Thursday, March 08, 2007

Renovation of the Heart

Over the past few weeks I have been reading a book that has been a strong influence over the shaping (or reshaping) of my heart. The book is called Renovation of the Heart, by Dallas Willard.

Willard's main is writing about the process of spiritual (re)formation where our hearts are made new in Jesus Christ. I am about halfway through it (trying to read about a half a chapter a day). I am currently in the section about transforming the mind, and the past couple of days I have been reading about "feelings". In particular, Willard is discussing:

Hope - anticipation of good not here yet
Faith - confidence grounded in reality
Love - to will the good
Joy - a pervasive sense of well-being
Peace - the rest of the will that results from assurance "about how thing will turn out"

Willard suggests that if our hearts are resting in the above things, those feelings which destroy our heart (desire, pride, lust, etc.) will fade away. He argues (and I agree) that the foundation for spiritual (re)formation is the power of the Holy Spirit, but that we play a role. We are active participants in this renovation.

He uses a three part model for how we participate in the renovation of our hearts. First there is vision - we envision what our transformed lives will look like. Second is Intent(ion) - we have every intention of living into that vision. Finally, there is Means - we use means (prayer, disciplined thinking, accountable discipleship group, etc.) to intentionally live into the vision of a renovated heart.

So although I haven't finished it yet, I highly recommend this book.

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