We are not to set our affections on them!
(J. C. Philpot, "Spiritual Convictions & Heavenly Affections")
"Set your affections on things above, not on things
on the earth." Col. 3:2
Naturally we have no affection for anything else.
There is no such thing as a spiritual desire or a
heavenly affection in our soul, when we are in a
state of unregeneracy. So fallen are we that we
love, and cannot but love the world, and the things
of the world. We have no heart for anything but
the things of time and sense. No, rather, as our
carnal mind is enmity against God, we hate
everything which is spiritual, heavenly, and holy.
One main part, therefore, of the work of God upon
the soul, is to take off our affections from these
earthly things--and to fix them upon Jesus where
He sits enthroned above--that we may love and
hate those same things which He loves and hates.
Our affections are not to be set upon things on the
earth. Business, worldly cares, the interests of our
family, the things of time and sense--in whatever
form they come, whatever shape they may assume,
must not so entwine themselves around our
affections as to bind them down to the earth.
We may use them for the support and sustentation
of our life--but we must not abuse them. We are not
to set our affections on them!
all these earthly things we are not to set our affections
on--so that they become idols. Thus any lovely object
may be foul--because turned to an idol.
It may be but a flower--and yet be an idol.
It may be a darling child whom everybody admires for its
beauty and attractiveness--yet it may be a defiling idol.
A cherished project may be an idol.
A crop of wheat,
a flock of sheep,
a good farm,
a thriving business,
the respect of the world,
may all be defiling idols--for all these things, when
eagerly pursued and loved, draw the soul away from
God, and by drawing it insensibly from Him, bring
pollution and guilt into the conscience.
Now we are, or by grace in due time shall be, weaned
and divorced from earth with all its charms and pleasures
and all its polluting idols.
"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols!" 1 John 5:21
"I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from
all your idols!" Ezekiel 36:25