Heaven is not a place I think about or meditate on as often as I should. This past week I have been thinking about it a little more. (This may or may not have had to do with the fact that I was working on my taxes.) Actually, I have been reflecting on heaven because we just studied about it in theology class and because our current sermon series going through Luke has emphasized counting the cost of following Jesus. For those who have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, heaven is our true home.
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
Why does Paul have to encourage us to seek heavenly treasures? Why does he exhort us to set our minds on the things above? Because we are naturally prone to focus on the things that are right in front of us. It can be hard to meditate on our heavenly citizenship when we have so many things demanding our attention here. We all have things that keep us busy. Whether you are married and have six kids or you are single, we all have responsibilities and distractions. But Paul does not qualify his exhortation. If we have been raised with Christ, we need to seek heavenly priorities. This does not mean that we can neglect our responsibilities here on earth, as much as I would like to neglect doing taxes. Paul is not commanding us to forsake work or caring for our families. He is reminding us that we need to do these things with a focus on what is truly important. We need to live our life here on earth with our focus set firmly on our eternal home.
If you find yourself struggling to have a heavenly mindset, you are not alone. Jesus exhorted His disciples, and us, multiple times to live for heaven. Just as we take steps in our lives to take care of our homes and prepare for the future, we need to be doing the same for our eternal home. So, how can we practically set our mind on the things above?
Spend time in God’s word - If we want our focus to be where it should be, we need to spend time reading and listening to God’s Word. We need to meditate on it. Psalms 1:1-3
Pray - Talk with God, pour out your heart to Him. Ask for help; He will give us the right desires. Psalm 73
Seek Him first - Prioritize obedience to God and His Word. Seek Him and He will take care of our earthly needs. Matthew 6:31-33
Value spiritual treasure - Value what God values. For all the time and effort we place into the things of this world, they will not last. We need to ask God to help us prioritize eternal treasure. Matthew 6:19-21
Trust Him - He will provide much more than we can ask or imagine. God has promised to reward those who follow Him. We need to trust Him and walk by faith. Luke 18:28-30
This is not an exhaustive list and none of these items are overly difficult to accomplish. However, it is easy to get sidetracked, and it is hard to stay consistent. If we were not easily distracted, we would not need so many reminders and exhortations to set our eyes on eternal things. Take some time today to reflect on heaven. We will get to live in the new heavens and new earth for all eternity - a world without sin or death. Look forward to spending eternity with our Savior and set your goals with heaven in mind.