Monday, August 11, 2008

A Life of Praise

FYI: I've not abandoned the "Attributes of Obedience" study, I'm just kind of all over the place right now. I intend to post the rest of the study soon.)

Yesterday my wife and I attended a church service where a good friend was preaching. As most of you know, our presence at a church building is pretty monumental these days, so as we left, I scoured the foyer in order to see what church related things I could find on their tables (don't ask me why). I quietly grabbed a prayer sheet, tucked it in my Bible and we left. I got it out this morning and read over the sheet that is much like every other prayer request sheet in every church in America. It listed health needs, prayer requests, missionaries and praises within the church. As I read through them, it easily stood out that out of the 2 pages of listings, under “Praise!” there was one listing. As I thought about how there must be more that is praiseworthy than this, even within the small congregation, I reflected back on the Rhema Word for this morning.

Colossians 3:2 - “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Something within me clicked with what this verse is really saying. Of course it’s encouraging us to not be focused on things of the earth that are quickly passing away, but I think it’s much deeper than that. You see, when we’re setting our minds on things above, we’re choosing to live in a heavenly mindset and follow its order. What is heaven’s order? What is heavens primary activity? Praise! When we’re enveloped with activities of earth, we cannot praise the same. When my affections, as the KJV calls it, are only set on what I need to accomplish here, praise is pushed out. Why? Because it becomes all about what I need, what I want, what I must do. When my mind is set on heavenly things, the heavenly order, it is set on praising my God. My gaze is turned off of me and onto Him. As a citizen of Heaven, things are put in the right order and I can live on this earth without being of it - my whole perspective changes.

Too many times I find myself attempting to add Godly things to my earthly life. This cannot and will not produce “heavenly living”. I will never live an on earth as it is in heaven life if the majority of my identity is rooted in the natural world. The Word states that I’m seated now in heavenly places with Jesus – knowing this, I need to think like it. I need to speak like it. I need to arrange my entire life with this in mind. In that mindset, with my affections set on these heavenly things, then, and only then, will I live a life of true praise. It will no longer be about my needs, my wants and my desires – it will only be about praising the Lord for all He has done.

I don’t know why I often keep revisiting things that I already know, yet don’t live out. Jesus will not be an “add onto what I’m already doing” Lord. He has called me to deep places in Him and thankfully, He continues to tell me that He will settle for nothing less than all of me. So I choose, even if for the hundredth time, to set my mind on things above - things that are filled with praise for my Saviour, things that are loosing things of heaven to infiltrate the things of earth. I will re-establish a life devoted to praise above all else.

I'd like to add, on a side note, that our friend's message was (ironically) on dying to self - how fitting. Great job Andrew.


Anonymous said...


grace and peace,

Anonymous said...

set our minds!! This is something that we must learn to do. I have been spending an entire Monday talking to Daddy God about this very thing. This world is not what to put my mind on, it is the eternal things that matter and will be forever.All of this is temporary! HE is eternal and will never end. Oh Lord, teach us how to set our mind on you.

Anonymous said...

What timing! God must have us on the same wave length because I've been struggling with what to set my mind on.

There are better things to dwell on. I have to remind myself of this truth often.

Thank you for taking heed and posting this.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You are quite the awesome one are you not! Thanks for giving more glimpses of your heart!

Joel Spencer said...

anonymous 1 (Harriet) through anonymous 4: May the Holy Spirit guide us all into daily lives of "eternal mindsetting". We must learn to walk as the heavenly beings that we, even now in fact, are. This seems to scare so many people, yet is as true as ever. We are spiritual beings created to worship a spiritual God (John 4:24).

Tamela's Place said...

I use to hear it said, that to be so heavenly minded is to be no earthly good. But i disagree. I believe the only way we can be any earthly good is to be heavenly minded for not only ourselves but others as well. Think on things that are above.. Amen! and Amen!

Andrew said...

Joel, my whole sermon stemmed from a conversation i had when i was 19 and i was home from college for a summer and was drinking and causing trouble and someone told me i needed to choose whether to live for myself or live for God, and at that point he explained to me about what it meant to die to self, and how we can try to fill our lives with crap or fill it with Jesus, and how as we fill ourselves more and more with him there will be less of us, and i really think that it means that although i will never be "on earth as it is in heaven", i can still try and that by emptying myself that i will allow him to work through me and i will become more as it is in heaven and less of on earth.... so i encourage you to keep trying to become like him, you are further along than i am, and as we die daily he will live through us and that's the amazing thing so i eagerly encourage you do die, just plain die that's the only way to truly live

Anonymous said...

Ya know, you are onto something here. Revelation 4:7-11 comes to mind. "The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."

Our eyes should always be on the Father. John's description of these creatures tells me "all eyes on God, never turning away for great is his Glory"

Thanks Joel

Anonymous said...

Our death in Christ is a death to the old self,the old ways,the sinful life.It is a reality and a hope.It is truth as well as life.Jesus so completely represented us on the cross,that when He died,it is said that we also died.