We fill our days with must-do’s, want-to’s, and like-to’s. These can disrupt our thinking and dis-align our focus. It does not just distract our focus from what we really ought to do, but also from our spiritual focus. We occupy our minds with so many other things, leaving little or no place for the things of God. As a result, we don’t keep our mind on the things above.
We recognize this and try to get back in line with God. Often, however, we don’t realize we drifted away from our spiritual focus, simply because our daily tasks are so demanding. In either case, it is good to take stock of our spiritual heritage occasionally. We can check the object of our focus: heavenly things vs earthly things.
We can do this by asking ourselves questions. Do we still focus on God, or has He become a side-product in our lives? Do our minds wander away from God and concentrate on our daily worldly commitments? Are we setting our minds on the things above or the things of the earth?
These may look like simple questions, but they are not. Setting your mind on God doesn’t come effortlessly, and it is not a onetime event, it is a daily commitment. We need to remain alert, twenty-four hours a day. Why? If we don’t do that, our minds will wander off.
Deciding to set our minds on God is relatively easy, doing it is another thing. I recognize that. It is easy at the outset, but to continue takes efforts and grace. It is possible to keep your mind on things that are pure, with God’s help.
What are the things above Bible verse?
God tells us in His Word to set our minds on Him, on the things above. We can find the exact phrase, set your mind on the things above, in the NKJV of the Bible (Colossians 3:2):
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”Colossians 3:2 (NKJV)
We can also find set your mind on things above in the KJV version of the Bible, though in different words. The KJV verse focuses on how to set our affections on the things above:
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”Colossians 3:2 (KJV)
What does it mean to set your affections on things above? It means to focus on God and His Word with our hearts and minds, with our desires and our will, with our spirits and our actions. In everything we do, God wants us to have a heavenly mindset.
Since God wants us to set our minds on the things above, let’s have a look at what our mind actually is. God created our minds beautifully complex. Our minds enable us to be aware of the world and our experiences, to think, and to feel; it harbors our consciousness and thought. We need our minds to perform our daily activities and to get through the day.
However, the way we use our minds influences the way we feel and perform and can decide on whether our days will be ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It is therefore crucial to keep our minds in control and aligned with God and His Word.
What does the Bible say about focusing on things above?
If you want to know how to set your mind on things above, you can read various verses in the Bible to help you. Through studying God’s Word for yourself, the Holy Spirit can talk to you and guide you. He can teach you how to set your mind on things above not on earthly things.
We can also meditate on the set your mind on things above verses. When we meditate, we allow God’s Word to dwell deeply in our minds, spirits, and bodies. The Bible has many verses about setting and keeping our minds on the things of God. We first read His Word to understand what God says about it, we then meditate to fully grasp it, and finally we put it into action.
What does it mean to set your mind, and how can I set my mind on things? How do you get a heavenly mindset? And… what are examples of heavenly things?
There are many verses in the Bible about the things above. If we want to know how to set our hearts and minds on the things above, then let’s see what the Bible says. God’s Word offers us many examples of heavenly things.
The topics we think about
God is interested in the topics we ponder in our minds. He gives us guidelines for what we should think about. This is not out of a obsession to control us, but because He loves us. He knows what is good for us.
Our thoughts can touch on so many topics, but not all are beneficial. Most of our thoughts are not helpful to us. If we would leave it to our minds, our minds would wander off most times.
God’s Word helps us and tells us what to think of. If we want to know whether our thoughts are in line with what God wants us to think about, we should compare it with what God’s Word says about it. So, what are the things above in Colossians 3?
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
If you want to know how to get a heavenly mindset, think about the things in this verse. These are pure things. Philippians 4 verse 8 gives a clear and detailed description of what the things above are as stated in Colossians 3 and helps us to think about things that are pure.
But there is more in Colossians that can help us align our minds with God’s will.
The way we use our minds to pursue God
God wants us to pursue Him with our minds. Meaning, He wants us to desire Him, follow Him, and chase after Him. One way to do that is to think about Him, His Word, and His works. Seeking the things that are above is pursuing Him with our minds.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”Colossians 3:1 (NKJV)
Think of heavenly things
When we set your minds on earthly things, we deceive ourselves. After all, every earthly thing will vanish and come to nothing. When we think of the things of Heaven, our minds focus on eternal things that cannot disappear. This way, we protect ourselves. Thinking of heavenly things vs earthly things helps us get a heavenly mindset.
When we think of heavenly things, the Bible says our hearts will also be with heavenly things. Thinking about the things in heaven helps us to set our heart and mind on the things above.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
The person to focus on
We can focus our minds on ourselves or on others. In either case, it won’t help us much. It just occupies our minds with thoughts about people. Rather, God directs us to think about Jesus. He tells us to keep our eyes fixed on Him.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus means focusing on Him and concentrating on Him. Our minds will automatically focus on Jesus when we think of Him. Doing this is not just a directive from God, but it also enables us to run our race with endurance and gives us stamina.
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”Hebrews 12:1a-2a (NLT)
‘The God of New Beginnings’ provides rich insights, examples, and guidance for receiving your new beginning from God. You will learn to grasp God’s nature, trust Him, and rely on His unfailing love for you.
How do we set our hearts and minds on things above?
All the above verses helped us to understand how to set your mind in things above. When you daily practice the guidelines in God’s Word (and ask the Holy Spirit to help you), you will set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. And exactly that is what God wants from us.
God wants us to think of heavenly things and have godly thoughts. But we are humans… So, how can we think godly thoughts? How do we do that? Can we indeed keep our minds on things that are pure and set our affections on things above?
Well, we can!
Three steps to set your mind on things above:
We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us. This means we have the capacity to think heavenly things and keep our eyes focused on godly things. We can have a heavenly mindset if we take the steps.
God wants us to take a step. He will help us continue. If we sit down and wait for God to come in, we will continue waiting without results. We need to desire to set our minds on Christ and the things above, and we need to take the steps to actually do it. A heart wish alone isn’t enough, we need to add our minds and actions to it.
So, what should you do to set your mind on things above:
- Remove old thoughts from your mind. Before endeavoring to think godly thoughts, we must empty our minds from all other thoughts, because a cup that is already full cannot become fuller.
- Reject new negative thoughts, even when they trace back to real occurrences and situations in your life. Do not let them in.
- Refill your mind with God’s thoughts. Think godly thoughts and continue thinking godly thoughts to keep your mind on track and focused on the things above.
Benefits of setting your mind on things above
Our God is a good God. He doesn’t tell us to do things that would turn out wrongly for us. He always has the best in mind for us. The same it is here. When we set our minds on the things above, we will reap benefits. Godly benefits.
When our minds are fixed on Jesus, we have peace. If there is something I long for in these chaotic modern days, it is peace. Peace of mind is a desirable heavenly treasure, and exactly that is what God promises when we set our minds on Him.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
Besides the treasure called peace, we will receive life when we set our minds on the things above. When we are spiritually minded, we open ourselves to receive life and peace. Remember, when God gives life, He gives it more abundantly (John 10:10) to live a satisfying life.
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”Romans 8:6 (NKJV)
Another precious benefit of setting our minds on the things above is light. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, His light fills us.
“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.”Matthew 6:22 (NLT)
When we lay off every sin, and every negative and wrong thought, and everything that weighs us down, we will receive endurance to run the race. To run the race of faith and the race of life. How do we receive that? By keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”Hebrews 12:1-2a (NLT)
Thank You, Lord, for creating me with a complex mind. A mind that enables me to think and feel. Teach me to focus on You and don’t allow my mind to wander away. Help me on how to focus on You, Lord, and how to set my mind on things above.
I am grateful for Your Word, that guides me and enables me to run the race of life with endurance. I submit my thoughts and feelings to Your Word. Lead me and guide me, every day of my life, every second of the day. It is only then that I will have peace.
I open myself fully to You and am determined to keep my eyes on Jesus. I receive strength, wisdom, and endurance to continue to keep my mind fixed on You. And I receive all the benefits that come with it.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.