“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2). Notice in verse 1, we need to seek the things which are above. Will that be physical or spiritual things? Christ is at the right hand of God. Are there physical things there? Our minds should not be on the physical. This passage is saying we should literally put our minds on things above. What about things on the earth? Should we set our minds on them? Obviously we need food and clothing to live, so we know we must use the material things. Even so, Jesus said not to be concerned about food and clothing (Matt. 6:8; Matt. 6:30-34). He said these were the things the nations seek after. We need to put our mind on things above and NOT on things on the earth. If we do not set our minds on things on the earth, will we love them?
The definition of “set your affection on” in Colossians 3:2 is specifically “to exercise the mind.” This indicates that this choice between loving and living for the temporary world and loving and living for spiritual things and eternity is not simply a one-time decision; it is a continual process as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 9:27. “But I keep under my (physical) body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27). This must be a daily battle, a daily decision, and a consciously chosen state of mind in order to keep our minds in the right direction. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18). In order to have the strength to make this daily choice, we must perpetually remember what Paul speaks of, that this world is “but for a moment,” and that there is “a far more exceeding and eternal” glory awaiting us if we focus on that spiritual world instead of this temporary one.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:16-17). Who created these things? The one who created our mouths, the same one who made us so we can be tempted is the creator of all. He tells us three temptations here: desires of the flesh, of the eye and pride of life.
What about our five senses? Some love music and feed their ears all the time. They are attached to the plugs in their ears wherever they go. What about the smell of flowers, fresh soil, rain or perfume? Some love the smell of fancy food. Others love feeling of things—touch. The Lord has created us so we can be tempted. He made Christ the same way. What is his point here: God has made everything we can know with our senses to be temporary. These things are of the world. In verse 17 we see that the world passes away and so will the temporary desires.