Transformation is a journey, not an instantaneous experience. I wish we could just pray away our old nature and be done with it but that’s not how it works. This is one reason we need to be a part of a local church; we need each other on this journey.
Transformation is a day by day, week by week, decision by decision process.
Check out what Paul said regarding his experiences in becoming more like Jesus;
“15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15
“13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13
As followers of Jesus, we respond to struggles and challenges differently. We don’t quit, we press on to what lies ahead. The Bible gives us hope and truth to live by so that we can live better. God gives grace when you fail, to relieve your guilt, so you can get back up, repent and put on your new nature.
Here in Colossians 3, Paul shares invaluable lessons on faith so that we will grow in our new life in Christ.
“If then you have been raised with Christ seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
If you answered “yes” to this question, then the following information applies to you. Paul begins by making a key distinction of the place and position of Jesus; at the right hand of God.
The right hand is a metaphor that has two suggested meanings.
- It is a position of power.
- It is a position of privilege.
Paul wants the Colossians, and us, to focus not on the struggle of transformation but on Jesus’ complete authority to make change happen. In our fight to overcome our old nature, there are two key components that need to be addressed.
#1 “Seek the things that are above.”
In other translations, you may read, “Set your heart on things that are above.” The word that’s translated seek or heart is “Zeteo” and means to desire, wish for, crave. These are all actions of our heart. Our heart is a major influencer in our life.
At the point of salvation, our heart needs to be reset on things above, no longer driven by earthly passions that will stunt our spiritual growth.
#2 “Set your minds on things above.”
The word translated as mind means more than just our thoughts but includes our values and our loves. Our thoughts are a precursor to action.
If we are thinking on the wrong things, the wrong actions will follow.
Our heart speaks to our morality and our mind to our mentality. Your heart and mind encompass your entire being.
For your new nature to thrive, you must put to death the old nature. The word death is a metaphor that means to deaden, to deprive of force or vigor, to make powerless or impotent.
Paul makes a list in verse eight of five characteristics that need to be put away;
- Anger. A state of mind.
- Wrath. Violence.
- Malice. Feelings of hostility and strong dislike.
- Slander. Verbal abuse.
- Obscene. Vulgar speech.
But it’s not enough to just say “no,” there must be something we say “yes” to doing. Otherwise, we will relapse in our old behaviors and nature.
In verse 12 we have a list of new behaviors to put on.
- Compassion. To show mercy.
- Kindness. Beneficial service that meets someone’s need.
- Humility. Without arrogance.
- Meekness. Not being harsh with others.
- Patience. Not provoked.
- Bearing. Enduring difficulty.
- Forgive. Forgive even if it is undeserved.
- Love. Unconditional love.
Paul concludes by saying, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Live in a way that God’s name could be attached and associated with your thoughts and actions and His name glorified by them.
If you’re feeling stagnate or like you’re not growing spiritually, gauge your walk with God with this checklist of things to put away and things to put on!