Summary: Many are looking for something, but are unaware of what they are looking for.
BREAKING FREE FROM THE PAST
Colossians 3: 1-11
In an old Candid Camera episode, an actor is on a busy sidewalk and begins looking at the ground. He walks around a bit and continues to look down. People are passing by him and a few give him strange looks. After a couple minutes, he decides to get down on his hands and knees and begins feeling around with his hands. People begin to slow down and watch what he’s doing. Finally, one person stops and starts looking at the ground. Then another one begins searching the sidewalk.
In a few minutes, the camera shows about a dozen people looking down, some even on their hands and knees! At that point, the actor, who got all this started in the first place, quietly gets up and walks away. No one else notices that he has left. They were so intent in their search that they never even bothered to ask what it was they were looking for.
This is a good picture of many people who are searching but don’t know what for. They’ll never find it if they don’t know what they are looking for.
In the book of Colossians 3: 1-11 we are going to discover what it’s like to break free from our past, and where we put our focus is very important. Instead of looking down, Paul challenges us to LOOK UP, LOOK OUT, and LOOK IN and LOOK AROUND.
When we read Colossians we move from doctrine to conduct. What we believe in will determine in large part how we behave. If we get Christ right we get everything else right. Let us pray that we’re not like those described in Titus 1:16 “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.”
Paul has been saying that we are set free from the powers around us, now he tells us that we have been set free for living a life above moral reproach. God’s plan is to first make us new; then He challenges us to live as new people. In short, we don’t have to be like we’ve always been. We can break free from the past, if we know where to look.
LOOK UP, instead of gazing at the ground, we must first look up! In Colossians 3:1-4 “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. When we were converted things changed, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is you life appears, then you will appear with him in glory.”
Now that we died with Christ, we don’t have to follow the rules of a hollow and deceptive philosophy. And since we’ve been raised with Christ, we have a new status and therefore a new way of thinking and a new way of living. We now have a power source, and have been seated with Him in the heavenly places. This is our position, but we must appropriate these truths on a daily basis in order to break free from the past.
Jesus put it this way “For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also.” If our focus is on things that ultimately rust, tarnish, break down, or burn up, our energy and emotions will be misplaced.
The first thing we must do is “set our hearts on things above.” The second is to “set our minds on things above, and not on earthly things.”
Our feet on the earth, but our minds must be in heaven. Thoughts can influence actions, so if we place our thought above and not on the earth, our behavior will reflect those things that matter to God. If we fix our gaze on things above, God will change our desires. If we change our mind, God will change our heart. In verses 3-4 we’re given five reasons to look up. We’ve died, this looks back to the cross. Second, our life is hidden with Christ, and we are seated with Him. Then Christ is our life, without Him we would be dead in our sins. By realizing that Christ is our life, we can have a new attitude about anything that happens to us.
The fourth thing that we need to remember is that Christ will come again, it only makes sense that we should be looking up on a continuous basis. And, finally we will appear with Him in Glory.
“….but we know that when he appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall wee Him as He is.”
Paul is urging us to look up and remember who we are now, who we once were, and who we will be when Christ returns. Where are you looking today? What does your mind focus on? What gets the attention of your heart? Our outlook determines our out come. That leads to the second point. LOOK OUT!