I love this passage because a couple phrases seem to summarize our life in Christ:
“set your heart on things above” is the first. Things we set our hearts on are things we yearn for, daydream about. They may be things we want badly but know are a long shot. Usually we set our hearts on earthly things, like a vacation, material possession, comfort or happiness. I think, however, to set one’s heart on things above means to desire what God desires and to be willing to sacrifice what we want to do His will.
To be in tune with God like this we need to spend time with Him, asking Him to make us His servants.
The next meaningful phrase is to me a three word summary of my new life in Christ;
“FOR YOU DIED.” (v. 3). Paul goes on to say that since we died, life as we knew it is over; our life is now “hidden with Christ in God.” (v3). Physical death is so final. Paul says, it’s over and the things we used to value, to yearn for and think about , are gone now too. We used to be preoccupied with things of this earth, but now other things occupy us.
Paul then lists ways we used to behave and again says, now you have a new self.
We are new, we have changed, we died. How we yearn for this to really be true in our lives, for us to be able to turn our backs on the old. Certainly that is what we pray for, why we spend time in prayer and reading His word and enjoying His presence; in the hope that each small step will remind us, we died.