Looking through the world to Christ above is where God would have us focused. There is much more clarity and wisdom for living in this world when we are focused on the world to come. Colossians 3:1 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Obviously, if one is not raised with Christ then it does no good to seek the things that are above. Not only that, but the things that are above make no sense to a person that has not been born again of the Holy Spirit who comes from above. The things that are above may appear foolish to those that are not born again of the Spirit.
Believers are not members of the world, but are members of Christ who is in us, the hope of glory. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”- Colossians 3:3 Believers are now in Christ, and yet still live in the world. The question is not one of location of residence but one of ownership, identity, and relationship.
Once our perspective has been changed by God He has at that time given us a new outlook on life and the world. Even though we still live in the world, we are not to think in the same way that the world thinks. Our goal now is to see Christ from His perspective and to know Him and grow in Him. This we do by keeping our eyes on the things above.
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”. – Colossians 3:2 Is the Apostle saying here to not focus on anything that is on the earth, but only on the things that are in heaven? Actually, no. He is directing our focus to things that are above that we may rightly discern the earthly things.
There are only two ways to live life on this earth. Either one lives life on earth through an earthly perspective or one lives life on earth through a heavenly perspective. More importantly, it is Christ in us, the hope of glory, who lives His life through us. His Spirit stirs our spirit and continually affirms in us His love, His will, and and His leading of us (Romans 8:14-17) . Our response is not one of obligation, but more so of gratitude. Obedience springs forth from being granted God’s favor. Obedience cannot be done in order to gain God’s favor. This is what Christ did for us. He perfectly obeyed God with His sinless life, because we have not and cannot obey God perfectly. This was the only way God would save sinners. The merits of Jesus’ life are credited to the believer as if the believer has lived a perfect life. Believers are now reconciled to God the Father through the merits of Christ. This should overwhelm every believer with gratitude and the result from the believer is a life of abiding in Christ and obedience. This is truly keeping one’s eyes on things that are above as Christ lives His life through us here on earth below. Until the time He calls us home we will keep looking upward and continue moving forward in the new Christ life.