SETTING OUR AFFECTIONS ON THINGS ABOVE NOT ON THINGS BENEATH

This subject entitled above, as the scripture instructs us to do, is a very fundamental issue we must make a constant action in our lives, if we do not we will get caught up in all sorts of side issues that will distract us and brings us down. Each of us whether we like it or not are people who follow well worn habitual paths that we develop in our lives and feel confident walking continually on them. The reason is, because we are comfortable in them and we don’t have to be cautious, or give them much thought as we have travelled them many times before and know the outcome. What we do not think about or consider, is that the reason we do this is mainly because we fear the unknown and because of various insecurities in our personal lives, we choose to stay with the familiar. We unconsciously develop this defence mechanism to keep us from inferiority, not wanting to expose our fears least any see them and we subsequently feel humiliated when they do.

These hidden insecurities that all of us have, so powerfully rule our lives and yet we do not even realise it most of the time. When we do see our inferiority coming to the surface, we carefully organise our lives to cover it, or we alter course or change our circumstances to control or minimise the unexpected, so we will never be considered stupid or unwise. These insecurities dictate how we act, who we relate to and what we say and do, yet we generally do not even acknowledge them and certainly never admit to them being part of our personality. But even that, is part and parcel of the insecurity itself, as we hide them so well, in order to cover our potential embarrassments, that should any negative reaction be seen in us and we then become exposed before others and then consequently are humiliated. So how do we handle that and respond in life, all of us to varying degrees, do everything we can to walk with the well controlled and well used paths of familiarity and habit. We always choose the familiar, what we know and so we carefully choose our environment, our friends and especially our words when we are asked to voice our view points.

Teaching is good and necessary for growth and development and certainly necessary for progress, but teaching can also be a negative and inhibitive quality, if we refuse to allow the creative ability of God that has been placed in us to be expressed through our individuality. Yes we must learn from the lives and example of others but if that knowledge prevents us from putting our own unique style with it, it will become just repetitious form, or methodology. Ritualistic is how some would describe it, being a puppet living out ones life through the dictates of others which destroys individuality and creativity. That is not what God has encouraged us to be, that is conformity at the expense of individuality we are not to only concentrate on the thing we are taught THE REGIMENTAL but we are also to develop the creative the INSPIRATIONAL our individual unique style or way of doing it. Each person has a different way of applying what we learn and it is not to say one way is right and another is wrong, both may be right but expressed in a totally different way.

We must not just limit ourselves to habit, because that is the way everyone else does a thing neither should we break with the trusted methods just because we want to be different, it is not one thing or the other but complementation of both. Take for example the human quality of loyalty. It is an incredibly esteemed and honourable quality to have but if that faithful loyalty binds you to something that   is wrong then it is no longer esteemed and considered honouring but termed blatant stupidity. We have to have a knowledge about a thing but we also must have the freedom to exercise our independence and choose when and when not to conform to that knowledge.

That brings me to the context of this article how to set our affections on the Godly things above and not the ungodly things beneath. Firstly we need the knowledge of what Gods ways and ideals are, that is imperative as once we know what pleases God then we can focus on doing them. But God has not created us to be clones or machines or worse, Zombies that have no independence. God has created us firstly with a free will to choose but also with an individual perspective that allows us each to see things differently. The Psalmist states in Psalm 139 we are fearfully and wonderfully made uniquely us the same but different. And I guess one of the best illustrations I can use is the idea of a diamond in its construction.

Each polishing phase cuts and shapes the diamond to reflect or more technically, refract the light inside the stone when it is completed. So the cutter of the stone designs its shape to maximise its size but also maximise its beauty in its light reflection or more correctly refraction. So he polishes each face and shapes the angles of each face to bounce the light around inside the finished gemstone to make it glisten with beauty and brilliance. A gem cutter does not call them faces but facets and the more accurate the angles he polished and cuts into that stone as he shapes it the more is sparkles, shines and glistens.

Now when a person looks into the finished gem stone he admires it because of its individual ability to sparkle and gleam and refract light, but a human eye can only see one face or facet at a time. But if you the admirer of the gemstone turn that stone a little to look directly into the next face at right angle s to your eye, that face glistens and sparkles just like the first face and so on and so on till you have seen each face. You then begin to see that a diamond has much more beauty and many more faces to view than just the major one and each of them is as beautiful. But as pointed out above the human eye can only view one face at a time but there are many faces in a diamond and each one is unique and glorious.

Human individuals have been created by the greatest gem cutter and designer of all, God himself and he has created each one of us like the varied faces of the polished gem. We do not understand or appreciate other peoples view point, as we ourselves, with our earthly limitations can only see one perspective, but there are many varied perspectives not just one, and human nature has been created with this uniqueness.

I said we can only see one face at a time, but God has the ability to see everything at once, the spirit world is like that, the bible says nothing is hidden there in that world, everything is open and transparent and able to be seen. So considering our limitations on earth, but heavens lack of those same limitations, if we were to see what God sees, it would probably blow our minds. But it should not amaze us or phase us in any way at all, as this is what the scripture is trying to teach us that the Lord is not inhibited as we are neither is he restricted in anyway so if we see as He sees we will see things differently without limitations or constraints of any kind.

No wonder the Lord keeps challenging us in his word to stop focussing on what this world has to say about us or the pictures and views it would impose upon us As they are very restrictive and confining and remember the Lord himself was angry at his nation of Israel when He rebuke them adamantly saying DO NOT LIMIT THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL. Further if you take those perceptions and views the world and others have of you and build your life and future on them, you will always walk in insecurity, questioning your ability and uniqueness. You will spend your entire existence, measuring yourself against the people around you and feeling inferior and inadequate to them. That is why even the Apostle Paul decreed “Do not compare yourselves amongst yourselves or with yourselves as it is very unwise and also unprofitable for you.

You must not, this is a command not a suggestion, you must not compare ourselves with one another, it is an imperative if you want to break free of this world’s views and constraints, Set your ideas, sights, affections, desires, views, perceptions, on Heavens views regarding them, if you do not you will constantly observe other peoples views and repetitious habits, good or bad and you will live them and be governed by them. We as humans assume those worldly actions must be the norm and so you and I will replicate them and follow those examples. What you behold you become, what you focus your eyes on you will do. The factors alluded to above, are the basic reason and cause behind why you and I react the way we do. The first scenario that influences, response in our lives so forcefully is what psychologists call conditioned response or what we know more commonly as, peer pressure. Because we do not want to face rejection or exclusion in any given situation we will endeavour to change our viewpoint, conduct or mannerisms in order to be accepted amongst our peers. This has to stop.

About Brian Hay