What Does it Mean to Set Our Minds on Things Above Instead of Earthly Things?

If you are born-again and saved by Jesus Christ, then there is no reason to not have your mind on Christ. Jesus is our peace, and when we set our minds on Him, then we need to not worry because He has us.

Rebecca Gordon
A hand holding up a sketch of a brain with a sunset background

Magnify is a powerful word, and you can use it in many different ways. So, what does it mean?  According to the biblical definition, it means to “mag’-ni-fi” (Hiphil of gadhal; megaluno, “to make great,” “extol,” “celebrate in praise”): Used especially of the exaltation of the name, mercy, and other attributes of God.” But also, in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, magnify means to “increase in significance: intensify, exaggerate, to enlarge,” and etc.

Magnifying our thoughts, desires, and even our own lives can almost always lead to an unsettling pattern. This thought pattern will take our eyes off of God and put our eyes on ourselves. We were never meant to be magnified. We were created with a purpose, and part of that purpose is to magnify the Lord our God, Yahweh, forever.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4).

A Healthy Conscience

Throughout my early adulthood, I began to experience a rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. My old self knew that these patterns would follow me into relationships, like marriage. I went through so much heartache and trials. But as I grew in the Lord, after I was saved in 2013, I began to let God work through me and restore my mind back to Christ.

This also takes me to a passage in the book of Psalms about how God knew me and knew how my life would be as He planned. In Psalm 139:13-14, the Bible states,

For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. 

God created us and knew us. He knows every part of us, and we can never outrun Him or hide from Him. He loves us so much that it is beyond our understanding.

Later, in Psalms 139, the Bible states, “God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is! If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand;

When I wake up, I am still with You.”

God’s thoughts are higher than ours, (Isaiah 55:8-9), and much too difficult to understand. We all desire to understand God completely, and sometimes, that can be too much for us to handle. But He does want us to seek Him and, in that, He will reveal to us what we ask of Him according to His will for us.

In Luke 12:22, the Bible states that you are not to be anxious about your life. Also, in Luke 12:31, the Bible states, “Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” The people of this world seek after where to find food, clothing, shelter, and much more. This is because their minds are focused on the things of earth and not on the things from above.

How many times in your life did you seek the things of earth and what man could provide rather than God? For me, it is too many to count. Even during this COVID-19 trial, we are all being tested beyond our understanding and ability to “fix” and seek things on our own. God is our source because He has always been and always meant to be our source.

So, why do we seek our own knowledge? Because we are focused on fear. If you are born-again and saved by Jesus Christ, then there is no reason to not have your mind on Christ. Jesus is our peace, and when we set our minds on Him, then we need to not worry because He has us.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).

Our New Life with Christ

In Colossians 3:3 the Bible states, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Our old life and old self have gone when we decided to give our lives to Jesus Christ. This does not mean that we immediately change that second, but we invited Jesus into our lives and our hearts so that we can be reconciled with God.

My “old self” still, to this day, tries to combat my “new self.” I deal with a guilty conscience, and when I recognize whatever mistake or sin I make, I beat myself up about it. This is because I let my thoughts rule my mind instead of renewing my mind (Romans 12:2) and thinking about the things from above.

Each day, with practice, I get better and recognize when those harmful thoughts come in. But some days I do fail, and it’s ok. It’s ok to not be perfect in keeping your mind on Christ. If you struggle with this also, then take it one day at a time. You will get there.

Lastly, I want to explain what things we should put behind us and what we should do in our new lives with Christ. Colossians 3:5-17 speaks about what things to be rid of in your life and what things to put to practice.

Some of these things to be rid of include, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Also, anger, rage, slander, dirty language, etc. Do not lie to each other because as we should know that the enemy is the father of lies. We are not children of the enemy if we have given our lives to Christ.

Here are the things we should adopt into our lives and practice, tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Moreover, forgive others because God forgives you. There is so much more to learn about our new life with Christ.

What Does This Mean?

Remember, it is ok to fall down in practicing these things. But also remember to get back up and try again. God gives us grace, that is a gift, and He knows as you lean on Him and not yourselves, you will grow to be more who you were created to be.

God, I pray that each person who reads this is blessed. I pray that Your Word would sink into their minds and hearts. Lastly, I pray for those who are struggling and that they will seek You Father and give their burdens to You. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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Rebecca Gordon has a bachelor’s in psychology and is engaged to a wonderful man named Joseph. Her favorite time of year is spring because of the many flowers it brings about. She loves to go to the beach, hike, and explore new places. She loves God with all of her heart and will serve Him all the days of her life. She has a blog site and is planning to earn her master’s in biblical counseling. 


Originally published April 30, 2020.