THE HIDDEN LIFE MANIFESTS FIRST IN THE HEART AND MIND

Posted: May 11, 2012 in Books, Christianity, Education, Family, History, Life, Lifestyle, News, Parenting, Quotes, Uncategorized

“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.”

– Colossians 3:1b-2 NIV

The practical application of this spiritual principle conveyed by the Apostle Paul in the book of Colossians would be to think about life from heaven’s perspective, or to give consideration to the way God would want me to live over the way the world’s way. Simply, think about God’s will (set your mind) and desire to do it (set your heart). The Apostle Paul communicates this biblical principle for experiencing the hidden life with Christ in God this way in the book of Ephesians, “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” – Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV

It is not God’s desire that the Christian wander through life aimlessly, without purpose, a sense of mission and vision for the future and how to operate in this world in a way that allows us to impact this world for God in a way that makes things better. We are not designed by our Creator, as children of God, to be insignificant, inferior, impotent, or ineffective in living with purpose, power and the ability to be productive. In fact, in the beginning, God created us and commanded us to be fruitful and rule over the earth in His image and likeness (See Genesis 1:26-27). The hidden life with Christ in God affords us the privileged opportunity to experience a fullness of life that cannot be achieved apart from God. The hidden life with Christ in God elevates our minds, lifts our hearts, inspires us and empowers us to transcend the boundaries, limitations and forces of this world to accomplish great things and encounter our Creator in ways we would not have known apart from our knowledge of Him revealed in His word by His Spirit living on the inside of those who believe.

In the book of Ephesians, as well as the book of Colossians, the Apostle Paul outlines the necessary actions needed in order to begin the process of encountering the hidden life with Christ in God. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” – Colossians 3:9-10 NIV To put off connotes an intentional act of seeking to change from what used to be into something new. It is a deliberate action intent on progressing from what used to be (former way of life) towards something better (new self). Also recognize the process of being renewed in knowledge, or being made new in the attitude of the mind. This can only come through deliberate invested energy devoted to the reading, reflection and application of the word of God. The hidden life manifests first in the heart and mind as I surrender my will to God’s through His word. By doing this, I allow the Spirit of God to equip, enable and empower me to live out the hidden life with Christ in God. This is how I experience being transformed to look like Him in true righteousness and holiness and walk in the fulfillment of being created in His image and likeness.

The rich young ruler did not realize that inheriting eternal life is not just about securing a reservation in heaven as a final resting place like one would invest in a cemetery plot before they breathe their last. Before we get to heaven, it is God’s desire that we discover the hidden life with Christ in God that will make others around us thirst and hunger for what they see God accomplishing in and through us. The rich young ruler did not consider the change inheriting eternal life would bring about in his life, beginning first with the way he thought about life, who Jesus is and what that would require of him to acquire what he sought after. What must I do to inherit eternal life?

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” – John 17:3 NIV Eternal life begins the moment I recognize God for who He is and His Son He sent. I don’t have to wait until I get to heaven to experience eternal life! The moment I believe Jesus is LORD, the Son of God raised from the dead for the penalty of my sins, I inherit eternal life. The rich young ruler could not see Jesus for who He is. Inheriting eternal life begins with a change in the way I think and what I believe in my heart. Experiencing the hidden life with Christ in God, which is eternal life, is the continued growth and development in the revelation of God, through faith in Christ, manifested in how I live daily and how I spend my life, invested in God’s will to make the world around me a better place. This is how I will have treasure in heaven. Jesus explained to the rich young ruler that if he spent his life on behalf of those around him who could benefit from his prosperity he would have treasure in heaven and then He invited the young man to follow Him. This is what Jesus did for us and what He requires of those who believe.

May God bless you and help you to discover the hidden life with Christ in Him and reveal to you how to set your heart and mind on things above, by the inspiration of His word and His Spirit, to experience the fullness of life Christ came for you to have.

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