1 “If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”…..This passage of scripture continues to verse 17. Verse 5 lists some of the works of the flesh which the Holy Spirit will convict us of if they are present in our lives. One of these is “inordinate affection.”
Inordinate affection is not a term that is widely used in our vocabulary. Nevertheless, it is a term that God uses to highlight an unbalance, “over the top” affection or love we might have for anything or person, that we give first place to before Him. Our Lord God requires that first place in our lives, and only when we give it Him will our lives be in order.
The first commandment, Exodus 20:3 is “You shall have no other gods before Me.” I may not recognise a “god” I have made of a person or thing, until the Holy Spirit shines His light of truth and conviction into my life. Only then do I have responsibility before the Lord to respond. Denial only leads to darkness in my walk with the Lord.
Let us look at what Jesus declared in the New Testament. Mark 12:28-34…A scribe asked Jesus which was the first commandment of all. Verse 29, “Jesus answered him. The first of all commandments is, hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There are no other commandments greater than these.”
As Jesus spoke to the enquiring scribe, the scribe received revelation. He answered Jesus, verses 32-33, “….Master, you have said the truth, for there is one God, and there is none other but he. To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Our loving Heavenly Father seeks His best for my life and the lives of others. My first relationship is with Him, and when that is in order, His love will flow through me and I will be rightly related to others. When I surrender to the Lord over a relationship or something I have given first place to, the pain, struggle and chaos in my life is replaced by His peace and the rest of His presence. “Beauty for ashes.” We often try to mend a broken life in our own strength, but only God can heal a broken life. Yes, He may use us as a vessel to bring His love and healing to others, but only as He directs and His timing is perfect. “He has made everything beautiful in His time…” Ecclesiastes 3:11
God is after everything in my life that I give His first place to. People and things become idols in a life that is out of order. God loves me and delights to bless me, but he desires that first place in my heart and life. An inordinate affection is not helpful to another person as it is unbalanced and only produces more chaos. It can become as much an idol as anything else that takes the Lord’s first place. When I get the order right, the life of His Son, the Indwelling Christ, will flow out through me and His peace and joy will be the hallmarks of my life and relationship with my Father. I will recognise His rest on the issues I have struggled with. Only in surrender to Him will I find peace. God is faithful and I can trust Him to mend or heal a broken life. I may be used to minister the fragrance of Christ to a troubled soul along life’s highway, but I am just a vessel of His mercy to be led and directed by Him. Jesus only said and did the things His Father told Him to. He was so finely tuned in to His Father’s voice and will, His own will was surrendered. He only did the things that pleased His Father. God does not want my good ideas. He desires me to listen and hear His voice. Meddling produces chaos, obedience to His direction pleases our Heavenly Father. We do not have to look for results, that is God’s business, we just have to be obedient. When we have done His will we will know His peace, everything else is in God’s hands. He is trustworthy.
Let us remind ourselves of the first scripture quote: Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward those that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.”