Not long ago I was having a real blockage in my prayer life. When I would go to pray, it was as if I didn’t even know how to approach God. I found myself throwing up empty words with no life in them to the Lord. This was bothering me very much because I felt as if something was missing. For several weeks I was constantly thinking about this. One day as I was sitting on my couch expressing what I was feeling to the Lord, the Holy Spirit showed me a picture like a banner that read “Set Your Affections”.
Suddenly I was brought back to a memory from about four years earlier when I was living with roommates. I saw myself sitting on the couch. As soon as they shut the door to leave, I turned all my attention, all my heart, all my mind on the Lord. I wouldn’t say a word, but in silence, I would sit and wait for Him.
In that time, I was hosting His presence, sitting at His feet, and listening to Him if He wanted to speak. I just wanted to be with Him, no words spoken. If you were on the outside looking in I probably looked like a crazy person staring at the wall. But if you were me, you would have been experiencing fellowship with the Lord and His manifest presence although it was in silence.
I was fellowshipping with the Lord in the inner man but I was experiencing His presence in the room as well as in my heart. After this memory the Lord brought to me, it hit me like a ton of bricks what was missing in my prayer life and how to get back to that place. I had gotten away from sitting at the Lord’s feet and waiting on Him.
As I went on about my day the Lord whispered this to me. “ Set Your Affections; A Practical Application to waiting on God ”. Through this memory God was showing me a first step to going deeper with Him. First, by setting my affection’s on Him, then by waiting on Him silently. I found by being with Him in this way it is a deeper place than giving Him empty words. Here are some examples I found in scripture.
Psalm 25:1 says “ Unto thee, Oh Lord do I lift up my soul “. That word lift means to yield or to bring, and the word soul means heart, mind, will, and seat of emotions. In verse 5 he goes on to say, “ Lead me in your truth and teach me; for you are the God of my salvation; on you do I wait all the day “. The word wait in the Hebrew means to look for, hope, expect, to wait or look eagerly for, to linger for, and to be collected.
Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those who wait on Him, to the soul who seeks Him.
Psalm 62:5 My soul wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.
By setting your affections on God and waiting for Him to reveal Himself, you are constantly in pursuit of Him in the deepest part of your being. In our world today with so many things pulling on us from the left to the right, it is more important now than ever to learn how to pull every part of us into alignment and constantly set our love and affection on God. With so much noise and clutter, we must learn to quiet ourselves and give Him all our attention.
It is commonly taught that in order to do this it is an outside manifestation of your flesh. To show God I love Him I need to sing louder, pray harder, and say the right things to Him. When in reality God values the affection you are showing Him in your heart. He loves for a person to pursue Him in stillness and quietness, in the innermost place of your being. To show you a prophetic example of what this looks like metaphorically speaking, let’s look at the book of Song of Solomon 5:2-6
I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.”
I have taken off my robe; How can I put it on again? I have washed my feet; How can I defile them? My beloved put his hand By the latch of the door, And my heart yearned for him.
I arose to open for my beloved, And my hands dripped with myrrh, My fingers with liquid myrrh, On the handles of the lock.
I opened for my beloved, But my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
Here we see the Shulamite woman was asleep but her heart was awake. This represents us in a place of quietness and rest but our hearts on a journey to pursue God. The Lord comes to the door of our hearts and gives us a little glimpse of himself and just as you open the door, He is gone. This shows us in pursuit of Him and Him in pursuit of us. All of this is something that goes on inside of you.
As you learn this principle of continually setting your affections on God you will find that being still and quiet in His Presence will become a lifestyle. You will learn how to host His presence and will value it to much to disturb or break it with outside fleshly manifestations. As you go deeper in your walk with God you will find that the things you do actually say to Him will become much more meaningful as the Lord reveals Himself to you and the things that are on His heart as well. God Bless.