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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” -Colossians 3:1-4

Colossians 3 gives us the superb realization that we should pursue the things of God simply because we have died.  That might sound kind of bizarre at first, so let’s look at Paul’s words a little more closely.  We no longer are alive to what is earthly in us (Colossians 3:5), so those desires no longer satiate our appetite.  Later in Colossians 3, Paul will mention that we can’t just put off these old desires without also putting on new desires.  Basically, we need new desires that will satiate our appetite or our appetite eventually will consume us.  Paul confronts his readers on this matter: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is."  The idea of being “born again”—dying to our old self and living with a new self found in Christ—encapsulates what Paul is getting at here.  It is in the very death of our former self that we are able to seek God wholeheartedly.  It is futile to beg the unregenerate man, who does not know Christ, to seek God amongst the slew of his other earthly desires.  What is unique about the Christian is that our death to our former selves and our raised life in Christ enable us to seek the Lord.  We are now able to set our minds on the things that are above.  For it is not the life of our former self that lives, but rather the life of Christ.  He is our life, so quite naturally, His desires should be our desires.

As we seek the Lord intentionally during this time of fasting and praying, let us be reminded that our appetite has changed.  How fitting when discussing fasting!  Our appetite no longer is satisfied by earthly things—for how could it be?  The life we now have no longer knows the former life which has been crucified.  Let us then acknowledge our death and seek the things that are above where our appetite is and where our Christ is.

Zachary Albanese
Ministry Fellow at Dartmouth