Set your MIND on things above

John Tetnowski
Originally published on March 25, 2020

Set your MIND on things above

Last week, we started this wonderful series of devotionals.  When I read “set your heart on things above”, I knew what God wanted me to share with all of you.  Colossians 3 is the first entire chapter of the bible that I ever put to memory.  The chapter begins, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”.
I confess.  I have been struggling with the change in our lives due to the COVID-19.  As an extrovert, not seeing people on a daily basis hurts my heart and soul.  But behind the scenes, my mind is also hurting. For me, I think I know what to do with my heart, but my mind is wandering.  You may be similar.  My mind is constantly filled with questions like…

What if this gets worse?…….What if I lose all of our money?……
When will the government do something?……Why does this have to happen now? ……
What if I get sick?……What if someone in my family gets sick?

I would wager that many of you are having these same thoughts.  I pray to God that none of the bad scenarios playing out in our minds actually happen!  During the day, I can calm my heart and mind. I still work from home, exercise daily, cook, eat, and I have been more faithful about reaching out to others.  My mother lives in an assisted living community where they are not allowed any visitors.  I wrote her a note just a few days ago, and she told me how much it meant.  This is setting MY HEART ON THINGS ABOVE.  The tough part is when the night comes.  My mind goes back to my human insecurities and keeps asking WHAT IF……? My human frailty keeps me up at night trying to figure out God’s plan and how I can fix it.  Clearly my mind needs help…….I need my heart AND my mind to be set on things above.  
Let me share how I am setting my mind on things above.  Pastor Dennis gave us a great challenge last week when he encouraged us to read Psalm 23 every day as we start our day and every night as we end our day.  I have done this with my wife every day, and I have now encouraged extended family to do the same.  In order to change things up a bit, we have been reading different versions of Psalm 23 each morning and each evening.   I am drawn to the “Amplified Bible” version of Psalm 23 as I try to set my mind on things above.  As I pray this wonderful psalm each day, I’m drawn to the 4th verse.  
Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for YOU are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide],
they comfort and console me.

It seems like prayers like this were meant to set our minds on things above.  I ask the Lord, especially at night, to use His rod and staff to protect and guide me.  Setting my mind on things above has allowed the Good Shepherd to calm my soul and to keep my heart and soul on things above (and to even get a restful night of sleep)!  Here is one of my prayers from just a few days ago.

Lord as we go through this dark valley called Corona Virus,
We are not afraid, because You are with us.
Your word and blessings are here to comfort us.
Help us to keep our HEARTS and MINDS on things above

In my life’s experiences, every time I’m tested, I get angry at God for making my life more difficult.  And yet every time this happens, I grow in my faith.  Let’s all look to the Good Shepherd, and let his rod and staff guide us and lead us…….and steer us on the path to keep our HEARTS and MINDS on Him.  And my closing prayer…

Lord, let your rod and staff comfort my health fears.
Lord when I see your rod and staff, I have no financial fears.
Lord when I follow your rod and staff, my mind is centered on YOU.

John Tetnowski