I know… controversial right? What came to your mind when you read this title? Isn’t death the end of living? Or is it…?
What comes to your mind when you read the following verse?
“2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life,appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” – Colossians.3:2-4
What if I told you the first verse in that chapter says: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.“
Death in its physical term is the state of being unconscious, unaware, not listening, not watching or understanding about what is going on with you or around you. If you are dead you don’t feel the pain or hurt that some body caused you, neither do you take pleasure in the good things that happen to you or around you. We have all heard of the saying that “We only value what we have only when we have lost it.” And so I think we understand living better only when we die. Not die as in the physical terms but die to all material and worldly things that we hold dear. Why? Because, these are the very things that keep us bound, the very things that enslave us and the very things that stop us from true living.
When we die to our old-self that was very self-centred, proud and all-about-me kind of person and start to live with the new-self that Christ gave us, which is Christ-centred, humble and all-about-Christ kind of person, then true living, true freedom begins.
Once I read an awesome book called ‘Secrets of Victory’ by Brother Zac Poonen (You can read for free here: Secrets of Victory). In this book Brother Zac talks about how when our pride is ‘deflated’, the opinion and insults and back stabbing of others will never matter to us. Because In Christ we know who we are and all other opinions fade in the light of that truth.
When I first heard of the term “a pebble in my shoe”, I thought about how this so small pebble can be soo irritating that at times you have to stop your walk to take it out of your shoe. I’m sure we all have these ‘pebble in my shoe’ moments every day of our lives. Small irrelevant ‘problems’ or even inconveniences that just irritate us so much because they are not how we want them to be. But what if we were running, what if there was something more important in our mind than that tiny pebble that’s making our journey a little uncomfortable? If our minds are ‘set on the things above’, these small petty things become so irrelevant and insignificant. Then we see our foolishness in getting so caught up with them. Then the fact that someone misplaced our book from its usual place, or the train was delayed a couple of minutes or the fact that it rained when we didn’t want it, become so minute in the grand vision of what GOD has placed before us.
Changing our perspective heavenwards in times when we are tempted to focus and be gripped by those situations will free us from unnecessary bitterness and time wasted arguing in things that don’t have eternal meaning.
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians.1:21