So many of us have heard those things about God and life that are true and good, whether it be that God loves us unconditionally or that we need not worry. But very few of us experience the complete power and freedom of those truths in our day to day lives. Why is that? Maybe because they never sink through the layers of superficiality and become deep, rooted, profound reality to us; revelations that transform our hearts and are the foundation from which we live our lives.
Often in Christian circles we hear the cliche of ‘God wants to take this from head knowledge to heart knowledge’ and we nod and think this is a good idea but rarely do we actually experience this shift for our own lives.
We stay in a place where we understand these biblical truths but never move into a place where we know these truths.
What do I mean by this?
This excerpt from The Shack puts it beautifully ...
"So, why do I have so much fear in my life (Jesus)?"
"Because you don't believe. You don't know that we love you. The person who lives by his fears will not find freedom in my love ... to the degree that those fears have a place in your life, you neither believer that I am good nor know deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it, you talk about it, but you don't know it."
Understanding God's promises are like a band-aid for a bullet wound. Never really transforming our heart and therefore never really bearing fruit in our lives. Knowing His love however, will change you irrevocably.
The bible talks a lot about the heart and in Psalm 4:23 states:
‘Out of the heart flow the issues of life’
This means that ultimately the state of our heart is the determining factor for the state of our lives; who we are, what we do and who we become. Our lives will only be as big, as flourishing and as beautiful as our heart is.
When we understand with our head but further more deeply know in our hearts that we are accepted, cared for, loved and made righteous we can live in all that Jesus promises us.
Do you find yourself wondering why you don't experience some of the promises in the Bible such as peace that surpasses understanding, joy in the midst of trouble and life being 'life to the full'? Why is it that these things aren't actually showing up in our lives quite as much as we would like them to??
Well when these promises simply remain information in our heads they are powerless to really affect our day-to-day existence.
We need God to take these truths deep into the wounds and the questions of our heart and become are starting point for all of life to flow out of. This means inviting God into your life, telling him what you need and trusting Him to reveal it in a way that moves it from your head and becomes deeply entrenched in your soul.
Even though some of these revelations may take place in a moment, we can hope for it to happen at a conference or in the midst of worship, i have found that actually they often warrant a much deeper experience which can be longer, more painful and require radical trust. This stuff isn't for wimps. But the difficulty of that process will never out way the joy and freedom that comes from the profound knowing of His love. I highly recommend it.
The tag line for Good Girl Gone Bad is ‘set free to live loved’. This tag ‘live loved’ was something i wrote down about 2.5 years ago. I remember having a sense that i wasn’t living my life from a place of being loved, accepted and at rest. I wasn't seeing the promises of God as a true reality in my life. Instead i was driven, anxious and running hard after God but in a way that exhausted me and made me feel like the world was on my shoulders. I was a 'good girl'. God’s love served more as something that came to rescue me when all my efforts had failed. It was always the thing i ultimately needed to hear and know but rather than it being the revelation that my life flowed out of, it was more like the rubber ring thrown out to me by God when i was sinking in a sea of my own striving.
However, even though i so wanted to ‘live loved’; to be consistently aware and rooted in the love and care of God, it didn’t seem to be something i could ever truly rest in. It wasn’t until that Spring that God started to take these truths a little deeper. It began when i was at a Women’s conference and i was asked to write down my prayer for the year coming and i wrote ‘live loved’ on a small piece of paper, put it in my notebook and hoped this would one day be a reality. What unfolded over the next 2 or so years was an answer to that prayer.
They may be the hardest two years of my life thus far but they are also the most precious and treasured years of my life. God took me on a journey of revealing the truth of His love in a way that shifted it from my head deep down into my heart. It was in a way that was completely tailored to me and I can honestly say I am now starting to see the fruits of that revelation outworked in my day-to-day life and I barely recognise myself!!
Just a few months ago I was moving house earlier this year, I was packing all my stuff away in boxes and thinking about the journey i had been on and was still trying to make sense of it all. I had this question in my heart saying ‘God what is it you have been doing in my life, it doesn't seem to all make sense yet’. As i continued to tidy up and collect all my things i peered under my bed searching for lost and dusty belongings. I gathered some stray socks and was about to continue on when I saw a small folded piece of paper. As i was about to throw it out i caught a glimpse of my handwriting and found that it was the prayer I’d written all those months ago; ‘live loved’. In that moment i just sat on the floor of my empty, messy room and thought ‘oh…maybe that’s what this is all about’. It was baffling to think that maybe God had heard my prayer and truly wanted that for me. That he might have orchestrated this moment to show me that He too desired for me to live in His love.
It seemed that God had taken me on this hard and slightly terrifying journey in order that i would truly know and learn to ‘live loved’. That the truth i knew with my head, that i was loved unconditionally would actually become my personal revelation, that it would envelope and transform my heart and become my reality. God’s love was becoming less and less of a rubber ring, sent out to save me when i was barely keeping my head above water and more and more what my heart was deeply rooted in, that i was able to competently surf the waves of life, confident to stand in the love of my Father.
Safe to say things haven't been the same since. I urge you also to take those truths you sing about and talk about and ask God to take them deep into your heart, so you too can 'live loved'.