Desire for God

Colossians 3:1-2  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Paul wrote to the Christians who lived in the city called Colossae. It was 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of the city called Ephesus. It was in the valley of the river Lycus. Today this area is part of the country of Turkey. The main roads for trade went past Colossae. It was a large and wealthy city for many centuries. Paul in this epistle reminds the Christian in the city to focus on the thing that really matters living eternally in Christ Jesus and place your focus on eternity not there here and now.

I think Paul says that it’s all about desire.  To desire goodness, beauty, intimacy.... True intimacy with God.  I believe that we all long for it and desire it in our inward selves.   We do experience intimacy in our lives..when I’m with my wife and we share that day, talk about trips, catch up after I’ve been back from a trip, go hiking or watch one of God’s incredible sunsets or sunrises.  God is present in those moments, but human intimacy I think still doesn’t quench the need or satisfy that ongoing desire for  intimacy with God.

Thomas Aquinas said “There is within every soul a thirst for happiness and meaning.” Augustine of Hippo said "Desire only God and your heart will be satisfied." CS lewis said “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Since the dawn of time, I think that it’s evident that mankind has pursued fulfillment of that thirst with everything imaginable. I know that I find myself at times it is easy to get accustomed to consumerism and pursuing what the world offers. I think that we all know ultimately doesn’t satisfy the soul. Seeking and finding God does. But that like all very dear relationships it takes work.  I think that’s what Paul reminding us of here is in this verse.  Setting our minds on our eventual home and our creator and redeemer is key. There is a saying that goes "You're never too busy to take time for the things you care about”.  I think Paul here is saying you can’t ever be too busy to think about God and Paul reminds us to work at setting our sights on heaven....with all our heart.  Not part or some of it but all. No excuses... focus on eternity because we will all experience it in one way or another.

The apostle Paul in other letters also talked about working at our relationship with God and how we need to be like athletes running the race to win not just to compete. May we all run the race like God want us to – to win! May God keep our desires on Him, keep our focus on things He wants us to focus on and keep our hearts...our whole hearts seeking him.

Gruss Gott from Bavaria, Germany,
Matt Schneider

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