Set Your Affection on Things Above

bridge over splashing waters

The Scriptures compare the rushing of many waters, to multitudes of peoples and nations (Revelation 17:15; Isaiah 17:12-13; Psalms 77:16; 144:7). The roaring, rushing sounds of many waters is a great description of the tumultuous sounds and events of this world.

If you have stood on the bank of a rushing, turbulent river, or gazed out over the expanse of a stormy ocean with its roaring waves, then you know how mesmerizing the sight can be. As frightening as it can be, the sights and forceful sounds of the roaring, rushing waters can hold us captive.

This absorbing sight of turbulent waters is very similar to the things happening in this world. The many disruptive and troubling events are being broadcast over the airwaves 24/7, and the news of it all can hold us captive, even dragging us by our attention into its foaming, fearful, splashing noises.

With all the turmoil happening in the world, it is very difficult to look beyond the earthly environment. The disturbing events of this life hinder our focus, our spiritual vision. It is easy to become disturbed and depressed by what we see going on around us, and we lose sight of God’s purposes!

Much of the turmoil is so grieving at times, that I am stunned with heartache over it all! Can anyone make sense of these days that seem like the ‘perilous times’ that the apostle Paul spoke of (2Timothy 3:1)? Only a retreat into Father’s presence can bring any comfort, bring any understanding. I must force myself to remember His call, or I will wallow in depression and hopelessness.

We must remember that Father calls us to lift up our eyes. He desires us to focus our vision upward, above the earthly events. Father’s plan for His children requires our vision to be set on the things that are above:

If ye then be risen with Messiah, seek those things which are above, where Messiah sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [your mind, your interests] on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)

As the above passage teaches us, Father desires us to set our affections — our mind, our attachments, our heart — on the things that are above, where Messiah is, seated next to the Father. Father wants us to look up, to look above the earthly, whirling, splashing noises of our circumstances.

Father wants our focus to be on Messiah, who is “above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion,” and who is upholding all things by the Word of His power” (Ephesians 1:20-23; Hebrews 1:1-3)

King Jehoshaphat was a man who set his affections on the things above:

And Yahuwah [the LORD] was with Jehoshaphat, because Jehoshaphat walked in the first ways of his father David, and he sought not unto Baalim; But Jehoshaphat sought to Yahuwah, the God of his father, and walked in Yahuwah’s commandments … Therefore Yahuwah established the kingdom in Jehoshaphat’s hand … Jehoshaphat’s heart was lifted up in the ways of Yahuwah… (2Chronicles 17:3-6).

As this passage shows us, Jehoshaphat’s heart was lifted up in the ways of Yahuwah [the LORD]. That means Jehoshaphat was focused on Yahuwah. His heart was valiant, courageous, and eager to fulfill the Word of Yahuwah. Jehoshaphat’s eyes and heart were on Yahuwah’s heavenly kingdom.

Though Jehoshaphat made his mistakes [as we all do], overall he kept his affections [his heart] on the truth of Yahuwah’s Word. He rose above the swirling events of this earthly life. His heart was lifted up unto Yahuwah!

This is God’s desire for all His children: that our hearts would be lifted up unto the ways of Yahuwah! This is central to walking by faith!

Father’s plan for our well-being is that we would keep our eyes on Him, and focus our affections above, where Messiah is!

As the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, so our eyes look unto Yahuwah Elohim. We look unto Him with anticipation and a watchful attitude, eager to hear His guidance. With our affections on Him, our heart becomes more inclined to undistracted devotion for Him. (Psalms 123:2)

Such devotion means we will be able to see the turmoil in a different light — not from an earthly perspective, but from a heavenly perspective. When we look to the eternal, unseen things of Yahuwah’s kingdom, He strengthens us inwardly. We begin to see that this life, with its troubles, truly is temporary, and that Father is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory!” (2Corinthians 4:16-18).

Chosen Out of The World

Yes, we do live in this earthly realm. We are in the world. But we are not of the world, because we have been chosen out of the world, as Messiah Yahushua [Jesus] told us (John 15:19).

So if we will focus on the things above, then our heart will be more inclined to seeing ourselves as we truly are, as “strangers and pilgrims on the earth!” We will not be afraid of this world’s troubling news, because our heart is fixed on Yahuwah, trusting in Him (Hebrews 11:13; Psalms 112).

This is not easy to do! It is a battle to stay focused on the things that are above! The troubles whirl all around us, and ‘looking upward’ seems impossible.

But with our eyes fixed on the unseen things above, we can begin to have a sense of walking above the distressing, troubled waters of this earthly life. Our resolve to “do that which is right in the eyes of Yahuwah [the LORD]” (1King 22:43; 2Kings 22:2) is strengthened.

We set our affections on the things above, in order to understand Yahuwah’s ways for us. We set our affections on the things above, so that we can prepare ourselves to be as one of the Wise Virgins, ready to go in with the Bridegroom on the Day of His return. By Father’s mercy and grace, we lift up our eyes and our heart unto Father, crying out for His help to get us through this crazy life, and stay faithful to His plans and purposes for us.

Yahuwah is Mightier

When we maintain our affections on things above, Father begins to build within us a trusting confidence of His almighty power:

Yahuwah [the LORD] on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. (Psalms 93:4)

The heavenly Father is mightier than the rushing, turbulent noises of this earth. When our affections are on Father’s Kingdom, we become more aware of Father’s over-riding plans and purposes, and that He, the Judge of all the earth, will do what is right (Genesis 18:25; Psalms 98:9).

Looking to Him in every circumstance, keeping our focus on Him, concentrating on His promises — this is what it means to ‘set our affection on things above!’ Looking above the rushing, troubling events of this life helps us, little by little, to learn how to love Him better. He can teach us better how to endure, and how to be more than a conqueror,” in the midst of our trials (Romans 8:37).

This lifetime is a journey that requires our ever-present Comforter to bring us through safely, and to reach the goal of our faith — the salvation of our souls (1Peter 1:9).  We desperately need His help along the way! Setting Yahuwah always before us is central to knowing, and having, His help!

Yahuwah is so faithful! He will not leave us comfortless (2Thess 3:3).

So lift up your heart and soul unto Him, acknowledging Him in all your ways, even in your confusion and pain. He will cause you to know His ways (Psalms 16:6-11; 32:5-8; 143:8).

Look to Him who is high above all peoples and nations, and set your affection on things above!

Abba Father, thank you for Your everlasting arms that are holding us close to You, above the swirling waters! Help us to always look to You, seeking You first in all our ways. And help us, Father, to set our affection on things above! In our Saviour’s name, Yahushua Messiah, we pray.

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