Set Your Minds

Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 8:25 a.m. – During my quiet time with the Lord Jesus this morning, he put the song “Oh, To Be Like Thee” in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Colossians 3:1-17 (ESV).

In the song “Oh, To Be Like Thee,” it says in the first stanza: “Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.” Well, I had just read the news, in particular a story about the situation in the Philippines, when the Lord Jesus brought this song to mind. How appropriate! I can tell you that I hurt for the people of the Philippines. I cried through the news story and the news clips as I saw the devastation there and all the pain and suffering the people there are going through. So, I feel great compassion in my heart toward them. I pray for them for healing from above. I tried, too, to put myself mentally in their place, trying to imagine what they might be going through. I know that great suffering such as this is working its way around the globe, and it is soon to come to America, too.

As I prayerfully went through that story twice, asking the Lord Jesus for understanding of what I believed he was saying to me, he gave me a picture of what I believe is truly taking place, not just in the Philippines, but across the globe. Very simply, I believe that this storm was man-made, and that it was created by world powers which are fully intent on taking over the globe and in bringing all nations under the rule of one law and order, and by force. I believe the intention of the storm was two-fold: 1) To persecute and kill those who are spreading the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and 2) To eradicate lower levels of government, so as to bring the whole country under this global order (the New World Order, alias the Beast), i.e. thus removing all known opposition to the takeover, it would appear.

This (above) is accomplished in several ways, via unnatural disasters (man-made), disease, war, orchestrated demonstrations, uprisings and factions within countries; false flag operations, etc. The scenario is pretty much the same with each country. First create a situation, disaster, problem, etc. that needs assistance in solving or resolving. Then, go into those nations as “saviors” to try to “help” them get back on their feet. Exercise military force in the process, and then create new governments, created by the “International Community,” alias the New World Order (the Beast). Then they try to blame this on “climate change,” and truly it is, yet not in the way we think. This is a political climate change that is taking place, and it is causing all these “unnatural” disasters. It is called “The Beast,” or the New World Order, or a return of a Hitler-like regime, only globally, and with the endangered species being primarily Christ’s true servants, messengers and witnesses.

Supposedly the Philippines’ president said something to the effect that if the world does not commit to “action on climate change” it must be ready to encounter disasters. Believe me, that is a threat! In other words, this means, “Either bow to the New World Order, or pay the consequences.” Language such as this could be found in most news stories related to other countries, which have faced pre-planned unnatural disasters, uprisings, internal factions, “terrorist” activities, gun violence and the like over the past several years, via the N.W.O.

Not On Earthly Things

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. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

In America, in particular, I believe we live in a culture which is over-obsessed with worldly things, including within the institutional church. Yet, Jesus says that we are to seek those things which are above, and, in fact, we are to set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. So, how do we do that? Well, to seek means to pursue, search for, go after, etc. This involves a conscious effort on our part to go after what is from above, like a deer panting for water. The things from above we are to pursue are God –Father, Son and Holy Spirit, his righteousness and holiness, godliness, his truth, walking in his truth and righteousness, love, humility, compassion, et al. We have all of these at our disposal in the person of Christ and in his Spirit who lives within us, yet we must consciously follow Christ and his ways, and put into practice the truth of his word.

So, what does it mean to set our minds on things above? This is most critical that we understand this, because most sin, if not all, begins in the mind before it is ever carried out in the body. Well, to set something means we establish it, it is fixed and firm in our minds, and it is determined, resolute, ready, and prepared for action. It is unwavering, steadfast and committed. This can only be done in the power and strength of the Spirit within us, yet this involves delighting in God’s word, meditating on it day and night, and obeying what we are taught in it. This then “sets” it firm within our minds. This is not about holding fast to disputable matters or arguing over minor things that have no relevance to our eternity, but this is about being firm and resolute and established in our faith, and not allowing ourselves to be tossed here and there by every wind of teaching which presents itself to us.

Yet, it is more than that. This is about being determined, resolute, steadfast and committed to the Lord and to following him wherever he leads us, having our minds set on him and on his will for our lives, and on the Great Commission, and on loving others with God’s love. We can’t do this if he is barely a blip on our radar throughout the day, or if our time with him consists of a few minutes a day in prayer and having “devotions,” and then going throughout our days walking in the flesh and doing what we want to do. This cannot be accomplished, too, if we are taking all kinds of junk and evil into our minds, and are taking pleasure in that in place of taking delight in the Lord and in his will for our lives. As believers in Christ, we died to our sin, to the things of this sinful world, and to worldly and sinful pleasures. Our lives should now be hidden in Christ, and he is to be our life!

Put To Death

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Jesus said that if anyone wants to come after him he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow Christ. Dying to sin and self is not just something that takes place at our conversion. We must daily put off what is earthly in us. This is called the process of sanctification. So many professing Christians live their lives like this is not required or that it is not necessary. It is! Jesus Christ died to save us from slavery to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? If we are truly in Christ Jesus, we have put off the old self with its evil practices, and we have put on the new self in Christ Jesus, so we need to put to death sexual immorality, impurity, malice, slander and the like – all in the power and working of the Spirit within us, as we yield control of our lives over to the Spirit of God.

Put On Christ

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Becoming a believer in Jesus Christ is not just about going to heaven one day. It is about a life-altering change within us, by the Spirit of God, in transforming our hearts and minds to be in conformity with God’s will and purposes for our lives. We are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved when Christ returns. So, daily, not only must we put off what is still earthly within us, but we must put on what is of Christ and of the word of God (truth), and we must follow our Lord Jesus Christ in obedience and surrender to his will for our lives, again, all in his power and strength within us as we cooperate with that work. Then we can truly set our minds on things above and not on things on the earth.

It is Coming

In the previous section of scripture, speaking of what is earthly, it said, “On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” This is addressing Christians or at least professing Christians. Jesus Christ spoke to the seven churches in Asia via John in the book of Revelation, which describes the events of the last days. To five of the seven churches he spoke words of rebuke, called for repentance, and warned of judgment against them if they did not repent (turn from their sin) and turn back to following their God. In Isaiah 2 we also read of the latter times and of God’s people, the church, living in adultery and following after the ways of the world. It says that God has a day in which he will come against all that is proud and it shall be brought low.

Yet, the judgment of God will serve a purpose. Many people will reject their idols, and they will come to faith in Jesus Christ, the church will be revived, and Christ will teach them his ways so that they may walk in his paths. I believe we are already beginning to see some of those judgments, and that they are working their way toward America. And, I believe this Beast is already at work in conquering one nation at a time and in bringing the entire world underneath one global rule, and we are not far away from this (See Rev. 13). So, it is time for us to get our lives right with Jesus Christ, and to put off what is still earthly within us, and to put on, pursue and set our minds on what is from God and his eternal kingdom. We need to get our focus off the things of this world, and we need to be firmly planted in the word of truth. This all can be done in the power and strength of the Spirit within us to the glory of God. Amen!

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.