Learn To Live Above The Clouds
By David J. Stewart | January 2014
Colossians 3:1-3, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Every Christian believer needs to learn to live above the clouds as much as possible. Rain falls downward, BELOW the clouds. The rains of criticism, slander and hatred from others fall downward, BELOW the clouds. The rains of disappointment, divorce, depression and discouragement fall downward, BELOW the clouds. The rains of life's daily problems, demonic attacks, bills piling up, unforeseen expenses, and the childish games that some people play fall downward, BELOW the clouds. The rains of envy, jealousy and hypocrisy from others fall downward, BELOW the clouds. All of the cares of this life fall downward, BELOW THE CLOUDS.
Ah, but Christ is the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS Who reigns in Heaven on the right-hand of the Father ABOVE the clouds. As Christians we ought to set our affection on things ABOVE. Colossians 3:1, “IF YE THEN BE RISEN WITH CHRIST, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE...” Isn't that encouraging! Our text verse says to “SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON THINGS ON THE EARTH.” Amen! Brother, I'm going to live ABOVE THE CLOUDS! Most believers have their affection set upon things on the earth, and not as they should on the things of the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 20:21).
Many Christians are thinking, saving and planning how to buy a home, how to lay up a nice nest egg for retirement, trying to save for their children's college education, trying to keep up with the Joneses, wanting to buy a big rock for their wife's finger, or a new car, et cetera; and they're spending all their time trying to make money, laying up earthly treasures that cannot go with them into eternity. May we all live ABOVE the clouds where the Lord reigns, seeing the big picture instead of all the little things that clamour to take up our time, resources and emotional energy.
Every Believer Has An Inheritance RESERVED In Heaven
My friend, I read the following Scripture passage today and it burned my heart with much joy. If you are a born-again Christian by faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you have an inheritance in Heaven that is incorruptible, undefiled, cannot rust or fade away, where thieves cannot break through to steal; an inheritance that is “RESERVED IN HEAVEN FOR YOU” (I love that!) ...
1st Peter 1:3-9, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
Oh, how we as God's children have so many reasons to LIVE ABOVE THE CLOUDS!
Jesus Knows That Life Is Full Of Hardships And Problems
Everyone's life is a mess. Everyone has problems. Everyone who is living godly in Christ Jesus is suffering persecution (2nd Timothy 3:12). In fact, God will often shake up a man's life to test him or teach him a spiritual lesson.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” The Lord is teaching His disciples not to worry about the future, because we have enough troubles to deal with today. Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; how we spend our life's provisions, talents and abilities today is all we have to control. Yesterday is gone forever, and there's no guarantee of tomorrow, today is all we have to serve God. Life is too short to live with a burden of hatred, unforgiveness and holding grudges against others. Let go, let God! I choose to spend my time investing in Heaven.
I choose to overcome evil with good as Romans 12:21 commands, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” God is telling us to live above the clouds, instead of letting the rain drag us down. When people hurt my feelings, I go witness to someone, or hand out some gospel tracts. If I receive bad news in my mailbox, then I prepare a sermon or think and plan some nice things I can do for OTHERS. When everything seems to be going wrong, that's when we ought to serve God the most. The Lord Jesus Christ can turn our lemons into lemonade, and turn our stumbling stones into stepping stones by faith.
What Are The “THINGS ABOVE”?
The phrase “things above” comes from the Greek word Ano which is an adverb meaning, “upward or on the top: - above, brim, high, up.” Colossians 3:1 plainly teaches that the context of this passage is Heaven, where “Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” I'm living above the clouds where Jesus lives! The Word of God is from ABOVE, forever settled in Heaven (Psalms 119:89). If you want you live above, then set your mind and heart upon the inspired Words of God. Jesus commanded us to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES (John 5:39). If we desire to have God's heart as did king David, then we must also love God's thoughts as David did. Psalms 139:17, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” David was a man after God's own heart because he was a man after God's own THOUGHTS!!!
Make sure to start each day with God. Every morning when I awake, I pray and thank God for another day, telling Him how much I desperately need Him to be with me each and every moment of the day. I turn on some preaching (which is why I made this preaching page for me and my web visitors), or I listen to Alexander Scourby reading the King James Bible on DVD. I choose to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES! (John 5:39) and abide in Christ, Who abides in me as His child (John 15:7), and let His Words abide in me. John 15:7-8, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
No one wakes up, jumps out of bed, and shouts “GLORY TO GOD!” No, we all wake up groggy and half out of it, needing time to come to our senses. I need about an hour for my mind to wake up, to catch up to my stiff and painful neck and body. The verse I glanced at today which got my day going is Luke 5:31-32, “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Most people, including believers, watch Godless television and listen to worldly music or secular radio to start their day. They're are living under the clouds.
Most Christian believers are CHOKED by the world's problems and concerns, choked with making money and choked by the enjoyment of pleasures; therefore, they have little or no remaining quality time to spend making a difference for their God. Luke 8:14, “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.” It is God's desire for every Christian believer to share the gospel with others and lead souls to Christ. We weren't saved just to sit idle for God; but rather, to go and do likewise as the person who led us to the Lord by preaching the gospel. Our churches are dying for soul-winners and mentors for new converts.
The Rains Of Envy And Strife Are Below The Clouds
Churches are nothing more than a big family of everyday people with lots of relationship problems, bodily health problems, personal hang-ups, emotional baggage and deep hurts. It all comes along with being part of a family. Yet, if we're not careful well get boggled down in conflicts, disputes and scuttlebutt with other church members. 1st Corinthians 3:3, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” This describes so many churches today all around the world. Most churches are carnal, full of hatred and fighting and gossip and divisions. James 3:16, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
Envy is a lot more commonplace in churches than most believers care to admit. The word “envying” in James 3:16 is the Greek word zelos and means “heat.” That is, burning jealousy. The word “strife” comes from the Greek word eritheia and means “a dissenting clique that gets their own way through deceptive, underhand and hidden ways.” It seems that nearly every church has a group of controlling members (a faction) who try to control the pastor, the mail, the pulpit, the programs, the money, et cetera. No genuine man of God who walks with the Lord Jesus Christ can be bought! I'm not for sale brother! I preach THE TRUTH as God impresses upon my heart, and nothing will sway me from my convictions. I live ABOVE the clouds, and that includes my preaching!
What we need to do is seek to be a blessing to others at church by giving, loving and praying for them, and not render evil-for-evil against anyone. The best way to cope with a church filled with critics, trouble-makers and gossippers is to get so busy serving the Lord Jesus Christ that you don't have time to do anything else. Amen! Purpose in your heart to always talk about the Scriptures and you're far less likely to end up gossiping. Great minds talk about ideas, good minds talk about things, and weak minds talk about people. Don't talk about people, because no one's perfect and it's too easy to end up gossiping (“For all have sinned,” Romans 3:23).
Every church has its share of troublemakers and hypocrites who think they own the pastor and the church (and in many cases they do, sadly). I by God's grace WON'T be the one who Satan uses to bring a bad spirit into any New Testament Church, unless it's over a doctrinal issue involving the fundamentals of the Doctrine of Christ and salvation. In such situations we have a duty to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). Yet, we ought to be ethical in all matters. If we are not a member of a particular church, then we ought to mind our place and be respectful of another's area that is not ours to judge.
I choose to set my mind on the things in Heaven, that is, on the things ABOVE where Christ intercedes as our heavenly High Priest (Hebrews 4:15; Romans 8:34) on the right-hand of the Father. Literally, as believers we are commanded by God in Colossians 3:1-3 to live above the clouds, by setting our affection on things above the problems of this earth, focusing on things eternal instead of things temporary and worldly. May our minds all be fixated on the glorious return of Jesus Christ in that wonderful day of the Rapture!!!
“Prayer doesn't change things. That is wrong! Prayer touches God and then God changes things. The right type of prayer touches God.”
SOURCE: A quote from the awesome sermon, PREACHING THE POWER OF PRAYER, by Pastor Danny Castle