Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, 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. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4, NIV)
Emily Dickinson once said: “The heart wants what the heart wants – or else it does not care.” In one sense, this famous saying is meaningless…philosophers call it tautology – circular logic: x = x. Maybe you remember the old country song “Wherever You Go, There You Are.”
But what she meant, I think, is that there is a primitive drive to the heart (the seat of human emotion) that isn’t governed by the mind. So in that sense, the heart does what it wants, whether logical or not. The problem with this is that you’ll find it used as an excuse for sin – Google Woody Allen and you’ll read that same quote…
That is why Paul encourages us to SET our hearts on things above. Literally, he uses the term “seek” in a tense showing habitual action. We are to continue to seek or pursue the things of God. If we remember that we have been resurrected from spiritual death, remember we have been given a place with Jesus in heaven, remember we are hidden in him…then our hearts won’t follow after the mundane, sinful, low things of this world. Those things will lose their shine. We won’t be interested.
Instead, if we continue to seek godly things – we continue to set them before us as goals…we can live above rather than below.
When our hearts are set on things above, we’ll pursue the things that God desires for us…for that will also be the desire of our hearts. When God changes our hearts…and the heart wants what the heart wants…all is well with the world.