“If you, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right Hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth—for you are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
We’ll know we’re there when He alone suffices us in every way.
What “rings your bell,” Pilgrim? What is there that brings a smile to your face. . .sets your foot a-tappin’. . .puts a gleam in your eye. . .and that which you feel that you can’t live without? If it’s anything other than Christ alone, then you’ve still got work to do.
“Setting your affection (Grk. ‘phroneo’—‘to exercise the mind, entertain, be mentally/ emotionally disposed toward, earnestly pursuing, etc.’) on things above” doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a good book every now and then or a good, wholesome movie or sporting event. However, none of those things can be so important to us that we somehow feel deprived or fall into a deep depression if suddenly they were gone.
The same is true with possessions and people. Again, there’s nothing wrong with having a nice house, good furniture, nice clothes, etc.; neither is there anything wrong with loving a parent, spouse, child, sibling, friend, etc., to the point where our heart would ache and tears would freely flow if suddenly they were gone.
But, again, neither one of these should so captivate/control us that we’d be devastated if they were suddenly gone.
Simply put, we should be thankful to God for blessing us with such things/people; however, we should always hold onto them lightly—for the time will come when everything and everyone will succumb to “rust, rot and robbers” (Mt. 6:19-21). And, if we’re clutching them so tightly and are so fearful of losing them, their absence will leave a large hole in our heart that no one or nothing can fill.
Nothing, i.e., except Jesus.
You see, someone once said “We’re all created with a God-shaped hole in our hearts.” And, when we try to fill that void with anything or anyone else, we’ll soon discover that there’s still an emptiness there. Truly, as the song says, “Only Jesus can satisfy your soul, And only He can change your heart and make you whole. He’ll give you peace you never knew, Sweet joy and love and Heaven, too—For only Jesus can satisfy your soul.” Hallelujah!!
Why not spend a few minutes today taking an honest inventory of what’s “important” in your life, dear Pilgrim? What/who is there that has usurped Jesus’ rightful place in your life as worthy of your affections and consuming desire? How would you react if you were suddenly stripped of everything in your life (like Job) and only had your faith left? Would you grow bitter or depressed? Or, would you still be able to “give thanks in all things” (I Thess. 5:18)?
Never forget that “all things are of God, through God and to God”—and they’re all “for His Glory” (Rom. 11:36). Truly, they are on loan to us, i.e., entrusted to us for our enjoyment; but, they must never become the most important things in our life. . .for that place is reserved for Jesus, our Master and Rightful Owner of everything.
May 16, 2011