How do we get our minds off of earthly things onto heavenly things?

A number of people were asked: “What would you rather have—$50 today or $100 a year from today”. The majority chose $50 today. They then were asked—“What would you rather have $50 in five years or $100 in six years. Most chose to have $100 in six years. Take away the opportunity for instant gratification and people chose the alternative that paid the most. It tells us, most care more about today than they do about the future. As a financial advisor I have learned that many people under the age of fifty have little concern for retirement. By that age it becomes difficult to change one’s standard of living and begin investing adequately to provide the assets necessary for one’s future. Worldly things are immediate and heavenly things are far into the future. Yet, future rewards can be far greater than anything we can gain from the world when you consider eternity.

Colossians 3:1 2 – “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” NLT

We all realize how difficult it is to focus on Christ and heavenly things. Our concerns are about family, job, finances, relationships and many other distractions. Paul tells us to set our hearts on things above and not on earthly things. Yet the world is trying to do everything possible to get our attention and follow their ways. If we don’t have an RV, computer, a camera, IPod, Xbox, a good home, a new car and eat out regularly we are just not with what is going on around us. What is more important, keeping up with the ways of the world or setting our sights on heavenly things?

God knew that life was going to be filled with temptations and at times we would have struggles. Part of this conflict is caused by our self-centered nature with which we were born. However, He has provided a way for us to confront the world’s temptations and live as He had intended for a person to live. He by His grace provided for each of us to be saved through Jesus Christ. He then promised to place His Spirit into our lives to check us and give us guidance. Upon receiving salvation it requires each of us to accept the responsibility of living our lives patterned after the example Christ set. Not everyone is willing to be held accountable and accept that responsibility. In many cases new Christians are completely unaware of what living according to God’s will actually requires. Too often they continue to live as if nothing happened and requires little change.

This is one reason Scripture tells us that God knew we could not live a pure and holy life without the Holy Spirit in each of our lives. Having received the Holy Spirit in most cases it becomes a slow process of going from the world ways to God ways. Naturally we must determine how to live God’s way and what is God’s will. Our interests and desires must become His interest and desires. This is why studying the Bible becomes so important. We are told that our goal is to have the mind of Christ. We must be willing to put material and temporary things into their proper perspective. There is nothing wrong with having material things but are we willing to share them with others?

Matthew 6:24 –“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

I Timothy 6:10 – “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

If we make material things, such as money, our god we will never have enough and no matter how much we earn, it will never be sufficient. Money does not have to be your god to plan ahead and in particular plan for retirement. Otherwise, without a solid financial plan, either the government or our children will need to support us in retirement. Some will need $40,000 annually to meet their standard of living and others will need $150,000. The question is not how much we need but what will we be spending it on.

We must ask ourselves—what must we sacrifice now, on this earth, in preparing for eternity? Are we living as if this is all there is and we better enjoy it while we are here? Or, are we considering that after death we shall have a glorified body that will not be influenced by evil. We will have positive thoughts and ideas. We will never have a desire that will not be met. We will live in a controlled climate with no pain or sickness. Have we checked our priorities lately?

It is not easy to give up something we have been doing our entire lives. Becoming a Christian and changing the way we have been living is like asking an addict to stop “cold turkey” their addiction without help and on their own. God knew most could not do it by themselves. This is why we have been given the Holy Spirit. Yet, how many Christians recognize that the Holy Spirit is within them? How long after becoming a Christian should we give up our sinful habits and negative attitudes?

Our goal must be to start developing more faith, patience and enough self-control to resist temptations. We are to become gentle, kind and good to others. We are to share our love and in return we shall receive joy and peace into our hearts. Do we want to live being discontented, not finding anything right and consistently pointing out everything that is wrong? Or, living the will of God? Do we want God’s support or to live life on our own?

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5 Comments

  1. Hope, faith depends on the emotion of hope. Wisdom is what acts on our decision to chose life over death. Having a strong awareness of time = patience.

    Reply
  2. Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward
    to new updates.

    Reply
  3. Sherrell

     /  February 6, 2016

    God told me months ago to “set my sights on the things above”…. Now, months later, I haven’t. I’ve been so wrapped up in earthly things that I am afraid of to die. I’m asking God to help me set my sights on heavenly things.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for it article. It has broaden my understanding of earthly vs heavenly things and now, by God’s grace, I am determined to focus on heavenly things. Matthew 6:33 is quickened in my spirit – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    Reply
  5. Lucy

     /  May 3, 2016

    I appreciate your article. I too get caught up in life and realize I am focused on earthly things only to find that I am totally exhausted trying to organize and manipulate my schedule to fit the here and now. Thanks

    Reply

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