Even though “affection” is quite a good and strong rendering in the verse above, the Greek word, “phroneo” is a little more practical. It means to set your mind or your thinking; an activity of the mind; how your mind works. It originates from two words; one meaning, “To reign in,” like you say, “I’ve got to reign this fellow in”; that is, to bring him under control. The second word means, “To block in or fence in.”
Thus, the admonition to set your affection on things above means to have control on your mind and consciously set your thinking on spiritual things. Remember that the things you think about are the things that will control your actions.
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PRACTICAL WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR HEART
For example, you may have been wrestling with certain habits; habits that affect the way you serve and live for the Lord; habits that reduce your effectiveness and efficiency. You might have prayed about it, yet, nothing seemed to have changed. It’s not so much about prayer as it’s about the use of your mind! Your mind is a very powerful machine; you can twist or control it any way you choose. So, what you must do is to first, consciously refuse to think on those things you know aren’t wholesome, and deliberately focus your mind on the Word.
Practise exercising your mind through conscious thought. If, for whatever reason, an unwholesome thought comes to you, say, “No,” and then, switch your mind to something excellent; to the Word. Don’t be surprised if such thoughts creep in again; resist it and repeat the process. James 4:7 says “…Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” God knows what’s in the devil, and He tells us if we resist him, he’ll flee; that’s got to be the necessary result!
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FINAL WORDS ON ‘PREPARE YOUR HEART TO SERVE THE LORD’
Exercise your mind to develop a liking for spiritual things; exercise your interests in the things of God. Attend church services. Study and meditate on the Word. Maintain a robust prayer schedule. Win souls. These are spiritual activities to consciously engage in, in training yourself to “reign-in” your outward man! Hallelujah!