What Are You Looking For?

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In the airport today, a young woman came running back into the boarding area from the corridor after having already scanned her ticket. She was promptly greeted by security personnel who asked, “Have you lost something?” The frantic young woman said she had lost her phone, and thought it was in the seat by the window where she had been sitting. “Tell me what it looks like,” the agent prompted, “and I will go get it for you.” I glanced toward the window and saw three or four phones plugged into the wall outlet. Without a good description, who would have known what to look for? “It’s an iPhone 6, in a pink sparkly case,” came the reply. No trouble there. Found it.

The saying goes: “If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll never find it.” So true. Life in the real world is full of searching. Real people in the real world search for love, friendship, success,  happiness and much more. Unless you have a clear definition of what these look like, you’ll never find them. But maybe a better question is not “what do these things look like,” but rather, “are these things really what I should be seeking in the first place?”

Scripture commands us to search. To seek…

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

(Colossians 3:1-2)

Those who are in Christ (Christians) are to seek heavenly things. The verb seek is written as a present active imperative. (Present = right now, don’t wait. Active = take initiative and be diligent. Imperative = a command; you must do this.) The things above are heavenly things, and they stand in direct contrast to earthly things. We are to set our mind on these heavenly things. In other words, we are to both long for them and actively pursue them. What are the things above, where Christ is? Redemption, righteousness, holiness, goodness, peace, faithfulness, joy, grace and above all, the very presence of God. We are to long for these things and to actively pursue them.

What is your heart set on? What are you looking for? I suppose if you define the object of your earthly affection clearly enough, you could find it. Perhaps you could find that ideal spouse, that dream job, or that elusive sense of accomplishment or fulfillment. But if your search is toward an earthly affection, it will only bring temporary satisfaction. However, things above–heavenly things–bring eternal satisfaction.

What would happen if you poured as much energy, time, resource and affection into pursuing things above as you have been pouring into pursuing things below? Jesus Himself said in Matthew 6:33 that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to us. Psalm 37:4 says we should delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts. You know why? Because when our affection is set on Christ, His desires become our desires.

Do you know what heavenly things look like, and how they stand in contradiction to earthly things? Are you longing for and actively pursuing those heavenly things? If you took an inventory of your time, energy, resources and affections today, would that inventory reveal a longing for and pursuit of heavenly things or earthly things?

The Christian has the overarching joy of living this life with an eye on the next. And when you get a real glimpse of heavenly things, earthly things have a tendency to fade into the background. Long for those things above. Actively pursue them. Lean in. And, “when Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory,” (Col. 3:4).

Grace and Peace,
Tony

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