Col. 3:1-3 ¶ 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.
Sometimes the King James version just says it better. I love this verse in the KJV, “set your affections” on things above. Actually this phrase is from the word phroneo in the greek New Testament. It has a dual meaning. This word actually is describing the thoughts of our minds as well as the affections of our hearts. Let’s face it, our thoughts always seem to wander back to the things we love anyway. The golfer thinks about that last great shot, the fisherman thinks of the one that got away, and the immoral man thinks about— you get the idea. Adam Clarke brought out the importance of our affections in his comments on this verse.
“Set your affection on things above – Love heavenly things; study them; let your hearts be entirely engrossed by them. Now, that ye are converted to God, act in reference to heavenly things as ye did formerly in reference to those of earth; and vice versa. This is a very good general rule: ” Be as much in earnest for heavenly and eternal things, as ye formerly were for those that are earthly and perishing.”
Albert Barnes also commented on this passage.
“The thoughts should be occupied about the things where Christ now dwells, where our final home is to be, where our great interests are. Since we are raised from the death of sin, and are made to live anew, the great object of our contemplation should be the heavenly world.”
Now all that is well and good but how can a man control his thoughts. That brings us back to our affections, if we think about what we love, how does one determine what he loves? Well, you just have to change what you love. Jonathan Edwards used to say it like this, “Put yourselves in the way of spiritual allurement.” You see, Christ is more attractive and more alluring than any experience this world can begin to offer. He is Altogether Lovely. To put yourself in a position for Him to begin to disclose Himself to you will put you on a whole new course of life. We do this by spending time in His presence. Put on worship music in your house and car, saturate yourself in the Bible, especially in the gospels. Get yourself in a church that teaches the Bible and is not afraid or ashamed of the moving of the Spirit in their services. Spend time in silent meditation. When you begin to do these practical things Jesus will show up. He will walk into your life and you will be surprised about two things. You will be caught by surprise at how real His presence can be. Secondly, you will be stunned and smitten by His love for you. When this happens your affections will be “set” and your thoughts will take care of themselves.