Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where Do My Affections Lie?

Sometimes, the Lord, in His mercy, helps us understand what is truly in our hearts. In fact, He is always trying to make this evident. One such place that this idea comes out is in that classic book, Steps to Christ. I often go back to this quote when I want the Lord to show me where my affections lie.

“Who has the heart?” Ellen White wonders, “With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies?” (Steps to Christ, p. 58). Such questions are extremely sobering. When I have a free moment—when I am driving in my car to work, or kicking back on my couch at home—and can entertain any thought I want, where do my thoughts turn? The football game? The latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy? The stock market?

Or when I am conversing with my friends and family, what do I love to talk about? After all, it was Jesus who declared, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). That which I truly value and take pleasure in is what is going to come up naturally in my conversations.

As I said above, it is the Lord’s mercy that allows us to take stock of our hearts’ affections. And He longs to give us an experience that will overwhelm our thoughts and minds so that we live and breathe His presence. “If we are Christ's,” Ellen White continues, “our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things.”

This is the experience Christ is trying to draw out of our hearts. It can be ours if we stop resisting Him.


Kyle Baldwin said...


The point of this post is important to consider. I want to think more about Jesus and share Him more with others.

I would however like to focus on your comment "the experience Christ is trying to draw out of our hearts. It can be ours if we stop resisting Him."

I think this thought needs to be investigate and/or elaborated. While Jesus' character is attractive and His charms alluring I think we often overlook the presence of the "third party."

When I am exposed to Jesus' charms my selfishness begins to submerge itself and a desire for Him takes it's place. But the "third party/ the devil interjects to derail this either directly or indirectly. Outside influences such as constraints on my time, seducements from culture, or even direct insertions of sinful thoughts combat my focus on Christ.

I bring up all of these things to say that unfortunately in this world we will never be enticed by the love of God unless we intentionally seek Jesus enough to counteract the obstacles that are intentionally inserted in our way.


Shawn Brace said...


Thanks for your thoughts. I would call your attention to another thought from Steps to Christ that shares a different take on your sentiments. Notice what she says, "The sinner may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist he will be drawn to Jesus; a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance for his sins, which have caused the sufferings of God's dear Son" (p. 27).

Thus, my "job" is not necessarily to "intentionally seek Jesus," but to stop resisting his drawing love.

Kyle Baldwin said...


How does a person come to a "knowledge of the plan of salvation?"

"And WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please Him, for he who COMES to God must believe that He is and that He is a REWARDER of those who SEEK Him." Hebrews 11:6


Shawn Brace said...

How does a person "come" to a knowledge of the plan of salvation? The Father DRAWS Him!

"No one can COME to Me unless the Father who sent Me DRAWS him; and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44).

And how does God "draw" a person to Himself? Through the word: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

And how does a person "hear" the Word? Through a preacher! "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).

So it's very simple, my friend: the job of the preacher is to be a channel by which God can draw others to Himself. So if our preaching is not drawing people to Christ, we may not be preaching the Word (although, admittedly, these people may simply be resisting that Word).

Jonathan said...

I find myself agreeing with both of you. In the Ministry of Healing, I read about the paralytic, who Jesus "drew to Himself". Yet that paralytic had to take active steps to get to Jesus. Jesus draws, and we must cooperate. That verb (cooperate) is used often throughout the Spirit of Prophecy, and is one I have come to greatly appreciate in understanding this issue. Indeed God does nothing for us without our cooperation. Cooperating with God in doing what is in our power, is how we "don't resist"

Shawn Brace said...

Yes, I think you are right Jonathan!