There is a thing in the Christian walk that can be damaging, distracting, and problematic…abiding.
First, in the name of transparency, I meant that statement to be “click baitish”…but it is also a true statement.
We’re called to abide…in Him…but often we abide in lousy thinking, the world, our flesh, our problems, and our desires. That type of abiding is distracting, damaging, and problematic.
We’re called to think on things above.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3 ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)
Notice the promise at the end of the Philippians 4 passage…”the God of peace WILL be with you.” If you read even more of the passage (Philippians 4:1-9), you can see that we’re told not to be anxious…to think on things above…and He will guard our hearts with His peace.
When we find ourselves unsettled, on edge, troubled…it’s time to do a think check.
What is our focus? The problem? Our ability to “solve” the problem? Or is it on the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13)…are we thinking on what is pure, lovely, holy, the things above? Prayer, meditating on a piece of scripture about His peace, “not confirming the world…but transforming your mind” (Romans 12:1-2)…these things, these things above…are where we should be focused. And as we focus on these things, as we abide IN HIM…not in our problems…the God of peace will be with you.
The context of the Colossians passage is a reminder that we are not to try to fix things ourselves…that’s bad thinking…it’s not our power, our faith is not a checklist…it’s not how many Do’s and Don’ts we get right. Colossians 3:1-23 spells out that we are not to live by the worlds decrees…such as do not handle, do not taste…we are not to live in the appearance of wisdom, self-made religion. We are to walk in Christ, being rooted in Him…it’s not about avoidance of “bad things”…it’s about our living in a relationship with Him. Whenever we lose that focus, it’s time for a think check.
Abiding in the problems, the stress, the disobedience…these aren’t healthy. Living in peace is…
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 set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6 ESV)
Where is your mind set? (think check)
Think on – Christ and all He – savior, mediator, creator, protector, example, our strength, our victory…
Think on – the Heavenly Father – creator, the great I Am, our provider, our healer, our peace…
Think on – the Holy Spirit – our teacher, the comforter, dweller of our temple, our guide…
Think on – reflecting the love of God back to EVERYONE we meet.
Time for a think check.