Affection On Things Above
“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.” Colossians 3:1-3
Affections — loves, likes, a feeling of fondness or tenderness for a person or thing, attachment, emotion, feeling, or sentiment
God knows we have feelings. And those feelings can greatly influence our sense of meaning, purpose, wellbeing and happiness. Those feelings also direct us toward others in ways of gentle fondness and caring. We were created with feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes, so that we can get in touch with other human beings and each receive what is emotionally lacking in all of us, each supplying the need of the other. We have these so, that we can be sensitive to the feelings of others, so that we can be moved with compassion to care about those less fortunate than ourselves.
There is yet a higher and more important purpose for our affections. Because of sin our natural tendency is to allow our affections to drive us to base pleasures and levels of self –indulgence that make for dissipation. But, when we set our affections on things above we connect with the glory of Heaven, we commune with God the Father and Jesus Christ, His son our Lord. To allow our emotions to connect with Heaven is to tap into life from the dead.
In the world we have been made dead to sin but alive unto God thorough Jesus Christ. Our souls long to be reunited with our Creator.
Where we set our affections is not just a matter of brute chance but it is a volitional choice we can make of our own free will. We can be driven by our passions for good or for evil. We can be drawn away from God by our lusts for the things of this world or drawn to Him by our gratitude and recognition of His beauty and worthiness.
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:13-15
There is so much raw, unrestrained, vicious and vile rhetoric being shouted about daily by those who are driven by their lusts. They take no thought for the potential consequences of their ranting. In their arrogance and pride they choose to debase themselves with vulgarity, swearing and cursing, spewing out hateful threats, rather than even considering a more reasonable means of making their displeasure known. Their affections are squarely set on the earth and inspired from below.
But those whose affections are set on things above are not moved by the noise of evil or intimidated by their threats. We know Who we believe and are persuaded that He is able to keep us unto the day of His coming again. And that is the key to setting our affections on things above rather than on things on the earth. Those whose hope is in this world only are so woefully ill equipped to navigate it successfully. They show by their conversation the source of their human condition. Their world is full of corruption and vileness so that is what they draw on to make their way known.
But we who wait upon the Lord renew our strength daily in Him. By keeping our minds on Him we are kept in perfect peace. By desiring and loving the wisdom that is from above we demonstrate that the source of our life, and that more abundantly, is Jesus, and in Him we have peace.
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalm 37:1-3