Daily Encounters with a Transformational God
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Ascent Books & Media
The Transformed Heart
It’s a Big Life you’re called to lead. There’s a Big Dream in your heart, placed there by God himself. A desire, deep down, to do something more; to be something more. It’s like you’re being summoned to a Higher Purpose, and a Bigger Life. Because, in fact, you are. The Transformed Heart devotional is your personal guide to experiencing that bigger life. Covering a period six months, the weekday readings invite you to connect with Christ through his Word on a truly intimate, relational level-by learning to notice where God is already actively at work in your heart and life, and intentionally partnering with him in a way that leads to authentic life transformation. Your big life in Christ is waiting to be revealed. So take heart, and hold on to your courage. Jesus loves you, and he is with you right now. Let the journey begin.
FINDING YOUR TRUE SELF IN GOD
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. (Psalm 51:6)
In his book, Waking the Dead, John Eldredge writes, “[Jesus] wants truth in the inmost being, and to get it there he’s got to take us into our inmost being.” But what does it mean to go into your inmost being? The Hebrew word for “inmost being” refers to our deepest thoughts and desires, the core of who we are. In other words, it’s talking about our hearts. For Jesus to get his transforming truth into our inmost being, he needs us to take a journey into our hearts—and let him show us what’s really there.
If you are frightened by the prospect of going into your deepest heart—don’t be. For the heart is the place where Jesus dwells; it is his home in you. It’s the place he meets with you, and you with him. And he has planted treasures there he’s waiting for you to find—visions and longings of the life he meant you to have, which—contrary to what you may been taught—is precisely the life you really always wanted. “Life to the full” isn’t about self-worship or creating a life that serves your flesh. It’s about becoming all that you were meant to be, being fulfilled in that regard, and bringing that gift to the world.
To choose this path, to actually lay plans to pursue the life of abundance Christ meant you to have, is a brave decision. It means breaking rules and busting through barriers that may have become quite familiar and even cozy because of the illusion of safety they convey. It means surrendering your control to a Power and a Will greater than yourself—and letting him carry you to the very place you always wanted to go. “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:39, NLT).
That’s one reason the choice to live a fulfilling life in Christ is a radical act. We all live in a world that favors the mundane, the ordinary, the “just be like everybody else.” There will be a cost to going after “life to the full” in God. (They murdered Jesus because of it, if you’ll recall.) But at the end of the road, when you finally appear before the throne of God, you will be able to say with genuine joy that you lived well in Christ; that you went after the dreams he planted in your heart, and that you fulfilled your purpose in exactly the way you were meant to.
Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes once said, “Too many people die with their music still in them.” Committing your heart to pursue “life to the full” in Christ grants you the stage where you can finally let loose your own special song and dance in the special way that God made you to dance—a way that no one else has ever seen, or could ever do.