25 ways to set your mind on things above (Part 2)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:6
Today we bring you the final part of 25 Ways To Set Your Mind on Things Above, which we ended on number 13, last week.
The apostle Paul told us to set our minds on“things above,” that is, heavenly things, not on things on the earth,” that is, earthly things – Colossians 3:2. We need to be intentional about the information we feed our minds with and what we process with our minds.
SETTING OUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE.
- MAKE PRAYER AND BIBLE READING A DAILY HABIT
Scripture teaches us everything we need to know about God and His will so we can live a new life. It shows us the good things that should occupy our minds to pursue holiness. That’s why we must have quality time on a daily basis meditating in the Bible and praying to the Lord, asking Him to help us put what we are learning into practice Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; Matthew 6:6.
- MEMORISE BIBLE VERSES
Committing excerpts from the Word of God to your memory is a great way to keep your mind on heavenly things. The first step is to select verses from Scripture that will help you remember what God has done for you, who He is, and the promises He gave to all of us. Use memorisation techniques that best suit you, and make sure to practise every day. Keep bringing verses you’ve already memorised to your mind throughout the day, so you don’t forget them Psalm 119:11.
- ASK GOD TO SEARCH YOUR HEART
It takes courage to do that. We know that there are many things even in a believer’s mind that displease the Lord. Our sins come from them. But sin itself blinds us to our wrong ways. That’s why we need to ask the Lord to:
- Search our heart, our inner being Psalm 139:23.
- Show us the things we do that grieve Him Psalm 139:24.
- Help us sanctify our minds and change our ways Psalm 51:10.
- CONFESS YOUR SINS AND ASK FOR GOD’S FORGIVENESS DAILY
This is a critical habit that will bring major changes to your life and your relationship with the Lord. So, here are a few things that will help you pursue a heavenly mindset and a holy life:
- Think about your day.
- Ask God to help you remember the sins you committed and the things that you shouldn’t have done.
- Confess them to God.
- Ask Him for forgiveness, believing that Jesus has already paid the price at the cross.
- Ask Him to help you fight temptation and not fall into those sins again.
- Thank God and believe you’re forgiven Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9.
Make it a daily routine in your life.
- FLEE FROM TEMPTATION
During trials, we must persevere. But, when it comes to temptation, we can never overestimate our strength to resist it Matthew 26:41. We must flee from the situation right away Genesis 39:11-12; 1 Corinthians6:18.
The more we allow our eyes, ears, and thoughts to be exposed to such things that tempt us, the highest the risk that we may fall. We must protect our minds and not give opportunities for the devil to tempt us Ephesians 4:26-27.
- CREATE STRATEGIES TO BRING YOUR MIND TO GOD THROUGHOUT THE DAY
You need to be intentional to bring God’s Word into your mind during your daily life. Here are some suggestions:
- Thank God for every good thing that happens (a good meal, a beautiful sunset, a fast commute, a pleasant conversation, a problem solved, a good idea you had, etc.).
- Pray quietly for people you meet.
- Use your breaks or waiting time to read a portion of Scripture or talk to God.
Use your imagination and think of other good ways to keep connecting to God at all times.
- AVOID INDULGING IN EARTHLY PLEASURES
Most sins don’t happen unexpectedly. They begin with little temptations that we give in, thinking that it’s no big deal. But it is. Every sin is a huge deal Romans 6:23. So, we must learn to resist every temptation that draws us to do something that will feed our earthly urges and bring us self-centred gratification. We need to pursue the will of God and resist any impulse that can lead us to sin James 1:14-15.
- PRACTISE FASTING
When we fast, we give up something we need (usually food) to dedicate time and energy exclusively for the Lord Matthew 4:4. Whenever you can, take some time to fast, pray, and seek the presence of the Lord. The discipline you learn through fasting will help you control other urges of your body and mind that may lead you to sin 1 Corinthians 9:27.
- BE THANKFUL TO GOD
Even during difficult times, we have a lot of reasons to be thankful to God. The Lord has done so much for us; He has shown His great love for us in many ways:
- He gave His son to pay for our sins Romans 5:8.
- He forgave us (1 John 1:9).
- He adopted us as His own children John 1:12.
- He gave us eternal life with Him John 3:16.
And much more. We don’t even notice most of the blessings that He gives us every day. So, make sure to take a moment to thank the Lord for all He does for you daily Psalm 145:9; James 1:17. Be specific and let each reason you mention sink in your mind and lead you to worship the Lord for His kindness.
- LEARN TO THINK INTENTIONALLY
All humans have a sinful nature. It means that it is natural for us to sin. So, thinking about heavenly things is not natural for us. We need to practise it intentionally. If we let our minds wander freely, most of the thoughts that come to us are usually not heavenly thoughts. So, avoid letting your mind wander without purpose. Feed it with good content. For example, if you’re tired and need to relax, instead of letting your thoughts run freely, put on some good music that helps you think about godly things while you rest.
- BEWARE OF YOUR PRIDE
Pride is a threat that lives inside every one of us. It tempts us to think that our good works are somehow making us better than other people or that we are worthy of the kindness of God. Don’t let worldly thoughts like that creep into your mind. Do this instead:
- Remain humble James 4:6.
- Consider others better than yourself Philippians 2:3.
- Keep in mind that you don’t deserve any favour from the Lord Ephesians 2:8-9.
- Remember that the good things you do also come from the Lord James 1:17.
- PUT YOUR HOPE IN GOD
When we decide to live our lives for God, we face all sorts of resistance, including from our own earthly nature. We need to do our best to fight temptation and focus our minds on heavenly things. And we need to trust God that He will take care of what’s beyond our reach Philippians 4:13. Trust Him with your needs, your circumstances, your future 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Put your hope in Him and Him alone Romans 15:13.
The apostle Paul gave us a bold challenge. Discipline and intentional actions will help you keep your mind connected to the word of Christ Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places Ephesians 2:6. Set your mind on the things above, and the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in the Lord Jesus Christ Philippians 4:6-9.
If you have not yet confessed Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour, this is an opportunity to do so. And when you do, just surrender totally to Him with your eternal future, for He will never leave nor forsake you – Hebrews 13:5
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Dr. Joyce Aryee, the author