Hovering over the first four verses of Colossians 3 this morning.
Be heavenly minded. That, in a nutshell, is Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians. Seek the things above. Set your minds on things above. Don’t think like the world thinks, don’t desire the stuff earth has to offer. Your goals should be God goals. Your values tethered to a reality which is, literally, out of this world. Live with your heads in the clouds, in a manner of speaking — it’s the only true way to have your feet firmly planted on the ground.
The only way to counteract the world trying to fit you into its mold (Col. 2:16) is to live for another world. But the problem with that, is that this world isn’t gonna get you. In a world that is so wrapped up in the “authentic self” they won’t be able to see the real you. And that’s because you’re hidden.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
(Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)
Your life is hidden with Christ in God. Concealed. Not able to be known. Kept a secret. That’s our life — at least in terms of the world’s ability to really understand us.
If our minds are set on things above, if we are seeking the things above, then we are going to be an enigma for those who minds are confined to only the things below. Where once the world might have admired us for our morality, they still didn’t really know us. Now, the world is increasingly suspicious of us — even despising us — for what it sees as our out-of-touch, intolerant rigidity. And so, they don’t want us. Because they don’t want Jesus. And our lives are hidden with Christ.
This world really is not our home. Our authentic self won’t really be revealed until Christ, who is your life, appears in glory. Then our true nature — our redeemed, regenerated, recalibrated nature — will be manifest to all. Then the world will get us, when we appear with Him in glory.
Not that we don’t try and make connection with this world. After all, that’s what ambassadors do in a foreign land, they establish a presence among a foreign people in order to represent their homeland. But we do more than just represent, we appeal to others to be reconciled to our homeland and renounce their old ways of earth and live for the kingdom of God (2Cor 5:20). To live with their minds set on things above, as well. Even if it means they too will be misunderstood by others because their life will also be hidden with Christ.
We are content to be hidden with Christ because Christ is our life. Content not to be fully known until that day when He is fully known, that day when every knee shall bow “in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Php. 2:10-11). Convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to us (2Tim. 1:12). Confident that being heavenly minded really is the best way to be of any earthly good.
Even if it means we’re hidden.
In His grace. For His glory.