Day 51: Denying Earthly Things
SETTING OUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. -Colossians 3:2
Colossians 3:2 is exactly the kind of verse that I, like many, used to simply gloss right on over. I’d say to myself, ‘Yeah, set my mind on things above… that’s a great verse.” I would even tell it to someone else who needed to hear it... But in my own life I’d fail to apply this verse. For the most part, my day consisted of "me time" all the time. A fear of boredom or failure will drive us to do some monotonous things day-in and day-out until one day we wake up and wonder where the years of our life went.
One common criticism of the church goes something like this: “They’re so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good.” I respectfully disagree with that statement. I don’t think many Christians (including myself some days) are heavenly minded OR earthly good. Quite frankly we’re like everyone else; consumers, constantly demanding less pain and more pleasure on our terms. My list of things I spent my (free?) time and thought on included: Facebook, video games, tv shows, browsing the web for various things, online shopping, or home projects. These things can be good, enjoyable ways to spend our time. It’s only when we abuse our free time that it becomes an issue. Resting is a good, God-given part of life. After all, He dedicated one entire day in the week to rest.
WHAT DOES RESTING HAVE TO DO WITH BEING HEAVENLY MINDED?
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. -Exodus 20:8-10
We need to be aware of what we are doing when we have the opportunity to rest. Are you doing things that cause you to feel guilty? What would it be like for you to rest well? Part of the way the enemy attempts to perpetuate our struggles is by making us self-centered. If we are not cautious, our lives become a pattern of abusing "me time," and the first thing that goes out the window is honoring God, ourselves, and others. We’ve been asking questions at the end of every lesson about making God a priority. Relationship and devotion to God are essential to becoming good stewards of our time. If we do not cultivate a relationship with God (through prayer, scripture, worship, etc.), we will not become heavenly minded. Rather, we will be consumed by the worries of this Earthly life.
Being earthly minded:
- Focuses on the self
- Demands ‘me time’ (entertainment, relaxing all the time, partying)
- Gets angry when this time is disturbed
Being heavenly minded:
- A humble approach
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. -1 Corinthians 3:18
- Puts God and His kingdom first
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:33
- Led by the Holy Spirit
In all things, ask yourself: “Am I glorifying God in this?” “Am I becoming more heavenly minded or more earthly minded?”
Day 51 Application
What are some ways in your life that you’ve been earthly minded? What are some ways that God has allowed you to be heavenly minded?
Lately, do you feel you are becoming more earthly minded or heavenly minded?
What does "putting God first" mean for our relationship with him? How can you begin to do that? What is the deepest kind of intimacy you can imagine having with God?
Are you, in this moment, sexually pure? Have you been honest and vulnerable with your accountability partner?