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Description: Are your affections based on the need to satisfy yourself ? through your spouse, friend, children or is it an outgoing expression of love without demand?
Spiritual Life #67
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
I’d like to talk a little about affections tonight. We’ve been discussing emotions, and first of
all there’s the emotion of feeling and atmosphere, and then there are affections in our emotions.
We’ve been talking about the two ways to live in this life; one is that you can live a kind of bound
life where you put the world in the place of God. By “the world” we mean not so much all those
terrible, big, simple things like drinking and smoking, but we mean the world of people, and the
world of circumstances, and the world of things. You can live with those as your god and in that
case you have idols in your life, or you can live with God, your Creator, as the dearest person in
your whole heart and then you begin to come into your fullness as the unique human being that you
are. You begin to act freely from within instead of being bound and driven from without. That
applies strongly to the emotions, and to the emotion especially that is involved in affections.
Loved ones, no area is so much a playground of Satan as this area of affections. There are more
people who will miss heaven through the mess that their affections are in than through any other
reason. There are more loved ones that fail in consecration more in the affections than in anything
else, really. I could give you the two extremes, as they’re very plain, of the life that is lived
with God as your God and the life that is lived with the world as your god. Real affection, when
your dear Father is God of your life, is Jesus coming along the road and finding this poor old
weathered leper lying on the ground, with his nose all eaten away, and hardly any lips, and his skin
is withered, and just to look at him is almost a nightmare experience. Jesus leans down and kisses
the old scarred face and then he gives everything he has to make that dear leper whole.
Jesus got nothing from that for himself, and in no way was that leper attractive to be kissed, but
Jesus loved with all his heart and gave all that he had and put himself in that leper’s place and
was able to heal him because he bore his leprosy in a deep, cosmic way that we cannot understand.
He bore that leprosy on Calvary and bore the pain and the agony of it.
At the other extreme, where the world is our god, you have the back seat of a car after the prom,
and you have a guy and a girl with the guy intent on only one thing; the excitement and the
physical thrill of petting the girl. For the girl’s part, she has only one thing on her mind and
that is of trapping this guy and of, in some way, having him for her own. Those are the two
extremes, loved ones, in affections. I know we’re all very sophisticated, and very adult, and very
grown up here, but really, you may not be at either extreme, but you’re on the way towards one or on
the way towards the other.
We talk about affection for a guy or a girl, or those of us who are married talk about affection for
our husband or our wives, or those of us who are parents or children, talk about affection for our
dads or our mums or our sons or our daughters, but too often we don’t mean affection at all. We
mean something like what those two dear souls were getting into in the back seat of the car; too
often, we mean nothing to do with giving at all. Too often we mean satisfaction for ourselves. We
call it affection, we call it love — our emotions are certainly stirred, but too often it’s from
what satisfaction we think we can we get from this girl or from this guy in the back seat of the
car, or from our husband or our wife in bed, or from our husband or our wife in comfort and
consolation and in serving us at home, or from our son or our daughter in satisfaction of living our
lives through them, or in the attention that they give us or we feel they ought to give us. Or in
the case of us who are sons and daughters, we talk about a dad and a mum’s affection, and we talk
about our affection for them primarily in terms of what we’re getting from them, and whether they’re
doing their duty by us, and whether they’re protecting us or giving to us.
In other words loved ones, so often when we human beings talk about affection, we’re talking not
about affection or love at all, we’re talking about what we can get from people. That’s because
part of the perversion that has taken place in our personalities as a human race is that the emotion
of affection has ceased to be an outgoing one. It has ceased to be an outgoing expression of the
love and the delight that we have with our Father God. It has ceased to be a putting ourselves in
the other person’s place. It has ceased to be thinking, “What would they like?” Or, “What can we do
for them?” And it has become an internal thing — a desire for any satisfaction that we can get from
I think many of us in this audience tonight would probably confess that maybe we’re not far from
this back seat of the car stuff, just from the physical thrill of it all, because if you touch your
body in certain ways, you stimulate your emotions and it gives you an excitement and exhilaration.
Some of us, maybe, are still at that level, married or unmarried. Some of us are a little further
on from that, because the physical thing we see as rather boring after a while and not as deeply
satisfying — but attention, we want attention! We want somebody to love us, somebody to make us
the be all and end all of their lives, somebody who will protect us and give us security, so we’ve
at least got up to that level but it’s still a selfish in-turned thing. and loved ones that’s why,
so often, we don’t reach any of the pinnacles of love that God has designed for us.
My heart goes out to you all, as I hope your heart goes out to me; because we are in a contorted,
perverted society. We have been brainwashed, brainwashed, brainwashed till we hardly know what
marriage is about, we hardly know what boy/girl friendship is meant to be and we hardly know what a
husband and wife relationship is meant to be so we’re facing contortion and perversion all around.
I’ve now been on campus (University of Minnesota) for about 14 years, and nothing so gets hold of
men and women who really want to go after God and distracts them as much as this business of
affection. I have seen beautiful ones and handsome ones among you, men and women, go absolutely
after Satan like mad once you smell marriage; once you smell the possibility of what the world says
you should want and it’s because we have not come anywhere near consecrating our affection to God.
We have not come anywhere near the whole reversal of our personality that is needed in regard to our
And I would say again to you; you will never do it yourselves, you know, you won’t. Your dear body
is so involved in the situation: those dear organs of yours, those dear glands of yours, are so
involved in that whole thing that you will never be able to control them or to satisfy them by
giving them a little but not too much. You’ll never do it. There is only one way that that whole
emotional life of your affections, which is utterly centered on getting attention from the rest of
us human beings here; getting security from us, getting exhilaration from us, getting some sense of
importance, or some sense of value from us, that it has to be destroyed, miraculously, by Jesus.
You have to be willing to receive that through the Holy Spirit into your life and that’s the only
way, loved ones.
You will never tame that wrong affection that most of us have been born with — you will not! You
can read all the books, you can try to feed it little scraps and keep it under control, but there is
only one way to have your affection made the way it was meant to be when you were created by God,
and that is to go to our Lord Jesus and say, “Lord, I do believe that God remade me completely in
you. Lord Jesus, I need to be remade in regard to my affections.” That’s the only way. Then the
Holy Spirit will begin to reveal to you things that you need to be willing for.
That’s the interesting thing; lots of us think, “Well, he’ll deal with us a lot about our affections
and our emotions.” Well, he won’t, because of course the heart of love is in the will. I don’t
know if you’ve really understood that yet — but the heart of love is in the will. All of us who
are married know fine well that the heart of love is in the will. There’s that funny solo in
Fiddler on the Roof where he asks, “Do you love me?” And then she just barrels on in response —
“I’ve washed for you. I’ve darned for you,” etcetera, etcetera, “and you ask me ‘Do I love you’ —
you see that my whole life has been given to you.” And those of us who are married know that now —
that love is actually in the will; it’s the directing of the will towards a person — that’s what
love is about. So the Holy Spirit, when he begins to deal with you, will deal with you about your
will and about whether you’re willing to do certain things that Jesus himself has done and certain
things that he has bent your nature to do. He’s able to make that bending real in you, if you will
Loved ones, that’s really the only way to finally get the love into your heart that will begin,
then, to be expressed and to renew your emotional life. But it has to be dealt with at that level
of the will. It so happens that America has brainwashed us all that we ought to be married — it’s
just ridiculous! Paul plainly said that some of us are given the gift of marriage and some of us
are given the gift of celibacy. But we in America have just scrawled that verse out and we have
said, “No — nobody has the gift of celibacy except some strange types that go to monasteries.” So
we are utterly perverted in this business of marriage; every girl here has been brainwashed by her
mother to believe if she is not married by 21, she is missing something badly and may dedicate her
life to spinsterhood, which they assure her will be miserable. There is little vision of the beauty
of love among grown up brothers and sisters in our society.
Now at the same time, we have been brainwashed, too, that any good, red blooded man will be able to
take a wife to himself and produce three or four children, and if he can’t do that there’s something
wrong with his virility and his masculinity, and there’s something strange; he’s a wee bit funny if
he doesn’t quite bring that off. So loved ones, we’re all the victims of huge lies about marriage.
The result of all this is that marriage has become an utter perversion among us. The last thing
anybody marries for today is the right reason. That’s true: men marry girls because they’re
smashing looking, they have a great figure, they think they’ll be great in bed, and they would like
everybody to praise their wife, and they think they’ll get a real thrill and satisfaction out of
being in bed together and it’d be nice waking up in the morning and having her make you breakfast.
Then secondly — you look at if she will make a good wife. Will she look after you, does she look
after the house well, will she be a good mother, will she bring up your sons? Why they should be
yours, I don’t know when she has all the work to do (!), but — will she bring up your sons in the
way that you want her to?
At the same time, dear ladies, maybe you’re a little freer than we are about the whole body thing,
and I think you do become rather bored with our performance after the first few years, so I think
that you are in some ways freer physically from that, but boy, you are enslaved to the idea of one
man- one girl; if you have your guy, you’ll have protection for life — at least you’ll have
company in old age and certainly you won’t have to walk through life alone. So you’ve been
brainwashed by the idea that no woman can be complete without a man and of course it’s just absolute
heresy and lying.
The greatest, dearest, handsomest, most magnanimous, most balanced man that ever walked the earth
was never married. You only have to meet those old saints that have touched God and that have known
nothing of marriage to see the balance, and the gentleness, and the kindliness, and the touch of
love, and the exhilaration, and the joy and delight in their lives to know that you don’t need to be
married in order to be whole at all. And if you do in fact regard marriage as the be all and end
all of your life, you will end up as half of our society is ending up every year: you’ll end up in
the divorce courts trying to patch together yet another failure.
The record of us as a society in this area is so lamentable and so perverted that all you can do is
say, “Yes, yes, I know there has to be a change here. There has to be a change.” And of course why
I’m particularly anxious that you’ll see all that God has for us in this area is if you don’t,
you’ll pervert some of the beauty that God is trying to bring about in his body here. I am just
uplifted whenever I see some of the pure love and the thoughtful love that exists among brothers and
brothers, sisters and sisters, brothers and sisters in this body. It’s something beautiful that you
don’t see in very many places. But in order to keep that pure, and in order to keep it filled with
life, it is vital that all of us continue to walk in purity and to walk up to the very highest.
I would urge upon you the truth that if we are not attractive to each other, there must be something
wrong with the relationship to God. If we, as a group of men and women, are coming into some honest
relationships with God, there must be something attractive in us; there has to be. So don’t be
surprised that we are in fact drawn and attracted to each other. But do you see that that is all
the more reason to have our priorities absolutely straight in regard to what God wants for us. I
know this seems strange to you, but probably your marriage partner has very little to do with
affection. That is, the affection or emotion as we talk about it in our society. We all hate the
idea of arranged marriages; we think the poor souls in foreign countries that have arranged
marriages are in a dreadful situation. Probably, the nearest thing to God’s will is when a man and
a woman come together because they honestly do believe he wants them together and actually do not
have necessarily overwhelmingly strong drawings to each other themselves.
Now I agree with you that normally God gives, in his graciousness and his generosity when he draws
two people together, when they see what his will for them is and they commit themselves to his will,
normally God gives them the grace of affection and great love for each other. But do you see that
that is something that is added by God to two people who are more anxious for God’s will than for
their own will? Most of us who are attracted by the look of the girl, or the look of the guy or who
continue perhaps, to be dominated by that attraction, probably couldn’t hear God if he blazed at us
with a hundred-thousand decibels of sound, because we are on our way and we’re rolling and “when
you’re hot, you’re hot”, and you have no intention of breaking your stride for anybody. Loved ones
you know that the voice of God is not in the thunder or in the storm, but the voice of God is in the
sound of gentle stillness — the still, small voice — when you want God’s will more than you want
anything else, and that’s normally the Father’s way to draw us into marriage.
Loved ones, do you see that there is all kind of affection apart from marriage? I don’t want to say
that the only purpose of marriage is to have sons and daughters; otherwise I’d be in real trouble
and ought to rearrange things (as my wife and I have no children), so obviously there is more
purpose in God’s plan for marriage than simply having children. But it is primarily connected with
God’s desire for us to have the right partner to minister with. It is not primarily concerned with
God’s desire for us to have somebody to give affection to, or for us to have somebody to give
affection to us. Affection is something that exists throughout our relationships and God made that
very plain when he said we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Affection is something that
concerns every man and woman that we meet, and certainly especially those that we know can receive
our affection in a way that God intended.
So when we talk of affection we are not talking simply about marriage, we’re talking about God’s
whole vision for heaven, a vision that he means to bring about here on earth and in his own body. A
vision where brothers and sisters could have the same affection for each other that up to now we
have so often thought is reserved for an inner blood relationship, either between brother and
sister, father and mother, or husband and wife. It’s a whole vision of a group of men and women who
will live together as husbands and wives in purity. They will not have the physical intercourse
that a husband and wife would have, but they will in every way think of each other in the same way
so that at last, we as a society come into some kind of balance. So that at last there’s no longer
this hideous, savage, barbarian situation where a person who is with two people who are married
feels the third person in the trio, feels the odd man out or the odd woman out. But a society where
because you’re married, it does not mean that you love each other more than you love your dear
friend in Jesus. A society where all of us love each other as Jesus loves us. That is really his
vision for affection. So when you talk about affection, you have to deliberately divorce it in your
mind from exclusively this marriage bit because the marriage bit is more concerned with God’s will
for two people to minister together in that relationship of husband and wife than it is concerned
with two people having a special affection for each other.
Loved ones, all of us who are married understand that so well, because it isn’t long after you’re
married before you realize that your commitment to each other stands on a higher level than just the
affection that you seem to feel for each other, which can vary with your own emotions, but it stands
rather on the level of God’s eternal will for you two people in this world, and that’s why you’re
married. You’re not married because you caught him and she didn’t. You’re not married because you
managed to get her and he didn’t. You’re not married because you both think you’re good looking,
and you’re really not good looking. You’re not married because you both think you have quite
scintillating personalities, and you’re not scintillating personalities. You’re married together
because God intended you two to be together in that relationship of husband and wife because he has
a ministry through you both as one person. So when we talk about affection, loved ones, your mind
ought not to go immediately to marriage; and yet I’m aware that more and more men and women in this
body face that battle. “Well, what do I do? What do I do when my heart begins to be stirred
towards some brother or some sister?”
I read part of Brengle’s life last night. Samuel Brengle was trained as a Methodist minister here
in America in 1850 or so and was offered an for a large church on the East Coast, but he rejected it
and joined the Salvation Army. And if you remember, [William] Booth made him clean the shoes of all
the recruits for his first six months in the training school there. Brengle writes of how he came to
marry his wife and how he met her first in the Salvation Army and sensed that she was God’s woman
for him but just prayed about it and prayed about it and eventually wrote to her and said that he
thought that. She replied and said, “No, you’re mistaken. God has better things for you than that.
Let’s forget it and pray about it.” And that was her story for the next six or nine months.
That’s what I’ll say to you; whenever you begin to feel yourself drawn to some guy or some girl, you
draw right back from it and get it right on the altar. Assume right away that if God really wants
this he will have no trouble bringing it about and you can well afford to verge on the side of
thinking the wrong thing and assuming that God will have to put you right. Now why do I say that?
Because we, as a society, are way over in the other direction, way over, and there’s no one as prone
to misconceive what another person thinks as a person who thinks they’re in love; when the emotions
are roused and they are sure that this is God’s guy for them or this is God’s girl for them.
There’s no one as open to deception from Satan as one’s whose emotions are roused in that way. So
loved ones, honestly, you can afford to err well on the side of being over careful. And that’s why
I quoted that woman who married Brengle because there was a marriage that was made in heaven and
yet, when he approached her, her whole attitude was, “No, I’m given to God and you’re given to God,
and I’m sure the Father has somebody far better for you than me, and let us just leave it on the
Now loved ones, here’s the truth; you can afford to do that. You can afford to do that. God loves
you. God is not going to let his will for you go astray, even through your mistake, and God does
love you. It doesn’t matter much what you do, God will bring about his purpose in your life,
especially if he understands that you are trying to be as careful as you can be and you are trying
to make sure that you don’t blast yourself and someone else into a wrong relationship. Now loved
ones, if you have difficulty doing that, it is probable that there is something of Jesus and of what
he’s achieved for you on Calvary that you’re not really willing to accept. In other words, if
you’ve a little difficulty with agreeing to that, it is probable that you’re involved in pushing
some boat out yourself, and that there’s something there that has got a hook in your heart besides
Now that’s why the Father always says about affection, whether it’s affection for a daughter, or
affection for a possible mate for life, or affection even for a friend or a roommate, there’s only
one thing to do with that affection, and it’s in that famous chapter its Genesis 22:1. The irony of
this is that, you realize, this dear son was God’s gift to Abraham, “After these things God tested
Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ He said, ‘Take your son, your only
son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon
one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his
ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt
offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” That’s the only thing to do.
You can theorize, you can fiddle around, but if you find your heart at this moment rather
preoccupied with a man or a woman, even with your dear wife or with your dear husband or even with
your son or your daughter; if you find that your heart is being drawn again and again out to them
and you find that it’s tricky to tell which you think more of; God or them, then the only thing is
to yield that affection to God. The only thing is to say, “Lord Jesus, you were an unshackled soul
and in your death you took my shackled enslaved soul and you unshackled and you freed it. Lord,
that’s what I want and if that involves me leaving this dear one on the altar, that’s where I’m
Loved ones, it’s the only thing to do. It doesn’t matter what you do that is less than that; you
are not putting them in God’s hands. We all think, “Oh, well, if we direct the affection, it’ll be
all right.” But if you find that your heart is being taken up repeatedly with someone and you know
that there’s something not right there, and especially if the loved one does not really return that,
or if a husband realizes that he is not in a balanced way loving his wife or a wife her husband, the
only way is to yield that, put it on the altar and say, “Lord, as far as I am concerned and as far
as what I’m getting from this dear one or ever hope to get, I leave that,now, on the altar and I die
to any right to get anything from this loved one.” And when you put that dear one on the altar what
happens is God gives them back to you in the right way.
At last when you get them on the altar, you are then able to receive them back in the way that God
has planned. If they’re simply a friend, he gives them back to you as a real and a true friend and
companion. If they’re meant to be eventually a husband or wife to you, then God begins to stir in
their hearts and begins to move them in that direction also. If we’re husbands and wives, we begin
to find that we truly love our wife. Putting her on the altar, no longer demanding this degree of
attention, or that degree of attention from her, but putting her on the altar means at last we’re
able to love her, love her with all our hearts. Not for something we hope to get from her, not for
something that she can do for us, but for something that we can do for her. God gives the person
back to us. Only then will the Holy Spirit begin to direct their affections.
But, oh, if I could just say to you again, don’t you see that we are brainwashed in our society with
the idea that other’s people love is what we need? Loved ones, God said, “Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart and with all thy strength and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.”
Then he said when Jesus came we are to, “love thy neighbor as thy self.” But he said; “Only when
you’ve come to love me with all your heart and soul and strength and mind, only then will you be
able to love your neighbor as yourselves. Indeed, only then will you be able to love yourself in
the right way.” But he stressed, “Love me.” It’s interesting, isn’t it? He didn’t say, “Love me
with just the right amount of your heart, just the healthy amount of your soul, just the balanced
amount of your mind.” He didn’t. He said, “In this one thing, you can afford to go overboard:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength and
with all thy mind.” Then the Holy Spirit will shed abroad in your heart, the love of God — the
love that God had through Jesus for the leper and for everyone. And then at last you’re able to see
what his will for you is in regard to marriage or in regard to friendships. But loved ones, only
that kind of attitude will save us from this utter preoccupation we have with getting from each
If you say “Well, shouldn’t you get from other people?” Well, rather than say you should get, you
will get from other people — you will. If you have a bunch of people who love God with all their
heart, soul, strength, and mind, and the Holy Spirit therefore sheds abroad in their hearts the love
of God, then you’re going to have an awful lot of love going around! So of course you’re going to
get love from other people, but the beauty of it is — it will be the icing on the cake — that’s
the beauty of it. Love is delightful when it’s received without being demanded. But every one of
us who are married, every one of us who have a dear friend, know that there’s nothing to put a
blight on love like a demand coming from your other person’s heart. The only true love that we’ll
be able to give each other is when we love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and are
satisfied with that love and are satisfied if no one else ever gives us any love. Then we begin to
love other people freely.
And of course it’s a beautiful situation because you love them not in order to get love back. You
know how pitiful so many of us have felt about that. We’ve all been in miserly, mean little
situations where we know we’ve been darting out a little love expression to the other person so that
they can dart a little expression back to us and we’re crestfallen when it doesn’t come. We feel so
hurt because we loved them and they didn’t love us back. We know how mean we feel, and miserly and
petty. We know how wretched and self-centered we feel when that happens. But at last when you love
with the love that Jesus sheds abroad in your heart through the Holy Spirit, you love whether they
love you back or not; you love simply because your heart is filled with love.
Some of you, I think, hear talk and read in the lives of the saints the joy of loving God and I
would believe that some of you are like me; I was a little skeptical about the whole deal. When I
read about [Saint] Teresa, I thought, “She’s just a frustrated spinster kinda sublimating her love
— that’s what she’s talking about.” Loved ones, it’s false. The truth is that you’ve only begun
to experience the delight and joy of love when you at last put God before you as your only lover, as
the one above all others. Only then is the Holy Spirit able to lift your heart into the delight of
Those of us who’ve had intercourse know; the moment of exhilaration is so brief, and it goes so
quickly, and it is so difficult to recover and to repeat at will — that it is only a flash, only a
little, little shadow of the constant exhilaration and delight and joy that is possible when you do
at last love God with all your heart, and soul, and strength, and mind. And the only way to do it
is to set your will in that direction, that’s it. Don’t think it’s through all kinds of emotional
singing, or all kinds of working up of your emotions, or all kinds, even, of dwelling on the picture
of Jesus on the cross. It isn’t. It is through the Holy Spirit shedding abroad in you exactly the
love for his Father that Jesus has and he does that when you are willing, in every way, to take your
place in Christ as he hung on the cross and died to what love people might be able to give him.
Only when you take your place with Jesus and hug him to yourself and say, “Lord, I’d rather be with
you and be without any friends — I’d rather be with you and you only, that’s what I want, Lord”
that Jesus begins to give you his Holy Spirit. And that Holy Spirit brings about in you this
exhilarating, delightful, joyful love that will not only carry on to the grave, but then will
blossom out freely into heaven. Loved ones, it’s so different from the case of a husband and wife,
or even two guys or two girls that are each other’s faithful, loyal friends for life, and then one
of them dies; instead of death and the life after death being a delightful expansion of their love,
it is a tragedy in their hearts. I know of four or five people who have committed suicide
immediately after the loss of a loved one because they’re tied to that person. That’s what all of us
find who put even our dearest friend, first in our lives. Finally we see that there’ll either come
a time when they won’t be here, or there comes a time when they don’t rise to our expectations, and
we eventually find out that all of us human beings are really fickle and can fail at times. God
himself is constant.
Could I point out to you that no one has given you as many boxes of chocolates as God as! Nobody
has given you as many flowers, nobody has given you as many delights, and excitements, and thrills
as God himself has. No one has given any of us in this room as many presents as our dear Father.
And of course, no one has given himself in the way that he has in Jesus. So really, it is very
reasonable to be asked by him to love him with all our heart, and all our soul, and all our
strength, and all our mind.
Let us pray.
Dear Father, we know the truth of these things; there’s no doubt in our minds about them — they
have the ring of your words in them and they have the ring of your life in them. But dear Lord, you
know us; we would pray not only for ourselves but for each other. You know how drawn out we get,
you know how deceived and confused we are, you know how we’re brainwashed by our society to expect
all kinds of things. Lord, we want to be balanced people. We want, most of all, to be the kind of
people you made us to be. You of all people know how our personalities will best work. Dear
Father, we see that you have done something for us in Jesus on Calvary and Lord, we want all of
that. If he was willing to drink the cup until the dregs, then we want to drink that cup too. We
want to lay on the altar our Isaacs, whoever they may be; whether we’re married or unmarried, we
want to lay our Isaacs on the altar.
Dear Lord, we see how we have become shackled and enslaved, so instead of being the masters and the
mistresses of ourselves, we have become the servants of what we have called our affections but
really, they were more our lusts, or our desires, or our needs. Lord, we see that you have made us
to be free men and women.
Father, we’ve known that in our own lives; we’ve known the joy and delight when some free soul loved
us –it feels so good. It feels so good when somebody who loves you is pure and clean — somebody
who has your love in their heart. It feels so good, Lord. We see the difference between that and
what is so often for us a very selfish experience. So Lord, we would lay our Isaacs, now, on this
altar. We see they’re not to be tampered with, we’re not to bargain with you, “Will you give us
them back?” We’re not to think about doing it, or meditate about doing it; we’ve to do it now by an
act of will, accept our place in you Lord Jesus, and accept that the only love we can expect is the
love of your dear Father for us. And we would take that place.
We believe Lord, that as you shed abroad in our hearts the Holy Spirit, we will become — not
strange people, not selfish, unloving, hard people, but we will become the freest, most spontaneous,
most affectionate people in your world — just as you yourself were. So Lord, we thank you. Thank
you that you have bent us in Calvary. We want to be bent, and we want to have the delight of being
free princes and princesses of God in our Father’s world; walking through the world with our heads
held high and with our hearts filled with love instead of empty and yearning for someone to fill
them. Lord, we want to be what you want us to be so we give ourselves to you for that purpose. We
trust you Lord that even this very night we will begin to express some of this to each other for
your delight and for your glory, and for our salvation.
And now the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be
with each one of us now and throughout this coming week. Amen.