Did you know that three massively-influential people died on the same day, November 22nd, 1963? It’s true! JF Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and CS Lewis all died on this day. The first died by assassination, as everyone knows. The second penned this quote I put up as the feature image for this post. The third is officially one of my very favorite writers and heros, and his life was marked by this New Affection called sold-out faith in and love for Jesus Christ. Please don’t take offense at these next two sentences. Kennedy seemed to thrive on his climactic role in history and his charismatic personality. Huxley thrived on many things including drugs for his ever-seeking of inspiration and creative vision despite his poor physical eyesight. Both of these were remarkable individuals and worthy of some biographical attention, but I want to emphasize something about the third character. I would argue that of these three men, Lewis shines out brilliantly when it comes to his insights into true living, both earthly and eternal.
What does this new affection that I speak of look like? I realize this post will be longer and more heart-searching, raw honest for me, open-hearted for our mutual benefit before God, for His glory.
Good old Webster Dictionary from 1828 defines “affection” as follows:
1. The state of being affected. [Little used.]
2. Passion; but more generally,
3. A bent of mind towards a particular object, holding a middle place between disposition, which is natural, and passion, which is excited by the presence of its exciting object. Affection is a permanent bent of the mind, formed by the presence of an object, or by some act of another person, and existing without the presence of its object.
4. In a more particular sense, a settle good will, love or zealous attachment; as, the affection of a parent for his child. It was formerly followed by to or towards, but is now more generally followed by for.
5. Desire; inclination; propensity, good or evil; as, virtuous or vile affections. Rom. 1. Gal. 5.
6. In a general sense, an attribute, quality or property, which is inseparable from its object; as, love, fear and hope are affections of the mind; figure, weight, &c., are affections of bodies.
7. Among physicians, a disease, or any particular morbid state of the body; as, a gouty affection; hysteric affection.
8. In painting, a lively representation of passion.
Shakespeare uses the word for affectation; but this use is not legitimate.
Allow me to simply share my heart before God on this matter in a public prayer:
Holy Father God,
I pray for my friends, relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances, but first and foremost for myself.
Please give us this NEW AFFECTION. Please replace the love for anything that currently resides at the forefront of our desires and longings with YOU.
Oh how we long to long for You more, to know the change that is available in our hearts when we are bent into Your will for the Christian’s life.
PASSION: Lord, please enliven our hearts for You with a passion that overcomes and transforms us into a people united around Christ and His work on the cross, united around loving God and neighbor in response to the cross, being overcome with passion and delight in our God, being drawn naturally and repeatedly into a place of rapturous worship of our God!
A PERMANENT BENT OF THE MIND: As this definition states, LORD, may our minds be bent toward You and Your will for the Christian’s life because of the act of death for us by Jesus Christ on the cross. What a transforming reality that enlivens our walk day-by-day and reminds us that we are a people destined for seeing our Savior face-to-face one day to worship Him in the beauty of His worth, His holiness, His awesome presence, worshiping the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, completely caught up in the glory and worth of this great and eternal and all-satisfying God!
Oh God of my soul, over-whelm my weak frame with the love of my soul for Your essence, Your worth! May my sin dissipate day-by-day as I’m overcome by the goodness of my God in the land of the living. As long as we have breathe, may we as believers be caught up in living for You, bent into Your will, bowed before You in humble and regular prayer together. May our times be sweet together, marked by humility and genuine affection. May we pray with fervor and heart-connection to Your Word’s realities showing up in our relationships!
TRANSFORMED RELATIONSHIPS: Holy God, please draw us daily into deeper relationship with You. Remind us of Your consistent initiation of relationship with us, and draw us into a celebration together of Your worth! May we, as we behold Your worth together, run into Your presence together in prayer and worship, and may our response to these times of celebrating You consistently result in our compassion on those who do not know this eternal pleasure in the eternally pleasant and holy God! In the name and character and worth of Jesus Christ. Let this prayer come to pass in Central California and beyond, but first in our hearts. Please, Oh God, replace our evil affections for idols all through our lives with ONE PURE AND HOLY PASSION, TO KNOW AND FOLLOW HARD AFTER YOU TOGETHER AS YOUR KIDS!
Friends, thank you for humoring me at times with this blog. I can be an emotional person at times, but I’m realizing that having an emotional and intense affection for God is what I need more than just a staunch understanding of biblical truths about Christianity as a religion. We should be “religious” in our relationship with our God in Christ, far more than any temporary religions out there where things and activities and false hopes are the prize. Our prize is pleasure in the God Who made us! Pleasure in knowing Him as truly all-satisfying. He’s not greedy for glory from us. Are we that silly and foolish to think that God needs us? No! We know this, that God chose to LOVE US and to poor His wrath onto Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. God took the blows for our sin, the punishment that we deserved, and now we look forward to seeing Him in His eternal light, JESUS CHRIST BEING THE NEW AND ETERNAL OBJECT OF OUR AFFECTION!