What Are You Thinking About?
Rom 12:2, Phil 4:8, & Col 3:2
Matthew Henry and King James Version Utilized
Simonton Genesis Ministries © 2012
The Apostle Paul has described our privileges through Christ in the former part of the epistle to the Colossians. He now informs of us of our discharge from the yoke of the ceremonial law and tells us of our duty since being freed from the confines of the law. Though we are made free from the obligation of the ceremonial law, it does not mean that we may live any old kind of way. We must walk more closely with God in all the instances of obedience.
Paul begins with exhorting the Colossians to set their hearts (thoughts) on heaven, and take them off of the things of this world. If you profess you are saved through Jesus Christ, then you benefit by the resurrection of Christ, and by our union and communion with him, we are justified and sanctified. Paul infers that we must seek those things which are above. We must mind the concerns of another world more than the concerns of this world in which we live. We must make heaven our scope and aim, seek the favor of God above, keep up our communion with the upper world by faith, hope, and holy love; and make it our constant care and business to secure our title to and qualifications for the heavenly bliss.
The reason is because Christ sits at the right hand of God. He who is our best friend and our head is advanced to the highest dignity and honor in heaven, and has gone before to secure for us a heavenly home. Therefore we should seek and secure what Christ has purchased at such a vast expense, and has taken so much care in illuminating our paths so that we may get back home. We must live such a life as Christ lived here on earth and lives now in heaven, according to our capacities.
Paul explains this duty (v. 2): Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. To seek heavenly things is to set our affections upon them, to love them and let our desires be towards them. Upon the wings of affection the heart soars upwards, and is carried forth towards spiritual and divine objects. We must acquaint ourselves with things above, esteem them above all other things, and constantly grow and mature spiritually so that we may enjoy them after it is all over down here and our work is done. What are you thinking about?
For us today in 21st century church, we have so much going on that our thinking has gotten out of order. In the final text, we find that we should be in an emphatic position of contrasting the things of above from the things below. What Paul is saying here is I want your mind to think higher. I want you to put your mind and thoughts in a higher position. I don’t want your mind to think devilish thoughts, but I want you to wrap your mind around the substratum of creation and positive thoughts whose name is God among so many more. I want your mind wrapped in creativity. I want your mind wrapped around the intercessor who sits at the right hand of God and his name is Jesus Christ. I want your mind wrapped around and entangled with the spirit of God, whose name is the HOLY GHOST. I want your mind in heavenly places. God wants to adorn your mind with the kind of thinking that moves you from the negative into the positive. I don’t want your mind dwelling down in the basement, but I want your mind dwelling in the penthouse. I want to move you to another level. I can’t take you to another level if your mind won’t come with you. I need you to move your mind so that I can move you. So God is asking us today, what are you thinking about?
It is critical here because, where ever your mind is, that is where you will set your affections. He tells us to set our minds on heavenly things. Set your mind on things above. He is not telling us to place it there for a little while and come back and think on something else or something negative. He is telling us to set it in a place where the devil cannot reach it. Set your mind in a place where it will always be protected from lowdown, conniving, evil, backstabbing, backbiting, and deceitful people who are masquerading as good Christian folks; who are actually trying to find a way to destroy your character, impede your progress in the ministry or in your spiritual walk. Then there are the ones who make underhanded alliances with folks who secretly plot against the ministry. Most importantly we need ultimate protection from ourselves when we feel despondent, defeated, and depleted. What are you thinking about?
You have to place your mind in a place to where it is not exposed to a lot of mess, stress, foolishness, and junk. You came from that arena when you got saved. Satan wants to keep exposing your mind to a lot of junk, so he can depress your spirit and he can depress your disposition towards life. However, when God has your mind, you can live a much more pleasant life. John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” That more abundant life begins with your mind. That is why we read Rom 12:2, “2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” You have to set your mind on positive things. Stop thinking about all of the things in your past and start thinking about your present and your future. What are you thinking about?
You must not only seek heaven you must think heaven. You must not only seek purpose you must think I am here for a purpose. You must not only seek blessings you must think on being blessed. You must not only seek overcoming you must think and know you are an over-comer. For as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. You cannot become it if you do not think it. You will never think it if you do not put your mind in the right place.
This is why he addressed the issue of mindset of Colossians which had become a distraction to them. Gnostic Asceticism was running rampart through Colossae. He’s acquainting to the anti-thesis to the control controversy of the Gnostic asceticism which was teaching angel worship, they taught salvation only comes through secret knowledge, they taught in self-discipline to salvation and to God. They did not believe that Jesus was who he said he was and what others said he was during his lifetime. They did not believe a good God could come in evil flesh. They tried to reduce Jesus’ works and character and that was a distraction. They wanted to reduce Jesus and not see him as Lord, but see him as less. Then you will praise him less if they reduce him. If they get your mind to reduce him you will pray less. They were trying to write Jesus off as a mere mortal man. They knew everything so someone had to come and show them that God is far more than their limited minds. Gnosis in the Greek means knowledge, so they were teaching that your knowledge IS your salvation and Paul was there combating that mindset.
This was important because any time you think wrong, you cannot live right. You cannot live right and constantly think wrong. You have to think right to live right. What Satan wants to do is convolute how you think and force you into negative patterns mentally, which leads you into acting, living, and doing negative things. What God wants is to move you to a place where your mind is protected by his word. Because Ps 119:11 states, “11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” So when Satan attacks your mind, you will be able counter him by the Word of God. If you have God’s word in your mind, practicing saying it in your mind, and hiding it deep within the confines of your mind there will be no room for Satan to get in. Therefore every time he moves toward you, there is no room for his lies to take a place and sit down. You have to have a hidden word in your heart and mind each time he attacks so he will back off and regroup and come another day. So the question is what are you thinking about?
Things on earth are not in themselves sinful, but become so if sought and thought on in preference on things above. He is not saying you cannot enjoy stuff around you. He is not saying you cannot enjoy new cars, a home, or other tangible items to make living a little more comfortable. He is saying that if you place all of the material things above Jesus, then you will have a problem. Why? It is because a car cannot give me Jesus, a house cannot give me Jesus, a fat bank account cannot give me Jesus, a job cannot give me Jesus; but Jesus can give me a house, a car, a decent job, and a nice savings if I think on things above.
Satan wants your mind in confusion. He likes to see your ministry and your homes in total confusion. Satan works in a convoluted and confused situation. As long as your mind is clouded with sorrow and pain, Satan can work. As long as your mind is opaque with anger, Satan can work. As long as your mind is tinted with the dark tint of hatred, Satan can work. As long as your mind is closed off with unforgiveness of yourself for deeds past, Satan can work. You think someone can go off and leave you, it can happen if you keep thinking that way because God will move that thought by allowing it to come to fruition like he allowed Job to be tested. Then once it comes to fruition, God has sense enough to know that you will then turn to him and ask, what was I thinking Lord? Now they are gone what will you God have me to do? God will answer and sometimes what needs to be done will not be the most pleasant feeling. What are you thinking about that allows the enemy to work on your mind?
You can stop the madness in your spiritual and personal life, in your ministry and your home, in the area or the church you operate in and your job, if you set your affections on things above. Look up and start practicing the thinking that Paul told the Philippians in our text, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Start practicing it and watch how your life will change because your thinking has changed. What are you really thinking on and about?
People all over this nation are struggling from day to day with the fear of the unknown. They are one paycheck from homelessness. One write up from being terminated. One minute from going off on someone who has worked their last nerve. One more encounter with a person who thinks they can say anything to anyone and they are going to let them have it. It all comes from thinking about the wrong things and set your affections on the wrong people and places. Think about God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. The Father decrees, the Son executes that decree, and the Holy Ghost delivers to your mind the things that God will have you to know.
When you think on heavenly things, virtue, integrity, praise, worship, honor, and the likes come easy to you. Think about how it would be if Christ would not have come. If Christ had not come Gnostic Asceticism would rule the day. If Christ had not come, how would the love of God be revealed. How could the grace of God be manifested? How could the mercy of God be expressed? How could the blessings of God be distributed? How could the peace of God ever be obtained? How could the gifts of the spirit and gifts of Salvation be made available? Most of all, how would the wrath of God be held back if Christ had not come? What are you thinking about?
Have you thought about all of the souls that would have been forever lost if Christ had not come? How about all the joys that would have been absent? All the hopes that would have been dashed and all of the needs that would have gone unsatisfied had he not come. Have you ever thought about all the hearts that would have been hurting and all of the lives that would’ve been miserable and all of the blessings that would have been missed?
However, as we close what are you thinking about? I want you to think on the facts that Christ has come and will make one final return one day for all of us who have set our affections on things above and not on things of the earth. I want you to think about where the Lord has brought you from. I want you to think about how the Lord has brought you through situations and circumstances. I want you to start thinking about how the Lord delivered you out the hands of the enemy, out of mental sickness, physical sickness, and foolishness that you used to be involved in. You were able to come to this point because Christ came so you can live. Think about this, Christ has come, so you don’t have to feel hopeless and helpless; wonder if God loves you; suffer your past guilt; be lost in your sins; fight your spiritual battles alone because the Lord has come.
Think about it, Christ came to fulfill the promises of God; to take YOUR place on Calvary; to pay Your debt of sin, because you couldn’t afford it; to remove your past guilt; to provide you with everlasting life; and to satisfy your spiritual needs. Jesus came to inspire out hearts; to heal our bodies; to dispel our fears; to quench your spiritual thirst; to lift our burdens; and to save our souls. He came to provide salvation, full and free, to whosoever would come and receive him as Lord and Savior. What are you thinking about?
Think about this, the Lord is coming one last time. When that time comes, he is coming to rapture the saints to glory; to fulfill his promise to the church; to separate the sheep from the hardheaded goats; with the shout of an archangel and the blast of the trumpet; on the clouds of eternal glory. He is coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords… What are you thinking about?
Are you thinking about the time you did something and wanted no one to know but God? Are you thinking about the secrets you are holding inside right now and no one knows but you and God? Are you thinking about how to get next to someone you like or hate? Are you thinking about the goodness of the Lord and all that he has done for you? If you are thinking on his goodness, are you thinking about how he called you by name? Are you thinking about how he pulled you out of the cesspool of shame and debauchery and set you on the shore of integrity and respect? Set your affections on things above! What are you thinking about?
All the best and God bless……