By Ryan Shaw
Colossians 3:1-4 provide a means for remaining free of the lies of dangerous and subtle deceptions around us. The previous section in Colossians 2 has been a warning to be aware of a variety of false messages.
Failure to “set our minds on things above” (vs. 2) results in our hearts being dulled and our spiritual sensitivity diminished. The words are a blueprint for overcoming every lying spirit in the body of Christ and walking faithfully as a true disciple.
As those raised with Christ in His resurrection and availing ourselves of the glorious benefits implied in this, we no longer seek things of the earth, but that of our citizenship in heaven.
We are not members of this world but our home is in heaven with God. The concerns of heaven occupy our thoughts and activities.
Worldliness, such a horrendous detriment to the people of God, is eradicated as we fix our minds on the plans, ways, systems, purposes and thoughts of heaven.
True believers have their aims, ambitions, desires and whole outlooks on life and the reason for living it, growing in being centered on Christ and His purposes alone.
There is a plague today in the body of Christ of untold multitudes conforming to the ways of the world. There is a love affair between millions of believers and their deep inner desires for the “world”. We claim salvation in Jesus and yet are casual with sin and the world.
Worldliness has a profound effect upon every human being. It is dangerous, causing great harm to our person, externally and internally. Internally, we find little rest and spiritual peace. Internal chaos rules the day as fear, stress, heightened concern and anxiety fill the worldly life.
The heart easily becomes filled with envy, competitiveness, jealousy and eventually outright malice & hatred. As a result, the human spirit becomes defiled and lacks sensitivity and tenderness to the swaying of the Holy Spirit.
Externally, much unnecessary time, money, thoughts and energy is consumed in the pursuit of things of the world. They obstruct our experiencing intimate fellowship with Jesus.
They cool our love for the people of God and for the things of God. Worldly pursuits produce a leanness of soul and hearts void of inner strength & spiritual fire to live victoriously.
There is a barrenness and deadness that accompanies worldliness that is extremely dangerous, yet mysteriously tolerated. This is one of Satan’s greatest schemes against the body of Christ.
It is imperative for the people of God to rise up and wage war against the three core characteristics of worldliness (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life). We confess each quickly as the Spirit puts His finger on them, receiving Jesus’ power to overcome.
Followers of Jesus seek to regularly assess how we are doing in the area of conforming to the world. The Bible regularly challenges us toward this end through the words, “Take heed to yourselves….”
This means we invite the Spirit to speak to us and prayerfully reflect on our lives in God, our obedience to His written word, our faithfulness to walk according to His prescribed ways and much more.
Unfortunately, this necessary reflection is generally uncommon among believers and as a result we are easily blown off course, becoming entangled in bondage to some area of sin (Hebrews 12:1).
God knows that if we will be effective throughout life in avoiding the pitfalls we need to be aware of what these are and carefully guard our hearts. We then purposefully “set our minds on things above” spending time finding out what moves God’s heart.