YOU ARE RISEN WITH CHRIST.........Love Him, Seek those things that are Above!



RISEN WITH CHRIST!
...So, seek those things that are above!


Introduction



A child of God, who is full of the Spirit is a powerful person.  He does not fear any evil, neither does he fear man. He fears and honors the Lord, and he is confident in the protection and provision that comes from God.  He faces the realities of life, like any other person, but with a different mindset, that of a winner in Christ.

The bible made it clear that believers are winners in Christ Jesus, but the world and its motion and lure is a major stumbling block for Christian.  The things of the world will eat-up your time if you are not careful to prioritize your activities. A person that surrenders his heart to Christ, should be willing to forsake the world as well.

If you want your salvation and spiritual experience to be splendid, you must be delivered of worldliness.  The music, fashion, the quest for money, power, and fame are the causes of betrayals, murder, unfaithfulness, etc.  The question is how exactly can you be free from worldliness, and be committed to the things of God?  

How do you set your minds on things above, not on earthly things? For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. – Colossians 3:2-3.  It is my prayer that you will find this message helpful in steering you to focus on the risen Christ and shun every distraction along the line.

THINGS IN THE WORLD

The world system consists of fleshly desires, desire for the things we see, and the boastful pride of life. When the Bible talks about the “lust of the flesh, it is talking about inordinate desires.  The word Lust includes, but not limited to sexual lust. Lust is any sinful desire that is contrary to the will of God.

What about your flesh, what does your “flesh” mean.  It is human nature corrupted by sin. The flesh is that fallen nature of man that loves pleasure, proud and wants everything the eyes see that is good. The “Lust of the flesh” therefore describes what it means to live a life dominated by the senses. The flesh loves pleasure and wants it at all cost, and is full of lust of the flesh means the person is lead by desires of the eyes and not by the spirit of God or the Word.  The “lust of the flesh” is all desires centered in your nature without regard to the will of God. 

It is that which constantly fights against the things of God in your life. The lust of the flesh is contrary to the desire to do the will of God. In Galatians 5:19-24, we see probably the most familiar of all passages on the flesh versus the Spirit motif. Paul lists several examples of the deeds of the flesh followed by the familiar fruit of the Spirit. The contrast is stark!

Those who are “loving the world” and giving in to the “lust of the flesh” can expect to see these kinds of attitudes and actions characterizing their lives. On the other hand, those who are not loving the world system but rather are controlled by the Holy Spirit can expect to see the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.  As difficult as it is, Paul instructs us in Romans 13:11-14 to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.” 

There is also the “lust of the eyes,” which is a greedy desire for the things we see. In Scripture, the eyes are one of the 'doorway' to the heart.  It is the eyes that brings the information to the mind and describing it as beautiful.  Whenever the eyes deliver a picture or an image to the heart as beautiful and desirous, meditation begins on the image or picture.  Where the Word of God is not dominating the person, sin could result.  

We see that in the case of David who saw Bathsheba, and lust started in his heart for her, which led to the sin of adultery.  The “lust of the eyes” describes someone who is captivated by an outward show of materialism. See a new car, you must have it. See a dress, must have it. See a position, must have it. All these are not bad in themselves, but the greedy desire to have what we see is sinful. An inordinate desire to have anything contrary to God’s will is sinful.

The third phrase, “the pride of life,” describes the arrogant spirit of self-sufficiency. It expresses the desire for recognition, applause, status, and advantage in life. Everything we desire to have, to enjoy, or to pride ourselves upon, is the “pride of life.” 

WHAT ARE THE THINGS ABOVE?

Colossians tells us that the "things above" are all the wondrous attributes that make us live like our Master Jesus Christ. 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. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

The things above include:
1. The Supernatural Power of God.
2. There is abundance in heaven, there is no lack
3. Holiness, purity and all goodness, as the Lord's eyes cannot behold iniquity
4. Faith to call forth what does not exist as though they be.
5. Wisdom of God to establish and excel in anything
6. Love for God and man is there too

We are to "seek those things which are above", having risen with Him.  Apostle Paul says they are the things that are "where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God."  In fact, they are things that are in Christ. They are the things that are integral to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  All the wondrous attributes of the Lord are seated at the right hand of God in the person of Christ.

His holiness is seated there. The One we are to seek is the Holy God, the One who says, "Be holy, for I am holy." We are to seek that holiness. We are to seek to be more and more conformed to the image of Christ.  We are to seek His immutability.  His unchanging and unchangeable nature. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). He is not moved or affected by the events of this world. While He was in the world, He never mingled with the politics and business of this world.  His focus was prayer, fasting, studying of the Word and immediately after His Baptism, He was led into the Wilderness to defeat the devil before He started His ministry.  This is why Pastors and Ministers of God, who were not careful to defeat the devil assigned to stop them before starting ministry always end up as failures.  You must defeat the devil or his agent assigned against you before you start the ministry.

The Bible says Jesus is the Wisdom of God.  There is infinite wisdom in the heavenly, in the person of Christ. The One we are to seek not only possesses all power, He not only possesses all knowledge, but He also possesses all wisdom to employ that power and that knowledge for His glory and thus for our eternal good.  We will find Love if we seek Christ, who is above.  We find the love that compelled our Lord to come into this world, to take on the form of a servant, and to die the death of the cross in our place.

HOW TO FOCUS ON THINGS ABOVE

In the book of Colossians, Paul reminds us that we have everything we need when we have Christ. He is all-sufficient, He is the head over all, He is supreme, He is greater than any other power or authority. Because of this, as Christ-followers, we have His Spirit within us to equip and empower us to walk in freedom and light.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3

So, when the bible says to set your mind on things above?. it means “to seek after, strive for, be intent on.” It tells us this must be a way we choose to live, it’s not something that just occurs one time and we can forget about it. It’s a way of living that allows us to be set free from the things of this world that would seek to hold us back and keep us down.

To “set your minds on things above” is to:

Look at life from God’s perspective, and to seek after what He desires.  This is the best cure for materialism and temptation in this life because we can’t truly live this out without also learning to let go of our worldly desires. It recognizes the need for us to place our full affection, thinking, focus, and attention on heavenly things above, rather than the lust, greed, and sin that encompasses this world.

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ” reminds us that our desires for the things of the world should be dead.  We should vacuum ourselves of worldly desires. Our lives are hidden, kept safe, concealed under the authority and covering of Gods’ arm This is another great reason to let go of the burdens and attitudes of this present life, for they should hold no power over us.

But sometimes, as we all know, that’s all easier said than done. So just how do we go about this plan of action, learning to “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things,” here are a few truths from God’s word that will help us.

Do not be troubled
Be not anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Pray. Confess your need for him. Confess any sin you know you’ve been holding onto that’s difficult to let go of. Ask him for the help of his Holy Spirit. He may show you things you weren’t even aware of that have caused your downward spiral into sin or despair. He may lead you to make better decisions, to let go of toxic attitudes or relationships, and will guide you into healthy new places.

God loves us more than we could ever fully know. He longs to help us and is always there. His words of life remind us that He is our strong tower. He promises to draw near to those who are seeking after Him and is faithful to see us through the struggles of this world.

Trust the Lord
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6.  Sometimes, we can know the right things to do, yet struggle to do it. We fail, we fall short, we don’t follow through. Other times, it's a battle to trust that God’s ways are better. At other times, its hard to wait for answers, or we feel like we're wasting time. 

God has a plan for our lives. The enemy has a plan for us too. We just have to decide which voice we’re going to listen to, and who we're going to choose to follow each day. And chances are, if we don't make a determined choice to follow God, we may eventually fall into a trap of the enemy.

Guard your heart, lay aside the old nature

Our inner thoughts, and words, all of these matters to our everyday living. It has the power to run our lives and dictate our choices. All the more reason to make sure our thinking is based on truth – on what God says. This is why proverbs says “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Guard, means to protect, to keep safe; your heart – innermost being, which represents the very inner thoughts of your heart, your mind, your actions, and decisions; for everything you do flows from it.

It's that vital. All of our lives depend on that choice to guard our hearts and set our minds on the things above. And when we fill our minds, our thoughts, our hearts with the right things, the wrong things won't have any room to enter in. His Word, His Truth offers protection, a guard over our hearts and lives, for our decisions and thoughts. Casting our cares to Him, releasing our problems and burdens, seeking forgiveness over sin, doesn't give room for us to just sit numbly with anxious thoughts spinning. 


It requires effort on our part – choosing to give God our struggles, and yet working hard on our goals.  Depending on Him to solve all the problems we take to Him and accept His decisions concerning our prayer requests.  We must trust Him to meet us at our points of need.

Believe the Lord is with you
When you are looking up to Him, the risen Christ, you don't have any doubt in your mind about his being with you.  His promises are sure in your heart and life.  You are strengthened by His Word in Isaiah 41, which says “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

His word reminds us that He's with us, always. God will never leave us or turn away. He holds us through the fiercest struggles and brings peace to uncertain times. There's no greater way to build stronger faith than to walk straight through the toughest of battles. 

Rise above fear and Temptations
Being able to rise above the fear, temptations, and hard places of this life is wrapped around the truth of who we are in Christ. We are redeemed. We are set free. We are being renewed day by day. We are His workmanship in Christ Jesus. We are a new creation.

There are many verses in the Bible that remind us we are made new in Christ when we accept Him into our lives as Lord and Savior. We’re made new as believers in Him, and they are continually being “made new,” for it’s a constant process until we are in Heaven. This means we must choose to put off the old self, letting go of all the old habits, patterns, or sins, and take up the new, focusing our thoughts and heart on Christ’s truths. It requires action on our part, to continue to seek Him daily. We won’t just naturally be drawn to always thinking “God thoughts.” Unfortunately, our sin nature is strong, and the enemy wants nothing more than to make us fall. It’s a daily battle and a choice we must make to walk in God’s ways.

POSSESSING YOUR POSSESSIONS

When a person seeks those things above, God will make those things we need and desire to come to him easily.  Many believers who are running from one church to another, do not know their needs will be met faster through a personal relationship with Jesus and doing the will of God.

Apostle Paul tried to explain this point to the Christians in Colossians, saying that in Christ dwells the fullness of Godhead bodily. Paul was trying to open their understanding of the fact that they are complete in Him (Christ) who is the head of all principality and power. He was saying to the people that if they will seek Jesus and find Him, you will not lack anything good, because Christ has all the things a man could ever desire.  If we serve Him, as He is, so shall you be, a people of power.  What do people run after in the world, is it not properties and wealth, power and fame.  But in Christ is all the treasures of heaven and earth residing.

When we find Him, He lives in us by the Spirit, and we are able to do all things through the Spirit.  All that the Believer needs to do, is to ask what he wants from the Lord living inside of him.  There is no special areas or difficult question with God, yet many believers do not know what to ask or how to ask. 

All things are yours
God is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or expect from Him, through the Spirit that worketh in us. He is able to meet our needs - whether they be school fees, tuition, husband, wife or children according to the Spirit that dwelleth in us.  So,  if the Spirit of God is not dwelling us, God can do nothing much for us.  He works through His Spirit that dwell in us.  The believer that wants to win always and possess great things from God must ensure the Spirit of God dwells in him.

Having the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we should walk in Christ, be rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith and abound in thanksgiving.  If we have indeed risen with Him, we should seek friendship to know Him deeper and to worship and praise Him.  We should develop a relationship with Him and learn how to enter into His presence with praises and worship Him from the heart and exuberantly. We should study the bible to know Him deeper, know what is important to Christ and do them.

If we have risen with Him, a reward should not be the primary reason for our relationship and our appearing before Him.  We should adore Him in praises and worship and tarry in His presence in wonderful adoration and praises.  This should be our lifestyle of faith.  Also, if we have risen with Christ, we should seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God and set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

We should be dead to sin as our lives are hidden with Christ in God, therefore there should be no fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.   Also, things like anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication should not be found in us.  We should never lie one to another, seeing that we have put off the old man with his deeds,  and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

Let us, therefore, put on the bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any. .. And above all, lets put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.



FIRE...

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