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.
Nearly 20 years ago this verse hit me like a ton of bricks. I was setting MY affections on things below, instead of on things above. I was looking out for me, myself, my interests, my needs, my desires…. My-Self. We all know that what a man sets his heart on has a mighty influence on his life. The self-regarding man that seeks after his own interests – becomes selfish.
One that seeks after vainglory and vanity becomes vain and prideful. One that lusts after power and prominence becomes intoxicated with its fruit. One that seeks a 'god' of their fancy will be unsettled by every wind of doctrine. One who seeks the living God, will have Him take possession of his heart and will, and the book of Hebrews gives warning after warning of missing the point of this life.
This is not fictional fancy/ This is factual reality, and it needs to be a daily, sometimes hourly consideration to ask oneself – on what is MY heart set? What is the dear desire of MY heart today – NOW? For some, it is to drink from as many cisterns of the world, just to blunt the pain. For many, it’s just to get to the end of the day, in a life that has become unbearable. For others, it’s to preserve a high profile, lest anyone peep behind their mask. Believers often set their hearts on a myriad of issues that are close to their heart, but Hebrews gives warning after warning of missing the point of this life.
And this life is but a breath in the eternal corridors of the ages upon ages to come, and our decisions of this life is a foundation upon which we build an eternal future. "Set your affection on things above, not on things of the world, we are warned," in Colossians 3, for self must lie in the place of death.. "for our life hid with Christ in God". And Hebrews gives warning after warning of missing the point of this life. And the decisions and choices we make in this life will affect our eternal future. And Hebrews warns of the consequences of missing God’s clear message. Christians should set their hearts on Christ, for it is HE through whom God speaks. We not only need to know all the general things that are written about Christ. We need to know Him aright, personally, and fill our minds with all that is of Christ. He is the food of faith, and the life-giving stream. He alone is the living bread. He alone is the water of life.
For a whole chapter, Hebrews points to the One Who should be the focus of our life. Throughout chapter 1 we become acquainted with the person God chose as His heir. Christ was appointed heir of all things. Christ is the great object of God’s plans. Christ is the Inheritor.. through Whom the glory of God will shine for eternity. Christ is the Origin and the Efficient Cause – the Alpha of all that is. Christ is the Centre – the Sustainer, the Upholder of all that was, is, and is to come. Christ is the Final Cause – the Conclusion, the Finisher, the Omega of ALL. Christ is the Great Prophet.. the One of Whom ALL scripture speaks and points to. Christ is the Great High Priest – the One and Only Perfect Sacrifice for sin. Christ, it the Majestic King, the Eternal King, the Righteous King, the Anointed King.
In Christ, we have a better rest. In Christ, we have a better promise. In Christ, we have a better sacrifice. In Christ, we have a better high priest. In Christ, we have a better resurrection. In Christ, we have a better inheritance. In Christ and Christ alone we have ALL that we need. Christ is the Message that God has sent to man and God says, "HEAR HIM." This is the heritage that is within the grasp of all believers.
But some choose the alternative, and Hebrews warns of the consequences of missing God’s clear message: "set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth". Paul warns, yet many ignore God’s message.. for the mess of pottage that this world affords. Many drink from the cisterns of the world.. just to blunt the pain. Many think God is impotent, and try to provide the answers for their own lives. But that is not His way. That is the way of the world and it is a foolish and dangerous path to follow.
Hebrews sets out methodically the glory of Christ, and His person, and His work. Hebrews warns of the consequences of missing God’s clear message. But the message of Hebrews is clear - don’t make the same mistakes as Israel made in the wilderness. Surrender your life into His hands through the sanctification process. Turn your eye away from self to focus on Jesus. Embrace the child training that He has for you. Live by the faith of the Son of God. Be thou faithful to the very end. But the choice is yours and yours alone. If you are prepared to change your mind (which is the correct meaning of REPENT)—then God will change your heart. But God will never change your heart, until, in humility, you change your mind.
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