“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
“Set your mind on things above” is talking about the Person of God, the Presence of God, the Purposes of God, the Promises of God, and the Priorities of God. It is not talking about some outer limits of space beyond what any eye, whether human or mechanical can see.
“Set your mind on things above” = Heaven should determine our thoughts, prayers, dreams, imaginations and expectations.
Where we set our mind is important!
Are we setting our mind on the activity of heaven, or earth?
Earth is the location of problems!
Heaven is the location of solutions!
Jesus lived on earth, from heaven to earth, therefore He brought heaven to earth, resulting in storms being calmed, the sick being healed, the defeat of death, thousands being fed with small amounts of food, people being directed to their destination not to their present location, and many other wonderful and positive things.
The Greek root word for “set” means ~
- to fence in, block up, stop up, close up
- to put to silence
Have you ever been accused of being close-minded? Have you ever accused someone of being close-minded?
Jesus said He ONLY did what He saw His Father do and He ONLY said what He heard His Father say. That sounds like He admitted to being close-minded.
Look at what Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but [you are setting your mind on] man’s [interests]” [Matthew 16:23].
And look what Paul wrote to the saints living in Philippi ~
“Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” [3:17-21].
There are times when we must be close minded!
For instance, in John 10 Jesus told His disciples that His sheep hear His voice and the voice of a stranger they would not follow. Jesus did not say His sheep could, or would not hear the voices of strangers. He said His sheep would not follow strangers.
Jesus said His sheep would follow Him!
There is a difference between hearing other voices and listening to them. Hearing something means you are not deaf. Listening to something means you are giving attention to it and the source, and can be influenced by what and who you are listening to. In other words, hearing is a physical process, while listening is a cognitive, emotional skill.
The second definition of the word ‘set’ means to put to silence. To put something to silence means that something we are hearing is not something that we want to listen to, so we close our mind to it. We may have to change the radio or TV channel or turn them off. We may have to leave the room. We may have to say, “Enough! I don’t want to hear that anymore!”
The Greek word for ‘mind’ is the same word for ‘set’. It means ~
- to be of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same views, be harmonious
- to direct one’s mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for
As I have written before in several blogs both the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness operate through agreement.
Peter allowed his mind to be influenced by human reasoning which is where the dark one flourishes. It is interesting that Jesus said to Peter, “Your mind is on man’s interests.” Why didn’t He say, “Your mind is on the devil’s interests.” The devil uses humanistic mindsets to advance his kingdom agenda.
Paul said the Philippians were submitting to an inferior god – their human appetites. In other words, they were following the way of Esau who forfeited his inheritance for a bowl of food.
We worship who and what we submit to.
Where, and on whom is your mind set? Who are you allowing to influence your mind [thoughts, hopes, dreams, prayers, aspirations, inspirations, imaginations and expectations]?
Your very life depends on how you answer that question?
Set your mind on things above!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury