J. B. Stoney wrote: "The Great Purpose of the ministry is to lead souls to taste of the "things above," and then things below will not only be surpassed, but there will be a sense of dissatisfaction with them. Sometimes one does not know why one is so dissatisfied, but the reason is, one is not in the element that suits one's divine taste."
I think this quote sums up very well one of the great effects of a mind well grounded in the truth of our present heavenly residence.
Fall, 1988. We are newlyweds. I had just graduated from ntbi in Jackson, MI, and was six years old in the Lord. We were now in our tiny apartment at "Boot Camp" in Baker, Oregon.
I had talked things over with the Lord, and told Him what I figured I needed to "grow in Grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ" as I ought to. I told Him I needed Him to get me up and alert at five each morning, so I could have ample time with Him in the Word at the start of each day. And I told Him I was counting on Him to teach me and enable me to "meditate" on His Word as the saints of old had done (Psalm 1:2-3; 119:148; Joshua 1:8).
I had already asked Him, as a student at the B.I., for a lifelong "ganas" for His Word (I Peter 2:2), and He had very graciously complied with that request.
So, each day for the next several months, I would arise at five sharp (I found after a few weeks that the alarm clock was no longer necessary). Coffee in hand (I could still drink the real stuff back then; no need for the ganoderma mushroom blend of today!), with an occasional appreciative look out the window at the snow-frosted mountains in our back yard, i would pray, read, and ruminate on the Word of God.
And the passage that engaged my thoughts more than any other on those blessed mornings was Colossians 3:1-4:
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God; Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, AND YOUR LIFE IS HID WITH CHRIST IN GOD. When Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him IN GLORY."
I knew it was extremely significant truth, from the attention given by some of my favorite Christian writers, if nothing else. I knew it was RADICAL. But I was only beginning to understand it.