October 27th, 1990                                "Set Your Affections on Things Above"                                 Mrs. N. D. Daniel

Colossians 3:1-3

These verses which we have read are what St. Paul said and experienced. Since the time he was converted, he set all his affections on things above. He did not love the things of this world. Once we are converted our life is hid with Jesus Christ in God. So after our conversion, we begin to love the things of God. There are many things people can love of what they see of the things of this world. But since our life is hid with Jesus Christ in God, we have to set all our affections on things that are above. St. Paul says, we do not know how to pray even after conversion. Have we been left to struggle on our own to grow in Christ? Jesus said after He left this world He would send the Holy Spirit of God to abide with us and to guide us into all truth. He would teach us how to pray. The Holy Spirit would teach us to pray in the spirit. The Holy Spirit would teach all things, Jesus said. He would bring to our memory all His teaching. Thus after conversion we have the Holy Spirit of God to guide us into all truth continually.

To set our affection on things above we need to know what are the things available above. There is prayer and there is praise in the presence of God. There is the love of God. There is grace available to obey the Word of God. There is the peace of God. There are great desires among the angels to establish the kingdom of God on earth. So there is great desire available for prayer and the winning of souls. The Spirit of God will help us to set our love on things that are above. Jesus came down to live in this world. He did not bring with him any money or any material thing with him from heaven. But He brought us the will of God. He came longing to do God’s will and to live a life of faith in this world. He brought us the precious teaching of the will of God. We can learn this only from Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of God. Jesus brought faith into this world. Faith is the strength to our souls. If we learn faith, we are enabled to walk close to God. After conversion the Holy spirit God dwells in our hearts and He helps us to set our affections on things above. Sometimes we tend to forget what we have learnt from the Lord. But the Spirit of God is there to remind us of all things that Jesus has taught.

After hearing a message some people, even young people, say they forgot what they heard. If old people forget, we may give them a margin for their age. But when young people forget, it means that our contact with God is but a loose contact. Our love for the things of God is not strong. When we read the biographies of God’s children, we see they received special grace to remember the things of God. It is Spirit of God who helps us to remember what Jesus teaches us. Jesus brought into this world a deep and close contact with God. We do not have to make-do with a loose contact.

How about our tendency to forget matters to do with our mundane life? Does the provision of God to quicken our memory cover this area too? It does. The Spirit of God teaches us prayer life. During prayer and after prayer the Spirit of God reminds of essential things that have got to be done and reveals to us the matters we need to know in our work-a-day life. I shall narrate an experience of mine to help you understand how God is mindful even of small matters that concern us. Once I went to a women’s conference. I gave the key of the drawer where money was kept with my husband and went away. In my absence they somehow could not find the key. When I returned they told me they had lost the key. I needed the key and I knew where to find it. I went to Jesus in prayer. I needed to praise God for His goodness to me during the convention. After thanking Him I said, "Lord, where is my key?" Then the Lord spoke to me in prayer, "It is in your husband’s shirt pocket which is hanging in the bathroom." I knew clearly it was there. So I did not run to see if it was there. When we as a family were seated for supper round the table, I thought of the key and in a matter-of-fact way I told my helper, "The key is in the pocket of the shirt in the bathroom, please bring it." He brought the shirt and took out the key from the pocket and gave it to us. So God is concerned about all that concerns us. We must grow more in prayer. In the life of Holy Ann we read she always walked in close contact with God through the Holy Spirit. While living on earth she walked in close contact with heaven because the Spirit of God guided her. Abraham was called to follow God and he always obeyed God and God blessed him. He learnt prayer and through prayer he had close contact with God. He learnt faith and more faith from God. He committed a few mistakes after conversion due to insufficient faith. But he wanted to follow God and allowed God to correct his mistakes to learn God’s will in his life and obeyed God to the end of his life. So he was made a blessing and he and his family were blessings to the whole world—not for one generation only but for generations and generations, and even to our generation. God wants to keep all of us in His will and He wants us to be blessings for this generation and generations to come. God is teaching us the mysteries of the kingdom of God. After conversion St. Paul was a blessing to his generation and later generations, even to our generation. But the life of prayer has ceased to be precious to many of us. That way we cannot learn deeper things of Christian life. We should not forget the things of God easily. Shakespeare speaks of the last stage of man characterised by ‘Sans teeth, sans eyes and sans everything.’ He refers to a total senility—a total decline of the senses in old age. But for God’s children the senses will be preserved in good functioning order because the Spirit of God teaches them the things of heaven. If our contact with heaven is firm and true, then we can remember the things of God till the end of our lives—even when we are old. We have to teach what we have learnt to the younger generation: therefore everything will be preserved fresh in our minds. God wants us to set all our affections on things above and not on things of this earth, because our life is hid with Jesus Christ in God and the Spirit of God will guide us into all truth.