This past Sunday we considered how the gospel reconciles our past and present sin. One observation we made is that it is not mere actions that alienate us from God, but also our misguided affections. Scott Thomas, Director of Acts 29, posts some thoughts on what it means to be spiritually minded vs. carnally minded which also emphasize the central role of affections in the Christian life. He draws from the deep wells of John Owen for insight and offers us this gem:
One has to decide if one’s mind is fixed upon the spiritual or upon the things of this world. The Geneva Bible published in 1599 (the Bible of the Puritans) says, “For they that are after the flesh savor the things of the flesh: but they that are [savoring] after the things of the spirit, the things of the spirit.” Toward what do you savor: heavenward or earth-bound?
What we savor determines our savior. Our desire determines our deity.
It’s not our desire for things, but rather, the strength of our desire for them that produces hostility towards God. If God is not uppermost in our affections, then we become hostile towards him. Why? Because God threatens to unseat what we desire most. If you desire the approval of others more than you desire God, then approval is your God. If you desire control more than god, the control is your god. You are controlled by control. So it goes with success, beauty, goodness. When our hearts turn to other things, we turn our noses up at God. Bottom line, we do not desire God as he ought to be desired. Unlike the finite things of approval, control, success, God is infinitely desirable.