that we surrender to him. When we change our thoughts from negative to God's positive promises we shut the door on the enemy's right to act in our lives. He no longer has the authority to wreak havoc in our lives. But as long as our thinking lines up with his negative thoughts and actions we open the door and welcome him into our lives.
Will you line your thoughts up with the positive promises of God today? Or will you continue to think on the fearful, negative thoughts that the enemy brings into your mind. The choice is yours. As Joshua said in Joshua 24:15: “....choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve....But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Today I choose to serve the Lord in my thoughts, words and actions!
Father, I thank You for delivering me from the power of darkness and conveying me into the kingdom of Your Son. I thank You that the devil and all his worldly cohorts no longer have any control over me. I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and my home is not this world, I am just passing through. Thank You for changing my whole life when I was born again. I choose now to follow You, to live for You, to think like You and to act like You. You are my God; there is none above You nor beside You and my thoughts will be those of Your promises, not the negative fearful thoughts of the “what ifs” that the devil tries to shoot into my mind. His arrows of negativity are stopped through the helmet of salvation that You gave me when I was born again. I do not receive thoughts of defeat, discouragement, fear, anxiety or negativity. My thought are of peace, hope, and victory through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. I thank You for the victory!
Father, I pray today for those who may be struggling with fearful thoughts. I pray that they will saturate their minds with Your thoughts of peace and not evil, of victory and not defeat, of hope and not discouragement, for You came to give them life and that more abundantly. Father, help them to focus on Your ability within them to win over the attacks of the enemy in their lives. Help them to see You as the bigger and greater One that lives within them, bigger than anything the enemy would throw at them. Father, help them to replace the negative thoughts with the positive promises in Your word. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.