Christian devotions opens relationship with God for personal change.
Relational interaction with God not only is a deeper path to change, it is the deeper more fulfilling walk with God we desire.
John Sanford says anything we have to defend is an idol. This refers to motives rather than the merit of a given doctrine. So the question becomes, “Am I trusting in doctrine to save me?” Think about it — am I locked into casting down bad thoughts as the only means to realize growth? Even concepts like the Father’s love can become my new standard I think makes me acceptable, and I may then even use that to judge others: “Look at how ‘brother-talks-a-lot’ is acting; he needs the Father’s love.”
So the question becomes, “Am I willing to examine my mindsets in regards to change and healing?” Do I have the openness to objectively look at and consider my thoughts toward the important subject of change in the Christian life?
A Relationship Model
I believe a deeper model of change must be relationship based. This is not casting down thoughts by my will, although that may be a part. But it is more of working out my heart issues in relationship with Jesus. David in the Psalms presents a good example of this. Consider how often David expresses his fears to God, his hopes and his aspirations.
As for myself, there have been times I have battled jealousy toward other ministries that seemed more favored than me. The standard line that tends to be taught is that jealousy is bad, and I need to repent and resist it. However, as I became in touch with my heart, I found feelings deep within me of being overlooked. Becoming aware of these feelings enables me to be honest with God about them. And when I get honest, God never fails to speak to my heart that He does indeed love me, never overlooks me and always has what’s best in mind for me. As I “relate” to God my feelings, healing occurs. Not only that, jealousy just disappears; it was never the root issue to begin with. Maybe I do say a prayer of repentance for jealousy once my deeper feelings are resolved. At this point it is easy, there’s no striving.
I believe that if we are going to mature as Christians, we have to be willing to go deeper than rote, willpower-based prayers. When we become willing to read the gauges of our hearts, to be honest with our emotions, the door becomes open to huge growth.
The world has even picked up on this principle, calling it “emotional intelligence.” Many studies have found that those with the highest emotional intelligence (EQ) are the ones who advance in life way more than those who simply have a high IQ.
However, the world offers no decent way to build EQ. They don’t have the cross or a loving Father to relate to and receive healing from.
If this is a journey you are embracing, we have many tools to help. Check out our resources in our shop where you will find my new book, The Sonship Empowered Life, as well as many teaching series to help you grow.