Did you have a sense of hope or dread as you read today’s passage? These words can bring a sense of peace or drive us crazy because we feel so limited. Look at the list of these we’re supposed to be careful of. Which of these behaviors sounds appealing? Be honest.
Paul says we’ve all done these things. “You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.” What changed? How come we’re not “part of this world” any longer? We met Jesus. “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”
We were never meant to be part of this world. We’re simply passing through doing the best we can to love God and each other. This laundry list of evil desires and behaviors are not what God desires for us.
Paul has given us a great solution for how we can avoid falling into these sinful traps. It makes sense that our thoughts have power. “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” What sorts of things might that include you ask? Joy. Being with Jesus forever. Praise. No pain. Peace. Love. Health. Glory of God. Magnificent beauty.
Imagining these things brings gratitude. We know our future is bright. With such gratitude flowing through our veins, how can we possibly let the evil desires or tricks control us? It’s like being grateful in the face of a storm. It’s hard to be fearful or even angry when we’re standing there with a heart full of gratitude.
What does your “real” life look like? You may start to describe your occupational or familial identity. We often find our value in those things. Have you ever introduced yourself as a child of God or a follower of Christ? How would first thinking of your identity in terms of “who” you belong to change your approach to life?
Paul reminds us that we are all a “work in a progress.” The image of stripping off our sinful nature to replace it with a garment of God’s grace is helpful to me. Paul also tells us to “learn to know your Creator and become like him.” We can do this by spending time with him in prayer, reading his Word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal truth.
Take some time to be quiet today. Let the noise of the world fade away so you can tap into heavenly thoughts. Feel God’s peace wash over you. Remember, “Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.”
Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me when I focus on things of this world that distract me from your grace and mercy. Thank you for the simple reminder to just think heavenward. Those are the thoughts I want to fill my brain. My real life is with you, and you are all that matters. In Jesus’ name. Amen.