A ‘Raised-Up’ Mind-Set
Study Guide, May 17, 2020
Pastor Clay Olsen
Here’s a question: So how many days are we into Easter-tide now? Remember, Easter-tide is the 50 day period following the Resurrection that culminates in Pentecost Sunday. So that means we are into day 36 of Easter-tide. It also means that we are four days away from when the Ascension of Jesus took place. Which is another wonderful truth that should encourage us immensely, because it reminds us that this same Jesus who was taken up into Heaven is coming back!
But this 36 days since the Resurrection also means ‘something else’. And that ‘something else’ is what the Apostle Paul instructed us to now practice every day since we, too, have been raised up with Christ. And what that ‘something else’ is, is this: That ‘something-else’ that we are supposed to practice every day a ‘raised-up mind-set’. And friends, if there was ever a time when God’s people need to be practicing and thinking according to our ‘raised-up mind-set’, it’s now! We are living in such a troubled time, a stressful time, a confusing time…that of all people, we, as God’s people, can actually be redeeming the time, or making the best possible use of this time, starting by thinking about this time and acting in this time according to a ‘raised-up mind-set’.
And so, again, what is this ‘raised-up mind-set’? This ‘raised-up mind-set’ is how the Apostle Paul describes how resurrected people are supposed to think and to then live. So let’s look: Col 3:1-4- “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” NASU
If you have been born again, if you have been resurrected in your spirit, if your once ‘dead in trespasses and sin spirit’ has been united to Christ’s Spirit by God’s grace and through your faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, well then, if and since you have been raised-up in your spirit, then you and I need to now think and live according to a new mind-set. We basically need a ‘re-set’ of our ‘mind-set’ in order to set our minds on the things above, and not on the things that are on earth. In fact, every day your mind and my mind needs a ‘re-set’, if we are going to develop a right mind-set, a Biblical mind-set.
I love the way the book of Proverbs starts out in the ERV Bible version. It says in Prov 1:1-3- “These are the proverbs of Solomon, the son of David and king of Israel. They will help you learn to be wise, to accept correction, and to understand wise sayings. They will teach you to develop your mind in the right way.” ERV Think about that: ‘They will teach you to develop your mind in the right way.’ What does that imply? It implies that the only way to develop your mind in the right way is to seek to learn and to practice and to live by the revelation and the reasoning of the Words of God, the Scriptures! God once said to Isaiah, “Come now, let us ‘reason’ together”…which was like God saying, “I am going to reveal some things to you. And after I reveal these things to you, the only reasonable thing for you to do is to then use it all in your own reasoning for everything that you do. For to do anything else would be completely unreasonable.” God’s revelation about everything is the most reasonable and logical information there is about life and living.
Now then, when Proverbs instructs us to use the revelation of God in order to develop our mind the right way, that also directly implies that unless a person seeks to learn and to practice and to live by the revelation and the reasoning of the Words of God, then he or she will not be able to develop their mind in the right way. In other words, a mind developed apart from the revelation and reasoning of the Words of God will be a mind that has been developed in the wrong way, which then reasons wrong and thinks wrong and believes wrong. And then many people wonder, “What’s wrong?” You can’t input ‘wrong’ and output ‘right’!
It really is about ‘input-in and then input-out’, or ‘out-put’. It’s not complicated, but it is very precise! We cannot expect a computer to out-put what has not first been put into it, or programmed into it. And if we realize that our mind is like a super-computer then we have to also realize that whatever we program into our minds is what’s going to dominate the output of our minds. It is only logical to understand that if we spend 16 hours daily of our waking life in thinking about the affairs of the world, and only 5 minutes thinking about God, then this world will seem 200 times more real and important to us than God! If we are going to develop our mind right, that is, if we are going to develop our mind according to the truth and justice and righteousness and revelation of actual reality, then we are going to have to practice Col 3:1-3! We are going to have to develop a right mind-set, a raised-up mind-set, where the priorities of the revelation and reasoning of the Word of God become the priorities of the things we daily dwell upon and daily use to make decisions and to take actions and to just do whatever it is that we have to do as we live out our daily lives. If we don’t get our mind right, then we should just expect that the rest of our life is going to go wrong.
We are instructed to develop a raised-up mind-set, by setting our minds on the things above. In other words, we need to practice superimposing Heaven over Earth so that we can then look at life through the lens of truth…the lens of the Word of God. It’s like with those chart books of Human anatomy. It starts with the skeleton. And then each page adds more understanding to what the human anatomy is all about, as you add the circulation system, and nerve system, and then muscle tissue and organs, and then the features of skin and so on. If all you had was the first page, the skeleton, you wouldn’t have much of an understanding at all of how the human anatomy was in reality. Now, this is a limited illustration, but think about it: it’s like the skeleton is human life on earth and the Bible is what contains the rest of the pages that give understanding about everything else. And as you lay the truths of the Bible over life, a page at a time, it then reveals to us what human life is really all about. And so you see, without the revelation of the teachings and truths of the Bible, all a person can see and understand about human life is limited to like only having that skeleton; it’s like just looking at bones and then guessing about everything else. It’s like that old saying, “You can’t know what you don’t know, until you find out what there is to know”.
But the point is, we have to seek to know what we don’t naturally know. That’s why we have to keep seeking the things above; we have to set our minds on the things above, on the realities of God’s Word. And then daily superimpose these realities of God’s Word over our present world; superimpose ‘the things above over the things below’, superimpose Heaven over Earth. When you look at life apart from God’s Word it’s like only looking at the skeleton of Earth…the skeleton of the people of Earth…the skeleton of the issues of Earth. In order to rightly understand this world and the people of this world and know how to rightly live in this present world, it requires developing a right mind-set about the world. And that requires developing a right habit; the habit of re-setting your mind day by day on the truths of God’s Word, which then develops a raised-up mind-set.
Actually, every day you and I need a ‘re-set’ of our minds. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a button…like a re-set button on the side of our heads we could push each morning and get a Biblical re-set? Anyway…the reason that we say we need to re-set our minds every day is because the command to ‘set your minds’ is connected to the command to ‘keep seeking’, which is in the ‘present active’ tense, meaning ‘continually’, or day by day. Of course, that’s another reason why developing a daily Bible reading and devotional habit is essential. And, another help is by having some ‘go to’ verses to daily review in order to help ‘re-set’ your mind. We suggest you have a list on your desk or in your notes on your phone or someplace where you can go to right away every day and turn to and review several key promises or instructions from God in order to help get your mind right for the day.
And another reason we need to make this a habit is because of this: ‘We are what we dwell upon!’ Yes, of course, we have to deal with all kinds of things that life throws at us day by day. But what you dwell upon will determine how to deal with the things that life throws at you. And how you deal with things in life is often more important that what things you’re dealing with anyway. And the thing is; those who think that they can neglect dwelling upon the truths of God’s Word and still deal rightly with the things in their life are completely deceived. Remember this; left to our own reasoning, we tend to default to our own faulty human reasoning. We need to develop the discipline of focusing on God’s revelation so that we can use Biblical reasoning in everything that we do. That’s why God told Joshua: Josh 1:7-8- “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” NLT
Now, lets give some examples of what we mean by some ‘go-to’ verses to help re-set your mind each day. And you can use these or pick several yourself. But the thing is, be sure to review them every day in order to then be able to dwell upon them and then set them into motion in helping you set your mind on the things above all the while you live here below. Here we go.
Every day you can:
Re-set your Identity: 2 Cor 5:17- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” NKJV
Re-set your Purpose: Gal 2:20- “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” NASU
Re-set your Attitude: Phil 2:5-9- “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” NASU
Re-set your Goal: 1 Cor 10:31-“…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” NASU
Re-set your Assurance: Rom 8:1-2- “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” NASU
Again, these are just some examples, and you can select others if you like. These will be posted on our website in our study guide if you would like to check into this further. But this habit, this discipline will assist you in training your brain to think Biblically about life. And remember, the Bible wasn’t given just for our information; it was given for our transformation. And transformation is something that happens one day at a time. So make sure you are transforming your mind each day in order to honor God and live your life with a raised-up mind-set, which God can then use for His glory and for other’s blessing and for your gain! That’s the trifecta of a successful life: God’s glory, other’s blessing, and your gain!