In John Eldredge’s book, “Waking the Dead,” he writes: “The subject of the heart is addressed in the Bible more than any other topic—more than works of service, more than belief or obedience, more than money, and even more than worship.”
Wow! God wants us to have a heart-to-heart relationship with Him, the Creator of the cosmos. We, as Christians, can know all the doctrines, understand everything about Scripture, and be a person of morals, but He may never have our hearts.
The heart is the center of our affections. It shows us those things that light us up with joy and fill us with unexplainable gladness. It rules during the deepest trauma. And in our hearts, we can find joy in Christ’s pain on the cross and intoxicating happiness in His sovereign presence.
These types of emotions become possible as we find our life in Jesus alone. This type of person is not a person who has no drive or ambition, but, rather, one who sees Jesus and who trusts Him to meet all needs.
We can’t just look to Jesus as an example. Doing so will ultimately crush us. Why? Because we are not called to try to be like Jesus but simply to trust the life of Jesus to work through us.
We call this trust abiding. Jesus never told the branch (you and me) to bear fruit. Jesus told the branch simply to abide, cling to, and remain in the vine (Himself). The vine bears all the fruit.
We are commanded to focus on Christ’s power, presence, and purpose. This is the fight of faith that is fought in the heart—to make Jesus our highest affection.
Only when we get past our thoughts of “if only” can His presence and purpose become our chief desire and treasure. If we think that there is someone who can bring us greater good, joy, or deeper meaning, we will make that person the object of our affection instead of Christ. If we desire something more or love something greater than God Himself, we will compromise God’s agenda for our life.
Our heart will pursue that which we really believe will meet our deepest needs and longings. But the truth is that our deepest longing and God’s purpose for our lives are not in opposition to one another. God wants to fill every need of our heart but to do it His way for lasting achievement.
Paul experienced this when God answered a prayer request with, “No.” Then He told Paul this:
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” -2 Corinthians 12:9a
Paul’s chief treasure was Jesus and nothing else. He made His agenda Christ’s agenda. He had really placed Jesus as the center of his life because he knew Christ could meet his deepest needs.
Wow! Let’s fight to make Jesus our everything.
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.