I am afraid we are going to step on some toes with this article. Please don’t let a little toe pain put you off. Your carnal mind will try to distract you with offense and excuse. As an ally of the world, it will do what it can to prevent or limit your consideration of what follows.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

The first thing we have to ask ourselves about this passage is whether or not it contains commands or electives. This decision is important, so engage your mind. Reckon it to yourself. If you agree that every imperative statement in the Bible is a command, then say to yourself, “Self, God commands us to seek those things which are above, and to set our mind on them. Furthermore, He commands us to not set our mind on things on the earth.”

Next, we must decide: What is the difference between setting our mind on things above and on the things on this earth? Is it a gulf, a gully, or a hard line? In other words, is there some gray area between the two, where we can let our minds play? As you make this decision, be careful to differentiate between what your carnal mind is trying to tell you and what you believe from your heart to be true. I suspect the answer here may be different for different people, but be careful; gray areas often equate to compromise.

Next question: How and when do we set our minds? Does this automatically happen, or is some discipline required? Minds are set at the very beginning of our day. First thing.

So, what are you watching? What are you reading?

Ouch? Sorry, sometimes the truth hurts. I write from experience.

I attempt to set my mind during my quiet time, first thing in the morning. I use my iPhone to access daily devotions, a Bible app, some Bible study tools, and my prayer reminders. You see, I desperately desire for my mind to be set on things above.

So, what am I doing checking on the news (or Facebook) in the middle of my quiet time? My feeble excuse: It is so convenient, and my mind just wants to go there. Like drifting on the tide, I find my mind searching for earthly things.

Truth be told, this came as an epiphany for me… just last week. Why didn’t I see this earlier? For goodness sakes, I’m working on a book about the carnal mind and its status as our #1 enemy. How could I have been so blind to this intrusion?

And that’s the challenge with our carnal mind: it is a sneaky trickster. It will do anything to turn our mind away from God. We must be on guard against its distractions and deceptions.

So, let me ask you, how do you spend the first hour or two while you are waking up in the morning? Where are you setting your mind for the day? What difference would it make to refuse your carnal mind’s influence? Are you willing to give it a try?

God bless you with grace and courage to set your mind on things above and not on things on the earth.

Humbly yours and forever His,