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)
I grew up on a farm. At one time we raised hogs and then later built a couple of chicken houses. Have you ever driven near a farm with hogs and chickens? It stinks. However, the amazing thing about that is when you live on a farm with hogs and chickens you eventually get used to the smell. It doesn’t smell so bad to you anymore.
If our minds and hearts are continually filled with thoughts about earthly things they will reek. And the danger of allowing that to continue is that we will get used to the smell. Soon we will not even give thought to heavenly things, only the earthly things on which we have set minds our affections.
Here is a question for us to consider. Will God accept us into heaven, if while on earth, we only set our minds on earthly things and never give thought to heavenly things? The Puritan preacher John Owen wrote in his book The Person of Christ, “God will not take us into heaven, into the vision and possession of heavenly glory, with our heads and hearts reeking with the thoughts and affections of earthly things.” The word reek means to smell strongly and unpleasantly, to stink, or a foul smell.
How do we keep our heads and hearts from reeking with the thoughts of earthly things? Let’s begin by examining the TV shows we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read, the games we play, the websites we browse the advice we seek, the conversation we make, how we spend our time and money and the company we keep. Do they reek with the thoughts and affections of earthly things? If so, eliminate the ones that smell.
Then we need to fill our heads and hearts with the sweet smelling aroma of heavenly things. We can accomplish this by reading, studying and meditating on the scriptures, spending time in prayer, listening to God exalting music, reading God exalting books, attending church regularly and make company with godly people. One other important item to consider: Spend much time in thought about the life and saving work of Jesus Christ. Spending time in these activities may be referred to as beholding.
The apostle Paul wrote, And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)
As we behold the glory of God, we become like the glory of God; conformed into the image of Jesus who was and is the glory of God. And this prepares us to be received into heaven. That is what the apostle told us. When we seek the things that are above and set our minds on them, When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4 ESV)
On what do you spend your time meditating? Is your mind always concerned with earthly things? How heavenly minded are you?
Scriptures for meditation:
Romans 8:5, 12:2