Colossians 3 says that the believer is to “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth” (v. 2). To ask a question that a three-year-old might ask — Why? Why should we set out minds on God and seek Him (v. 1)? The passage offers five reasons why we should seek God.
We should seek God because seeking God is ultimately the only thing we know and possess that is eternal (v. 2). Nothing on earth is eternal (except people – which is why evangelism is also a means to seeking God above all things). To make much of life on earth, we must consider what is of eternal value and consequence (2 Cor. 4:18). F. F. Bruce correctly explained this principle when he wrote, “Judge everything by the standards of that new creation to which you know belong, not by those of the old order to which you have said a final farewell.”
We should also seek God because if we don’t seek God, we will be seeking the things that are dead to us (v. 3). Christ already died for sin, so why should we let these sins still kill us?
Thirdly, we should seek God because our very life is hidden with Christ – the believer’s life is already a heavenly life (v. 3b)! We are with Christ…even as the disciples were with Him (Mk. 3:14). This unique relationship is not just future, but already a present reality – like an engaged bride who already (legitimately) has the joys of the marriage relationship. And because of that present reality, we have a common life with the Father and the Son (cf. also 2 Pt. 1:4). We have a life that is “concealed” from the world (1 Cor. 2:14) and we have protection from all spiritual foes (Rom. 8:31-39). Because of this fellowship with God, we should then seek Him.
We should also seek God because our very life is not only hidden with Christ, but it is Christ (v. 4)! Not only do we have life with and by and through Christ – but we have an intimacy that is so close that it can be said that His life is our life! He is living His life through ours. Now for a frustrated baseball player doing that through his son, that’s dangerous; but for the God of creation doing through us, that’s glorious!
And finally we should seek God because at the revelation of all Christ’s glory, we will also be revealed and glorified (v. 4b; cf. also 1 Jn. 3:2f). Our future is both the motive and the power for living renewed, unindulgent lives. Puritan Richard Sibbes noted our propensity not to avail ourselves of this power and motive when he said, “We are only poor for this reason, that we do not know our riches in Christ.”
The key to living is to live with God as our singular orientation and by orienting our thoughts to His. And the happy byproduct is that not only do you get God, but in getting God, you get His blessing of a satisfied life, unencumbered by fleshly indulgences – not by legalism, but by grace.