Set Your Mind

Quarterly exhortation, Q4 2021

Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. (Col 3:2)


Most of us can name something we are proud of having accomplished.  Others may see our achievement as a small thing but we take satisfaction in it because of the effort we put into it.  We set our minds to do it and worked hard at it.  With lesser resolve we would have failed.  But we did it!  Setting one’s mind on a goal is the same as invoking one’s will to accomplish a goal.

Accomplishing a goal requires three essential things – the ability, the means and the will.  Lacking any one of these three components means either we will never even attempt the task (there is no will to do it) or we will try and fail (our ability or means is lacking).  Often though, if we start out lacking in ability or means, we can work on gaining these qualities and still end up accomplishing the goal.

Accomplishing spiritual goals is the same.  Ability, means and will are still essential.  The big difference though is that two of the three essentials are beyond human reach. Because of the law of sin and death, we personally have no ability or means to attain ‘things above’. And we can’t work to gain these two things.  This means salvation would not be possible except that God has provided us the ability and means through His eternal plan, fulfilled in Christ. 

With these two essentials being ‘givens’ by God, there is only one remaining requirement - the will.  God cannot provide this part.  We must provide our will. We must set our minds.  One out of three should be easy compared to three out of three, shouldn’t it? Well, Jesus said so.

Will precedes and produces any resolve, determination, commitment or endurance needed to succeed in any endeavor.  No one ever had determination to accomplish a thing without first having the will to do it.  Individual will is one of the characteristics that distinguish us from the rest of God’s creation.  Will is the very thing that makes us ‘free moral agents’.  God created in us this will, but we can direct it any way we choose.

Are our lives filled with conflict between the world and things above? Is living a Godly life a constant struggle?  Do personal relationships continually hinder us?  If so, it is likely that we have not truly set our minds to make God’s will our will

Jesus said:  “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:30).  But he also told his disciples “if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Followers of Jesus have suffered greatly.  Paul described such things as ‘light afflictions’ (2 Cor 4:17).

Surely the difference between the two statements – easy versus difficult – comes down to whether we really have our minds set.

The quarterly exhortation is for us to set our minds. Let us re-examine and set our will.  I truly believe if we do this, heaven will easily be our home.

Written with Brother Dee Bowman in mind, who for a time sleeps.