I have always been one who likes to be inspired and to have inspirations. I remember growing up and being inspired by music, dance, sermons, nature… all things that would somehow stir my soul and mind to desire to be greater then I currently was .
Matt Chandler puts it like this… "It has been my experience that inspirations are brief, sporadic and rare. By inspiration I mean those moments where our souls are stimulated to a high level of feeling, thinking and doing. I love those brief, sporadic and rare moments. I am addicted to the vitality I have, the love I feel, and the clarity of thought that occurs when I am inspired. I have tried for years to pay attention to these moments, to dig into them, excavate them, and figure them out."
Several years ago I heard the term affection in regard to the Christian life and the stirring of affections that should happen in our walk. Our affections should be stirred by God and we as believers should be inspired by those affections to love and live differently.
I've been challenged lately to question what stirs my affections for Christ. What, when I’m doing it, when I’m around it or dwelling on it creates in me a greater hunger for, passion for and worship of Christ and His mission?
1. Hot coffee and the smell of muffins or baked goods in the morning
*I think this just puts me in an awake mode and ready to take on what God has for me that day. it also reminds me that I have an entire day ahead of me and that often inspires me.
2. Speaking the truths of the gospel with others.
*we did this on wednesday at small group and my heart was stirred to a most real delight.
3. Listening to those worship who have been gifted to sing.
*musical excellence at times has a way into my soul like nothing else.
4. Listening to those worship who have not been so gifted to sing.
*I am in this category, but when I hear others who may not be excellent singer sing their heart out to One who hears the notes of the heart in perfect tune I am inspired by the realness of their worship.
5. The book of 1 Peter.
*This book has had so much for me the past 7 weeks. It inspires me to look to the future and to wonder what great things in my life and my husbands to make His name Great and to prepare us further for his coming.
6. Photography, Art.
* A picture is worth a thousand words and it's amazing the way these arts have a way of capturing images that can take your breath away.
7. Talking about ANYTHING with my husband.
*Dan is always in a constant state of learning and soaking up new ideas or current issues. It can be challenging at times to overcome the different ways men and women communicate but when we have patience and understanding we usually end up having amazing conversations that make me feel like we can take on anything anywhere together!
*I'm a big daydreamer and I love to think up ideas (business ideas, craft ideas, ministry ideas, family ideas, blog ideas, traveling ideas) and to just run with them in my mind. I have to be careful that those ideas don't steal my joy for the current state of being and life God has for me right now, but I believe God uses my creative imaginations to be open for many things He may have in the future for us. I just ask that He conforms my ideas to His ways!
I also have to pay attention and on guard to what robs me of affection for Christ. What, when I was doing it or spending time around it created in me an unhealthy love for this world?
1. Watching too much TV and movies.
2. Spending money on things I don't need or things I think will make me happy
3. Running after Ideas that I may have at the expense of things that needed to be done already but aren't.
4. Worrying about finances and making money out to be the answer to my happiness.
5. Expecting my home and marriage and life to be what I expect it to be and not to be open to the ministry opportunities that surround our imperfect life day by day.
6. Doing things for the praise of others.
What inspires you?
Better yet, what stirs your affections for Christ, truth and holiness? If we can fill our lives with the things that stir our affections and avoid and flee those things that rob us of inspiration, we have a better shot at dwelling deeply. What and who inspires you? Stirs you? What presses you into holy places? What robs you of joy and vitality? What robs you of your affection for Christ and holiness?