Colossians 3:1-11 – “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him — 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” NASU
While struggling with some things in my personal life, I lamented to God, “Lord, I know you said these things are dead but they just won’t stay dead.” It doesn’t matter what those things were, all of us have or do struggle with things, in our lives, that just won’t stay dead. We find that we are faced with the need to keep putting them under the blood of Jesus and dealing with them far more frequently than we’d like or think we ought.
Paul, speaks of our ‘death’ to the flesh and our ‘resurrection’ or ‘recreation’ in the Spirit or in our spirit. He understands fully that, “Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yet without succumbing to them or falling into sin.” He also understood the struggle of the flesh and the spirit in our lives, even after we have accepted Christ as our Savior. So, to head that problem off at the pass he offers some valuable counsel and wisdom if we can receive it, implement it, and regularly practice it. Consider his counsel:
- Keep Your Focus on God and Spiritual or Heavenly Things in Christ.
- Set Your Mind on Things Above, not on Things of Earth.
- Understand and Keep a Regular Remembrance of the Truth that You are Dead but Alive in God.
- Declare and Determine that Your Flesh is Dead to immorality, impurity, improper passion, evil desire, and greed, which translates to Idolatry.
- Put Away Those Things including, anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, and lying.
Notice that many of those things are actions that we take, not gifts from God. It requires us to impose upon our own fleshly lusts and mind the will of God, the pursuit of the principles of His Word, and to ‘bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. I am suggesting that we live by ‘will power’ but that we must maintain discipline in our discipleship.
If anger won’t stay dead, then examine your mind and thought life. If fleshly lusts won’t stay dead, examine your thoughts and visualizations. If you find the overwhelming temptation to slander or gossip, examine your view of Christ and the work of Grace in your life. Our minds are like a computer, what comes out is the result of what goes in and as they say in the technological world, “garbage in, garbage out.” Let’s commit to making Matthew 6:33 the foundational pursuit of our lives and seek God first, foremost, and above everything else in life. That does not mean, we do nothing but pray and read the Bible but in all things, we learn to pray without ceasing and in whatever we do we do it as unto the Lord and do it with our might.
God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!