There are many people who are walking about “whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” These are “enemies of the cross of Christ.” But “our conversation is in heaven” (Php 3:18-20).
Every man has borne the image of the earthly body and has tasted of the vile passions and inclinations that come with it. It is referred to in the Scriptures as the “natural man” – which does not receive the things of the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14) and the “flesh” – that contains the motions of sins (Rom 7:5) and the “old man” which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts (Eph 4:22). It is obtained by virtue of being born of a woman and it has base lusts which actually war against the soul of a man. This part of our human constitution but be put off and subdued.
In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he warns them of those who give in to the lusts of the flesh. They allow these inclinations to govern their lives. Whatever their “bellies” desire, they feed it. The things of earth are most appealing to them and they seek after them with greediness to the neglect of heavenly and spiritual things.
Then the apostle gives this contrast: “but our conversation is in heaven.” That is to say, we are governed by heavenly things, heavenly pursuits and a quest for God. This is characteristic of the saints of God because they have been born from above. Jesus actually died to deliver them from this present evil world (Gal 1:4) and to bring them to glory (Heb 2:10) where they may obtain all they are have sought – even that heavenly country (Heb 11:16).
When Jesus was on the earth He said, “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of [God]” (Jn 8:26). And John the Baptist said of Him: “He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony” (Jn 3:31-32).
This is what it is like to have your “conversation in heaven.” Jesus spoke and lived in accord with His heavenly conversation. His attachment to heaven was stronger than His attachment to earth. The same is true of those living by faith. Their earthly lives are fueled by their heavenly conversation.
So, child of God,
“seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things of 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.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
– brother Pat Woods