THE

DEEPER
LIFE
SATISFYING THE
8 VITAL LONGINGS
OF YOUR SOUL
DANIEL HENDERSON
WI TH BRENDA BROWN
5
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2014. Used by permission.
© 201+ ly Danicl Hcndcrson
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Lilrary ol Congrcss Cataloging-in-Pullication Data
Hcndcrson, Danicl.
Thc dccpcr lilc : satislying thc 8 vital longings ol your soul / Danicl Hcndcrson.
pagcs cm.
Includcs lilliographical rclcrcnccs.
Summary: “Author and ministry lcadcr Danicl Hcndcrson shows rcadcrs how
to livc out thcir long-tcrm spiritual goals through a stcp-ly-stcp guidc to daily
rcncwal”—Providcd ly pullishcr.
ISBN 978-0-76+2-1177-5 (plk. : alk. papcr)1. Christian lilc. I. Titlc.
BV+501.3.H++8 201+
2+8—dc23 2013039150
Lmphasis in Scripturc shown ly italics is thc author’s.
Unlcss othcrwisc indicatcd, Scripturc quotations arc lrom thc Ncw King |amcs Vcrsion.
Copyright © 1982 ly Thomas Nclson, Inc. Uscd ly pcrmission. All rights rcscrvcd.
Scripturc quotations idcntificd ×:sn arc lrom thc Ncw Amcrican Standard Billc®, copyright
© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 ly Thc Lockman Foundation.
Uscd ly pcrmission.
Scripturc quotations idcntificd Miss:ci arc lrom The Message ly Lugcnc H. Pctcrson,
copyright © 1993, 199+, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002. Uscd ly pcrmission ol NavPrcss Pullishing
Group. All rights rcscrvcd.
Scripturc quotations idcntificd isv arc lrom Thc Holy Billc, Lnglish Standard Vcrsion®
(LSV®), copyright © 2001 ly Crossway, a pullishing ministry ol Good Ncws Pullishcrs.
Uscd ly pcrmission. All rights rcscrvcd. LSV Tc×t Ldition: 2007
Scripturc quotations markcd ×i+ arc lrom thc Holy Bible, Ncw Living Translation, copyright
© 1996, 200+, 2007 ly Tyndalc Housc Foundation. Uscd ly pcrmission ol Tyndalc Housc
Pullishcrs, Inc., Carol Strcam, Illinois 60188. All rights rcscrvcd.
Scripturc quotations idcntificd +in arc lrom The Living Bible, copyright © 1971. Uscd ly
pcrmission ol Tyndalc Housc Pullishcrs, Inc., Whcaton, Illinois 60189. All rights rcscrvcd.
Scripturc quotations idcntificd :mi arc lrom thc Amplificd® Billc,
copyright © 195+, 1958, 1962, 196+, 1965, 1987 ly Thc Lockman
Foundation. Uscd ly pcrmission.
Scripturc quotations markcd xjv arc lrom thc King |amcs Vcrsion
ol thc Billc.
Covcr dcsign ly Lookout Dcsign, Inc.
1+ 15 16 17 18 19 20 7 6 5 + 3 2 1
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
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To my son, Jordan David Henderson,
whose passion to worship God
has become the foundation and fuel
for his godly example as a Christ-follower,
husband, and father.
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2014. Used by permission.
Books ly
Danicl Hcndcrson
Fiom Bi+n:×v Hotsi Ptniisniis
Transforming Prayer
The Deeper Life
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2014. Used by permission.
7
Contents
Foreword 9
A Deeper Life Story 11
Introduction 15
Part One:
The Deeper Life: Longings, Questions, and Answers
1. Who Is God? 29
2. Who Am I? 43
3. Why Am I Here? 63
4. What Really Matters? 77
5. What Shall I Do? 95
6. How Shall I Do It? 111
7. When Shall I Do It? 129
8. How Will I Finish? 147
Epilogue 165
Part Two:
Discovery Exercises
Theology Discovery Exercises 169
Identity Discovery Exercises 177
Purpose Discovery Exercises 183
Values Discovery Exercises 187
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8
Contents
Priorities Discovery Exercises 193
Goals Discovery Exercises 197
Time Discovery Exercises 201
Legacy Discovery Exercises 205
Acknowledgments 207
Appendix 1. God’s Self-Revelation 209
Appendix 2. My Personal Theology Statement 211
Appendix 3. My Lord Jesus Christ 213
Appendix 4. The Attributes of God 215
Appendix 5. The Old Testament Names of God 219
Appendix 6. Titles and Names of Jesus 221
Appendix 7. The Names of the Holy Spirit 227
Appendix 8. Who I Am in Jesus Christ 231
Appendix 9. My Identity 235
Appendix 10. The Henderson Family Values 237
Appendix 11. Personal Values 239
Appendix 12. Five Ministry Priorities 241
Appendix 13. Quick Tips on Time Management 243
Discussion Questions 249
The Deeper Life Summary 257
Notes 265
About the Authors 271
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
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9
Foreword
M
y lricnd Danicl Hcndcrson is a man on a mission. In rcccnt
ycars, hc and I havc lccn honorcd to ministcr togcthcr in onc-
day cvcnts in citics across North Amcrica, cncouraging pastors in
thcir calling to scrvc Christ and His church. Thc Lord has hclpcd
Danicl to lc a llcssing to thcsc church lcadcrs and to cquip thcm
to lcad spiritual rcncwal in thcir congrcgations.
In 2007 Danicl lclt thc sccurity and lamiliarity ol his rolc as thc
scnior pastor ol a promincnt church to stcp out in laith and givc
his lilc to scrving thc lody ol Christ lor thc sakc ol an awakcning
ol praycr and practical rcncwal. As I havc watchcd him tcach, lcad
praycr c×pcricnccs, and scrvc his lcllow lcadcrs, I havc lccn llcsscd
to scc God’s hand on his lilc and divinc llcssing on thc vital locus
ol his ministry.
In this look, Danicl hclps lclicvcrs lrom cvcry walk ol lilc c×-
pcricncc rcncwal ly making spccific application ol thc gospcl to
daily lilc. Thc gospcl ol |csus Christ lrings us into an accuratc and
vital undcrstanding ol thc onc truc God. It translorms how wc scc
oursclvcs in this world. It ignitcs mcaninglul purposc and guidcs
thc way wc managc our daily prioritics and dccisions. Thc gospcl
lrcathcs ctcrnal significancc into cvcry dimcnsion ol our journcy.
Hcrc, Danicl shows us this rcality, in thc most practical ol tcrms.
With thc goal ol a dccpcr, morc thoughtlul approach to thc
Christian lilc, this look calls us to scarch God’s Word, c×aminc our
hcarts, and scck thc mind ol thc Holy Spirit lor concrctc answcrs to
thc dccp qucstions ol thc soul. Drawing lrom his own lilc’s journcy
and ycars ol c×pcricncc in pastoral ministry, Danicl will hclp mcn
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10
Foreword
and womcn, young and old, c×pcricncc spiritual victory through
a lilc ol worship, intcgrity, and nonconlormity to thc world.
As Danicl rcminds us, wc all want to comc to thc cnd ol this
lilc with thc assurancc that wc havc dcpositcd a lcgacy ol spiritual
authcnticity and ctcrnal significancc in thc hcarts ol thosc who
havc known us wcll. I pray you will cmlracc Danicl’s mcssagc and
cngagc in this clcar path ol living a morc intcntional and lruitlul
lilc lor thc glory ol our Lord |csus Christ.
Pastor |im Cymlala
Thc Brooklyn Talcrnaclc Church
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11
A Deeper Life Story
T
ragcdy has a way ol tcsting thc hcart. It also has a way ol rc-
vcaling thc truth. Bccausc it’s in thc chaos ol lilc’s tragcdics,
and how you rcact to thcm, that you lcarn thc truth alout yourscll:
what you lclicvc alout God, what you lclicvc alout yourscll, what
rcally mattcrs . . . life’s deepest questions.
On a spcctacular spring altcrnoon, Grcg Haroutunian, his
wilc, and thcir thrcc childrcn stood along thc finish linc ol thc
2013 Boston Marathon, chccring on a lricnd who was racing to
raisc moncy lor canccr rcscarch. Lagcrly awaiting thcir lricnd’s
approach, thcy first hcard what thcy thought was a cannon shot
cclclrating somconc crossing thc finish linc. Scconds latcr, just
filtccn yards away, dircctly across Boylston Strcct, a sccond loml
that had lccn placcd in a prcssurc cookcr c×plodcd and scnt thc
cntirc city, and country, into panic. In thc minutcs that lollowcd,
Grcg’s lamily witncsscd lront-row carnagc, including thc tragic
dcath ol an cight-ycar-old loy.
Altcr thc firc trucks and rcscuc tcams arrivcd, thc lamily madc
its way to thc Boston sulway. Rounding a corncr, Grcg spicd a
trash can on thc strcct and undcrstandally thought that it too
could contain a loml. Shiclding his lamily as thcy passcd ly, hc
was suddcnly ovcrwhclmcd with thc assurancc that thcir livcs wcrc
in God’s hands.
Thc hours and days to lollow wcrc c×trcmcly tcnsc lor Grcg
and his lamily. Wc spokc on thc phonc onc altcrnoon whilc thcir
ncighlorhood was on lockdown as policc wcnt door to door look-
ing lor thc rcmaining suspcct who had orchcstratcd thc crimc.
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12
A Deeper Life Story
Thanklully, in thc months prcccding this tragic c×pcricncc,
Grcg had lccn part ol a pastors’ group I was lcading through
a proccss ol clarilying somc ol thc corc qucstions ol thc soul.
Hc had takcn thc timc to writc out his own pcrsonal thcology
statcmcnt. Rcvicwing thc Scripturcs hc had mcmorizcd lrom his
days with Thc Navigators and somc ol his lavoritc looks on thc
charactcr ol God, Grcg had writtcn and mcmorizcd his answcrs
to lilc’s grcatcst qucstions.
And, on thc altcrnoon altcr thc lomling, Grcg lcancd hcavily
on thcsc dcclarations, amrming himscll again and again with what
hc had writtcn:
• God is unchanging, good, laithlul, holy, sovcrcign, almighty,
gracious, condcsccnding, mcrcilul, loving, rightcous, kind,
thc Fathcr, thc Lord, communicativc, and worthy.
• Thcrclorc, Hc will carc lor mc, kccp His promiscs, rcvcal
himscll, accomplish His dcsircs, guard mc, allow dimcultics
and trials, ncvcr givc mc morc than I can lcar, mold mc into
Christ’s likcncss.
• So, I will rcst, trust, sacrificc, livc with alandon, lull tilt,
lc unashamcd, confidcnt, not scll-conscious, cling to hopc,
cmlracc my humanity/wcakncsscs, carc lor othcrs, ncvcr stop
lcarning, growing, sccking to know morc and c×prcss morc
ol our awcsomc God to anyonc who will listcn.
Today, Grcg rccounts, “Having thcsc rcalitics mcmorizcd madc
thc truth acccssillc. I was rclrcshcd, rcjuvcnatcd, and liltcd. Thc
world litcrally llcw up right in lront ol my lacc. But God did not
llow up. . . . This vcry concrctc, practical cngagcmcnt with God’s
charactcr through this proccss assurcd mc that I was alsolutcly
invincillc until thc Lord calls mc homc.”
Grcg has also articulatcd a lillical idcntity statcmcnt along with
his writtcn lilc purposc statcmcnt. Hc mcditatcs on thcsc truths
cach cvcning as hc lalls aslccp and cach morning as hc awakcns.
“This wholc proccss has lccn so cmpowcring. It anchors mc as I
ladc into slccp and givcs mc dccp cnthusiasm to start thc day. I am
allc to find purposc in thc midst ol thc chaos.
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A Deeper Life Story
13
“Had I not gonc through this c×crcisc, it would havc all lccn
too lig lor mc in thc momcnt—too hard to try and gathcr somc
truth to hold onto. But it was immcdiatcly availallc whcn I nccdcd
it. Momcnts likc thcsc will comc lor all ol us. For most pcoplc,
it prolally will not lc a loml. But in somc way, wc will all lacc
timcs whcn wc nccd God’s truth closc at hand.”
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15
Introduction
Mcn lor thc sakc ol gctting a living lorgct to livc.
—Margaret Fuller
Thc hardcst thing alout thc Christian lilc is that
it is so daily.
T
hc Muscc Rodin in Paris, Francc, is dcdicatcd to thc works ol
thc Frcnch sculptor Augustc Rodin. Thc displays includc 6,600
sculpturcs, 16,000 drawings and photographs, and 7,000 othcr ol-
jccts ol art. Lach ycar, 700,000 visitors lrcqucnt thc collcction.
Prolally most lamous ol all Rodin’s crcations is The Thinker.
First cast in 1880, this lronzc figurc ol a nudc man sits atop a marllc
pcdcstal. Hand on his chin, looking down, hc sccms to pondcr. And
wc wondcr, What is he thinking about? My first thought is that hc
must lc working hard to rcmcmlcr whcrc hc lclt his clothcs. In
rcality, hc simply rcprcscnts thc journcy ol all carth travclcrs. As
thc look ol |ol notcs, wc camc into thc world nakcd, and nakcd
wc will rcturn. Strippcd ol all thc supcrficial trappings ol lilc, wc
arc lclt with our thoughts and looking lor answcrs.
Thc truth is wc wcrc crcatcd to think dccply alout somcthing
morc than mccts thc cyc in this lilc. Thc Billc says God has placcd
ctcrnity in our hcarts (Lcclcsiastcs 3:11), compclling us to ycarn
lor conclusions that will satisly thc soul. Wc wcrc madc to ask
qucstions, to discovcr mcaning lcyond mcrc physical c×istcncc.
Thus lcgins thc qucst.
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16
Introduction
Thc dccp longings ol our soul drivc us to ask qucstions and
scck answcrs, lut rarcly do wc arrivc at any sound conclusions. Wc
scarch through thc latcst smartphonc apps and download c-looks
on scll-improvcmcnt. Wc scroll through posts and pins looking
lor inspiration, thcn rcpcat and rc-twcct thc insights ol othcrs.
Wc incrcasingly look to thc “cloud” to organizc and simplily our
livcs. Still, most ol us crawl into lcd cach night with a lccling that
somcthing is missing. Too oltcn, it is.
Wc all ycarn lor a compclling mission in lilc. Il only wc could figurc
out what it is supposcd to lc! Wc lccl thc nccd to lc guidcd ly a clcar
sct ol valucs and long to lcavc a lasting lcgacy, lut losc our way in thc
log ol daily distractions. Disoricntcd, wc don’t know which dircction
to go. Knowing that any mcdiocrc road will takc us to nowhcrc in
particular, wc lccl thc prcssurc to choosc thc lcst dircction. Wc just
arcn’t surc how to makc a wisc sclcction lor a rcwarding dcstination.
Paralyzcd and pcrplc×cd, wc laltcr in our lorward progrcss.
Thc dcmands ol work, homc, lamily, church, and socicty lcavc
us lccling ovcrwhclmcd. Lach night our to-do list rcmains lull ol
undonc tasks. As wc dozc of to slccp, wc lccl this haunting scnsc
that wc will ncvcr gct on top ol things. Whcn thc alarm gocs of
thc nc×t morning, wc showcr, cat, and rush out thc door, saying to
oursclvcs, I’ve got to get going. Pcrhaps wc would do wcll to ask,
Where am I going? and Why am I in such a hurry to get there? lol-
lowcd ly How’s this working for me?
Deep or Wide?
A trcc’s root systcm is vital to its growth. It takcs in and transports
watcr and mincrals lrom thc soil to thc rcst ol thc trcc. Dcpcnding
on watcr and soil conditions, roots can grow as dccp as twcnty
lcct, providing a firm anchor lor thc trcc alovc ground. Thc growth
ol thc roots, howcvcr, can lc rcstrictcd ly soil compaction—a
rcduction in air pockcts rcsulting lrom soil particlcs lcing packcd
togcthcr. Likc a larcly rootcd trcc, our livcs arc lccoming morc
compactcd cvcry day ly thc countlcss options and mcntal tramc
ol modcrn lilc. Thc “air” ol mcaninglul rcflcction and intcntional
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Introduction
17
living sccms to grow morc and morc scarcc. Wc want and nccd to
go dccpcr lor our own soul satislaction and positivc influcncc on
othcrs, lut nccd hclp in doing so.
In our world whcrc wcll ovcr 100 million apps arc downloadcd
cvcry ycar,
1
wc arc conlrontcd with options, ads, and invitations
lcyond human alility to lully grasp or comprchcnd, lct alonc kccp
up. Wc havc lccomc thc consummatc socicty ol multitaskcrs and it’s
apparcntly rcmapping our lrains. Onc Stanlord Univcrsity prolcs-
sor concludcs, “Thc ncural circuits dcvotcd to scanning, skimming,
and multitasking arc c×panding and strcngthcning, whilc thosc
uscd lor rcading and thinking dccply, with sustaincd conccntration,
arc wcakcning or croding.” Hc notcs, “Wc havc lccomc suckcrs
lor irrclcvancy.”
2
A lricnd ol minc askcd lor praycr rcccntly, stating that “thc
dcvil is always launching wcapons ol mass distraction on my lilc.”
Whcn wc lack dircction and arc lomlardcd ly distractions wc
lccomc discouragcd. I dcfinc discouragcmcnt as a tcmporary loss
ol pcrspcctivc. As Margarct Fullcr olscrvcd, “Mcn lor thc sakc ol
gctting a living lorgct to livc.” Lach day is significant in thc pursuit
ol a dccpcr lilc. It must lc scizcd with a rcncwal that maintains our
pcrspcctivc and minimizcs thc distractions that amict us.
Our physical lody can soon lccomc ill without propcr carc and
nutrition. A marriagc can lccomc troullcd altcr just a lcw cpisodcs
ol unrcsolvcd angcr and misundcrstanding. An automolilc can
lrcak down without propcr maintcnancc. So can our livcs lccomc
uprootcd as a rcsult ol shallow living, without daily guidancc and
rcncwal in God’s prcscncc.
In thc lusyncss ol adapting to thc daily dcmands and ordcrs ol
a noisy world, wc’vc lorgottcn that God has a plan lor us to win
thc daily lattlc. Hc wants us to sink roots dccp into thc soil ol His
promiscs and allow His truth to lc alsorlcd into thc corc ol our soul.
The Contest of Our Lives
In our qucst lor lulfillmcnt, wc must rcmcmlcr this lilc is not a
lcisurcly stroll through thc mcadow. Paul dcscrilcd thc Christian
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18
Introduction
lilc as an athlctic compctition in which wc run, wrcstlc, strivc, and
compctc. Kcy Ncw Tcstamcnt passagcs usc warlarc tcrminology
rclcvant to cvcry lilc and gcncration (c.g., Romans 13:12–1+, Lphc-
sians 6:10–13, 2 Corinthians 2:1+, 2 Timothy 2:+). Wc arc com-
pcllcd to rcmain comlat rcady, mcntally prcparcd, and cquippcd
to win thc contcst.
Thc lattlclronts arc not olscurc, and our primary cncmics arc
not clandcstinc. Wc arc struggling against thc dcvil, our own sinlul
flcsh, and thc dcpravcd world systcm in which wc livc. All thrcc
lorccs conspirc to dclcat us. Yct wc arc dcstincd to triumph whcn
“thc wcapons ol our warlarc arc not carnal lut mighty in God
lor pulling down strongholds,” consistcntly and stratcgically (scc
2 Corinthians 10:1–6).
Much is at stakc. Rcal satislaction and ultimatc significancc
hang in thc lalancc. Our pcrsonal spiritual survival, thc hcalth ol
our rclationships, thc wcll-lcing ol our lamilics, and thc dcstiny
ol our carthly journcy compcl us to know how to win thc daily
lattlc. I lcar most ol us lccl likc wc arc losing. Sadly, wc arc not
surc why or what to do alout it. Thanklully, it docsn’t havc to
lc that way.
A Life Plan for an Everyday Win
You arc holding in your hand a guidc lor your daily “win.” It is
a win that mattcrs and a victory that is lillical. Thc proccss is
provcn. But likc anything ol valuc, you will havc to work lor it.
Dig in, lccausc thc cfort will lc wcll worth it.
Thrcc idcals lramc mcaning and victory lor cach ol us as wc
conlront thc dcvil, thc flcsh, and thc world:
Worship - Intcgrity - Nonconlormity = WIN
Worship is thc ultimatc loundation and passion that ovcrcomcs
thc dcvil. Intcgrity is thc commitmcnt that providcs victory ovcr
thc flcsh. Nonconlormity is our triumphant, transccndcnt rcsponsc
to thc tcmptations and trials ol a lallcn world.
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Introduction
19
Worship: The FUEL for a Deeper Life
Worship lcgins with a lillical and ultimatcly practical undcr-
standing ol thc charactcr ol God. It rcsults in a lilc ol wholchcartcd
surrcndcr and sacrificc. I dcfinc worship as “thc rcsponsc ol all I
am to thc rcvclation ol all God is.”
Winning against thc wilcs ol thc dcvil is rootcd in purc, passion-
atc worship. Whcn conlronting Satan’s attacks in thc wildcrncss,
|csus announccd, “Away with you, Satan! For it is writtcn, ‘You
shall worship thc Loib your God, and Him only you shall scrvc’”
(Matthcw +:10). To win our daily lattlc, wc must lc clothcd in
thc pcrson and provision ol |csus Christ thc Son ol God. Wc must
utilizc thc sword ol thc Spirit, which is thc announccmcnt ol thc
truth ol God’s Word. This is a dcclaration and application ol thc
truth ol thc purposc and plan ol God. It is thc ovcrflow ol worship.
As you may havc surmiscd ly thc tallc ol contcnts, I want to
guidc you in answcring cight csscntial qucstions. Your answcrs
arc dcsigncd to spark powcrlul and practical daily rcncwal. But
all cight answcrs rcst squarcly on thc clarity and conviction ol thc
first issuc: worship. This is a worship springing lrom a lillical and
pcrsonal rcsponsc to thc first qucstion: “Who is God·”
Integrity: The FIBER of a Deeper Life
Wc’vc all sccn thc livcs ol pcoplc wc lovc and rcspcct unravcl.
Twicc in my pastoral ministry I havc lollowcd pastors ol largc
churchcs who chosc moral lailurc ovcr a lruitlul finish. Wc all won-
dcr how this hcartlrcaking sccnario unlolds.
Onc primary culprit is compartmcntalization. Merriam-Webster
dcfincs it as “isolation or splitting of ol part ol thc pcrsonality
or mind with lack ol communication and consistcncy lctwccn
thc parts.”
3
Simply put, compartmcntalization is thc oppositc ol
intcgrity.
In my lavoritc psalm, David amrms that thc truc disciplc “walks
with intcgrity, and works rightcousncss, and spcaks truth in his
hcart” (Psalm 15:2 ×:sn). This is thc picturc ol a llamclcss lilc-
stylc. Wc scc a pcrson who always sccks to do thc right thing. Hc
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20
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is cmpowcrcd lor rightcousncss lccausc hc tclls himscll thc truth
in thc dcpths ol his lcing.
For ycars my lilc lclt likc a jigsaw puzzlc. I had a handlul ol
intcrcsting and csscntial picccs. I simply could not makc thcm fit
togcthcr to complctc thc picturc ol what my lilc should lccomc.
In idcntilying thc corc issucs ol my soul and lormulating truth
that I could spcak cvcry day in thc dcpths ol my lcing, thc picccs
lcgan to conncct.
Intcgrity is a lilc whcrc all thc picccs fit togcthcr. Wc must know
thc picccs, dcfinc thcm accuratcly, undcrstand thcm lillically, and
thcn conncct thcm in a way that makcs scnsc lor lilc. This is thc
lramcwork ol thc journcy wc arc alout to cnjoy.
To do this, wc nccd thc wisdom and powcr ol thc Holy Spirit.
God’s Spirit, who livcs within our hcarts, was rcpcatcdly dcscrilcd
ly Christ as thc “Spirit ol truth” (|ohn 1+:17, 15:26, 16:13). But our
flcsh wants to adopt thc lics ol compartmcntalization. Wc casily
rcsist thc pcnctration ol translorming truth into cvcry arca ol our
lilc—thoroughly and simultancously. Paul tclls us, “Walk in thc
Spirit, and you shall not lulfill thc lust ol thc flcsh. For thc flcsh
lusts against thc Spirit, and thc Spirit against thc flcsh” (Galatians
5:16–17). Hc gocs on to dcscrilc thc massivcly dcstructivc works
ol thc flcsh—all ol which arc thc antithcsis ol intcgrity.
As you clarily solidly scriptural and pcrsonally applicallc truths—
alout your idcntity, purposc, valucs, prioritics, goals, and timc—thc
picccs will lcgin to fit togcthcr. This intcgrity is thc lramcwork ol
a mcaninglul and winning lilc plan.
Nonconformity: The FRUIT of a Deeper Life
Anyonc lamiliar with thc look ol Romans knows that thc first
clcvcn chaptcrs arc packcd with somc ol thc richcst thcological
truth cvcr writtcn. Paul thcn transitions with thcsc mcmorallc
commands:
I lcsccch you thcrclorc, lrcthrcn, ly thc mcrcics ol God, that you
prcscnt your lodics a living sacrificc, holy, acccptallc to God, which
is your rcasonallc scrvicc. And do not lc conlormcd to this world,
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Introduction
21
lut lc translormcd ly thc rcncwing ol your mind, that you may
provc what is that good and acccptallc and pcrlcct will ol God.
Romans 12:1–2
Nonconlormity flows lrom authcntic worship as thc lruit ol
rcgular translorming rcncwal. Do you want to livc difcrcntly· Do
you want to discovcr rcgular victory in thc lattlc against thc dcvil,
thc flcsh, and thc world· Do you want to lcavc a distinctivc and
mcmorallc lcgacy whcn you cross thc finish linc ol lilc· You can.
A holy, hcalthy nonconlormity is possillc and promiscd. You don’t
havc to just “fit” into thc world’s flccting and irrclcvant systcms.
Wake Up, Renew, Repeat
I havc concludcd lrom my own spiritual qucst, as wcll as lrom shcp-
hcrding thousands ol souls in pastoral ministry, that thc hardcst
thing alout thc Christian lilc is that it is so DAILY. Thc rising sun
on our cvcryday journcy lrings thc opportunity to win or losc in
thc spiritual contcst. Thc glowing dusk calls out to us to cvaluatc
thc rcal mcaning ol thc day and thc ctcrnal valuc ol our cforts.
Wc livc cach day not ly lrcad alonc lut ly cvcry word that
procccds lrom thc mouth ol God. Thc lrcsh manna ol spiritual
nourishmcnt is pcrishallc and must lc consumcd in a timcly and
consistcnt pursuit. Paul kncw that rcpcatcd “rcncwal” in truth
must rcsonatc at thc corc ol our daily victory: “Thcrclorc wc do
not losc hcart. Lvcn though our outward man is pcrishing, yct thc
inward man is lcing renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians +:16). Paul
nailcd it again in Colossians 3:10, cncouraging thosc who “havc
put on thc ncw man who is renewed in knowledge according to thc
imagc ol Him who crcatcd him.” Again wc land on thc corc idca
ol daily rcncwal in thc truths ol Christ and who wc arc in Him.
Eight Longings and the Answers That Shape Your Legacy
This look will guidc you to rccognizc and addrcss thc dccpcst nccds
and qucstions ol thc soul. As you considcr thc lillical answcrs and
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Introduction
crcatc spccific, practical amrmations lor daily rcvicw in rcsponsc
to thcsc qucstions, rcncwal and victory will rcsult.
1. The Longing
To know and experience God in the fullness of His person
and presence
• The Question: Who is God·
• The Issue: My thcology
2. The Longing
To live from an authentic core of biblical self-understand-
ing and security
• The Question: Who am I·
• The Issue: My idcntity
3. The Longing
To give one’s life to a worthy cause
• The Question: Why am I hcrc·
• The Issue: My purposc
4. The Longing
To be respected as a person of sound principles and solid
character
• The Question: What rcally mattcrs·
• The Issue: My valucs
5. The Longing
To focus on and fulfill rewarding and meaningful
commitments.
• The Question: What shall I do·
• The Issue: My prioritics
6. The Longing
To enjoy strategic and efective accomplishment of worth-
while objectives
• The Question: How shall I do it·
• The Issue: My goals
7. The Longing
To be a faithful steward of eternally significant
opportunities
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Introduction
23
• The Question: Whcn shall I do it·
• The Issue: My timc
8. The Longing
To be remembered as a person of extraordinary
contribution
• The Question: How will I finish·
• The Issue: My lcgacy
You will discover that your theology is the basis of
your identity. Your identity is expressed through a
clear purpose. Your purpose is guided by values.
Your values determine your priorities. Your priori-
ties are implemented by your goals. Your goals are
accomplished by your stewardship of time. And
all of this, when understood clearly and embraced
daily, results in a legacy that really matters.
Pearls of Daily Wisdom
In a rcccnt lcadcrship conlcrcncc, I hcard |im Collins, prolcssor and
author ol looks likc Built to Last and Good to Great, dcscrilc his
goal as a tcachcr. Hc said his jol is to ofcr thought-provoking idcas
and to lcavc pcoplc with “grains ol sand in thcir minds.” Thcsc
idcas, mullcd ovcr in thc mind through contcmplation, crcatc an
“irritation” that ovcr timc lccomc pcarls ol wisdom.
This look is dcsigncd to lcavc grains ol truth in your mind.
Thc qucstions arc dcsigncd to lc dclightlully provoking. And
whilc thc answcrs arcn’t always casily arrivcd at, thcy arc clcarly
worth thc cncrgy. Scrious considcration ol thcm will invarially
lorm pcarls ol discovcry that will rcsult in your lilc lcing morc
intcgratcd than cvcr lclorc. Thc cfort and timc invcstcd will
provc profitallc—lor now and lor ctcrnity.
For filtccn ycars, most ol my mornings havc commcnccd with an
csscntial rcitcration ol truth alout thc issucs that lormulatc daily
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24
Introduction
victory. I tcll myscll thc truth alout God, my lilc, and my luturc ly
way ol a rccordcd summary ol cight answcrs. Thc sclcction on my
iPod is wcll utilizcd. Whcthcr walking on thc trcadmill, rcflccting
during my quict timc, or flying to a spcaking cngagcmcnt, I am
allc to rcncw my mind in thc truths that mattcr most.
You may ncvcr rccord your answcrs lor audio rcvicw, lut I hopc
you will clarily, writc out, and rcvicw thcsc csscntial truths cvcry
day. This look will show you how. Thc approach has workcd lor
mc and hclpcd thousands ol othcrs. It can work lor you too.
The Road to Real Change and Renewal
This passion lor rcncwal lcgan lor thc apostlc Paul onc day on a
dusty road to a town callcd Damascus. Lct’s walk thc translorma-
tional trail with him lor just a momcnt as wc concludc.
Hc was thc classic c×amplc ol a man climling thc laddcr ol
succcss only to find that it was lcaning against thc wrong wall.
Lvcryonc in his day kncw him as Saul. His cvcntual namc changc
rcflcctcd a truc translormation ol idcntity. It all startcd with an
cncountcr with thc living Christ, sparking somc agonizing qucs-
tions, rcsulting in a pursuit ol thc right answcrs, manilcstcd in a
lilc ol rcncwal and lcgacy ol incrcdillc significancc.
Saul was a drivcn man, passionatc to gct to thc top and makc
lor himscll a namc. On this day, thc |cwish zcalot was on thc road
again. Hc hcadcd north lrom |crusalcm, hot on thc trail ol thosc
Christians who had flcd his pcrsccuting passion. Saul could not
tolcratc thc pcoplc ol thc Way, who poscd a thrcat to his tightly
organizcd world.
But it all changcd in a flash—litcrally. An inc×plicallc lright
light at midday lclt him on his lacc, llind and lamcd. In that hour
ol crisis, hc was conlrontcd with thc truth alout what was wrong
with his lilc and how hc nccdcd to changc his ways. In thc days that
lollowcd, hc would contcmplatc answcrs to thc most important
qucstions hc had cvcr askcd.
Thcy spillcd out in that dcfining momcnt as Paul cncountcrcd
thc living |csus. “Who arc You, Lord·” Paul askcd. And as naturally
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Introduction
25
as B lollows A, hc also inquircd, “What do You want mc to do·”
(Acts 9:5–6).
Thc answcrs hc discovcrcd madc all thc difcrcncc in his world—
just as thcy will in ours. Today, thc rcality ol Saul’s qucst is vcry
much likc our own. Wc nccd an cncountcr with thc living Christ. Wc
nccd to ask Him lor thc answcrs to thc qucstions dccp in our soul.
Ultimatcly wc want Him to rcvcal to our hcarts thc truth ol who Hc
is and thcn show us how to livc. Thcn wc can rcncw our minds in
thcsc conclusions and wcavc thcm into thc vcry lalric ol our livcs.
I pray this look will hclp you livc a dccpcr lilc ly providing a
plan lor translormation and triumph—cvcry day.
How to Use This Book
Here are seven keys to getting the most from this book:
• Read—As you read, take time to absorb the ideas, mak-
ing your own notes and praying about the things that
speak most directly and powerfully to your heart.
• Reflect—Utilize the Discovery Exercises in Part Two to
interact more specifically with each question, allowing
this thoughtful interaction to pave the way for your own
written answers to each question. You can engage in
these exercises after each chapter, or wait until you have
finished reading the book to begin.
• Record—Start writing your answers to each question in
words that reflect biblical truth and also directly express
the needs and journey of your own life. Trust the Holy
Spirit to give you insight and clarity. The idea is that over
time you will rewrite and refine your answers.
• Relate—Participate with others in the journey. The dis-
cussion questions at the end of the book are designed to
guide you to meaningful interaction with others as you
address biblical answers to the longings of your soul. You
can also utilize The Deeper Life small-group DVD series,
available at www.strategicrenewal.com.
• Renew—Begin a daily habit of renewing your mind and
heart through the answers you have clarified through this
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26
Introduction
process, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Make this review
process a vital part of your daily “WIN.” The Deeper
Life Summary at the back of the book will be a place to
review your final answers.
• Realize—Sign up for personal or group coaching in this
renewal process so you can realize the full potential of
what this book offers and the application of the answers
to your deepest longings, making your renewal experi-
ence a lifestyle for the glory of God. For more information
on the coaching journey centered in these eight ques-
tions, go to www.strategicrenewal.com/8QCoaching.
• Reproduce—Perhaps you will feel called to guide oth-
ers through this dynamic process of daily renewal and
life transformation. If you would like to learn more about
becoming a part of our “8Q” coaching team, email us at
coaching@strategicrenewal.com.
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Par t One
THE
DEEPER LIFE
Longings, Questions, and Answers
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29
1
Who Is God?
In thc lcginning God crcatcd mankind in His
imagc, and man has lccn rcturning thc lavor
cvcr sincc.
—Unknown
God is.
God is ncar.
God is lovc,
Longing to communicatc himscll to mc.
God thc Almighty Onc
Who workcth all in all,
Is cvcn now waiting to work in mc,
And makc himscll known.
—Andrew Murray
I
l you wcrc cvcn rcmotcly tuncd in to tclcvision during thc mid-
to latc-1990s, you arc lamiliar with Amcrica’s lovc afair with
Gidgct thc dog. Shc lccamc so popular that shc flcw first-class,
opcncd up thc Ncw York Stock L×changc, and cvcn madc an ap-
pcarancc at Madison Squarc Gardcn. Gidgct starrcd in numcrous
commcrcials and transccndcd thc “lurgcr wars,” in which scvcral
last-lood chains wcrc actually producing advcrtiscmcnts against
onc anothcr. You will rcmcmlcr hcr as “Thc Taco Bcll Chihuahua”
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The Deeper Life
30
(maylc assuming it was a loy dog). Oltcn drcsscd in traditional
Mc×ican gcar, shc spokc using spccial cfccts via thc prolcssional
voicc ol Carlos Alazraqui. Many ol hcr lincs lccamc mainstrcam
to Amcrican culturc, including “¡Yo quicro Taco Bcll!” “Viva Gor-
ditas!” and “Drop thc chalupa!”
My pcrsonal lavoritc first appcarcd in 1998 and lcaturcs thc
downtown strccts ol a largc city latc at night. Homcmadc signs
point thc way to a platc ol tacos on thc sidcwalk. Gidgct stands
c×pcctantly ncar hcr “lait.” In hcr mouth is a ropc ticd to a stick
holding up a lo× ovcr thc tacos. Rcady lor hcr unsuspccting prcy,
shc calls out, “Hcrc, lizard, lizard, lizard.”
Unc×pcctcdly, a thrcatcning growl and imposing shadow stcal thc
momcnt. A hungry and aggrcssivc Godzilla appcars. At thc sight
ol thc ovcrsizcd monstcr rcptilc, thc littlc dog promptly drops thc
ropc and uttcrs, “Uh-oh. I think I nccd a liggcr lo×.”
Likc thc littlc caninc, wc arc all on a qucst to find somcthing that
ultimatcly provcs liggcr than our c×pcctation or capacity. Rcgard-
lcss, cvcry soul scarchcs. Somc discovcrics provc to lc misguidcd.
Othcrs arc complctcly translormational. Most arc somcwhcrc in
lctwccn. In any casc, wc nccd thc liggcr and lcttcr lo× ol a clcar
lillical undcrstanding and a rcgular rcncwal in thc truth ol thc
onc truc God.
Havc you cvcr considcrcd that all ol your lilc is ultimatcly an
c×prcssion ol your thcology· Lct’s slow down hcrc, as thcology
is not a topic usually discusscd ovcr lrcaklast or in casual con-
vcrsation. Thc word comcs lrom two Grcck tcrms: theos, which
mcans “God,” and logos, which primarily rclcrs to thc “study ol”
somcthing. For our purposcs, wc’ll rclcr to it simply as “our vicw
ol God.” This pcrsonal vicw c×crts a grcat influcncc on us lccausc
cvcryonc ultimatcly livcs out his or hcr lclicl (or lack thcrcol) alout
thc c×istcncc and charactcr ol God. This lclicl shapcs our idcntity,
lorms our scnsc ol purposc, and dctcrmincs our rcal valucs in lilc.
Provcrls 9:10 and Psalm 111:10 tcll us that “thc lcar ol thc Loib
is thc lcginning ol wisdom.” Applying practical truth to daily lilc
lcgins with our undcrstanding ol God. Knowing how wc should
livc is anchorcd in thc lcdrock ol our God-conccpt.
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Who Is God?
31
Thc first homc my wilc and I purchascd was in thc Scattlc arca.
It was a ncw housc. Wc wcrc thc first luycrs in thc ncighlorhood,
so wc sclcctcd our lot, floor plan, and prclcrcnccs lor thc various
amcnitics. Oncc construction lcgan, wc drovc ly our homc-to-lc
virtually cvcry day. It sccmcd likc thcy took lorcvcr digging thc
trcnchcs and pouring thc solid loundation. Many wccks latcr, as
wc watchcd thc walls, rool, c×tcrior, and intcrior comc togcthcr,
wc undcrstood why thc loundation was so csscntial. A carclcssly
donc or incomplctc loundation would havc lccn thc dcmisc ol
thc cntirc luilding. All thc finc carpcntry work, windows, doors,
calinctry, carpct, and paint would havc ultimatcly lccn lor noth-
ing il thc housc crumllcd on thc moorings ol a laulty loundation.
In lilc, wc can lc in such a hurry to crcatc a stratcgic plan, luild
a carccr, and cstallish a lamily that wc ignorc thc lcdrock issuc ol
a dcfincd and applicd thcology. It is also a daily commitmcnt. All
ol us can rccognizc and lc rcncwcd in this ground ol solid truth.
Il wc want a lilc that stands through thc storms, it is csscntial.
A. W. Tozcr oncc notcd, “Thc most important thing alout a pcrson
is what comcs to mind whcn thcy think alout God.”
What’s on Your Plate?
I lovc all sorts ol intcrnational loods. Chincsc cuisinc hovcrs ncar
thc top ol my lavoritcs list. Growing up, this was a simplcr proposi-
tion. Wc would go into thc rcstaurant, look at thc mcnu, and ordcr
somcthing that lookcd appctizing. Wc atc it and wcrc happy—most
ol thc timc.
Thcsc days thc Chincsc lufct has grown in popularity. Rcccntly,
I was spcaking in Florida, and my lricnd and host pastor Danny
Hodgcs invitcd mc to join him and his wilc at a ncarly rcstaurant.
Wc strollcd through multiplc scrving stations. Vast arrays ol Chi-
ncsc, |apancsc, and Amcrican lood prcscntcd countlcss choiccs. Wc
could cvcn crcatc a Mongolian larlccuc mastcrpiccc with various
comlinations ol mcats, vcgctallcs, and sauccs. Wc also discovcrcd
multiplc dcsscrt stations. Altcr a timc ol grazing and gralling,
thc thrcc ol us rcturncd to thc tallc with platcs lull ol lood. Yct
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The Deeper Life
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no platc was rcmotcly similar to thc othcrs. Wc cach utilizcd our
options to dcsign a uniquc mastcrpiccc ol culinary indulgcncc.
Thcrc was a day not long ago whcn thcology was likc ordcring
of a prc-sct mcnu. Thc options wcrc clcar-cut. Today, our culturc
has takcn advantagc ol thc c×ploding list ol options to crcatc thcir
own smorgaslord undcrstanding ol God. Wc’vc dcsigncd “gods”
that work lor us, lascd on our momcntary appctitcs and attrac-
tions. Lvcn thc “nonrcligious” lo× on pcrsonal survcys is lcing
chcckcd with unprcccdcntcd lrcqucncy, up to ovcr 15 pcrccnt in
2010 lrom just 8 pcrccnt in 1990.
1
British prcachcr G. Camplcll
Morgan summarizcd our prcscnt momcnt wcll, cvcn lrom his carly-
twcnticth-ccntury vantagc point, ly noting that whcn pcoplc losc
thcir consciousness ol God, thcy do not losc thc scnsc ol thcir need
lor God. Thcy simply sulstitutc thc lalsc lor thc truc.
2
Whcn it comcs to our vicw ol God in today’s socicty, almost
anything gocs. A plcthora ol Lastcrn rcligions arc finding thcir way
into thc mi× ol modcrn-day “spirituality” with incrcasing influcncc.
Allah is in thc ncws cvcry day in placcs whcrc Islam was unhcard
ol dccadcs ago. Agnostics still arcn’t surc what thcy lclicvc and
arc cagcr to invitc you into thc ranks ol thc undccidcd. Humanists
continuc to trust in thcir own shilting, man-ccntcrcd idcas with
rcsolutc passion. Athcists arc now lcaturcd on thc lcstscllcr lists
ol looks and thcy havc omcially coalcsccd to pokc lun at “lcss
intclligcnt” rcligious pcoplc. A works-lascd approach to laith rc-
mains a culturally acccptallc option lor casual church attcndcrs
who hopc good dccds will tip thc ctcrnal scalcs in thcir lavor. Tozcr
warns, “Wrong idcas alout God arc not only thc lountain lrom
which thc pollutcd watcrs ol idolatry flow, thcy arc thcmsclvcs
idolatrous. Thc idolatcr simply imagincs things alout God and
acts as il thcy wcrc truc.”
3
Life, Breath, and All Things
Thc apostlc Paul cncountcrcd a similar rcality as hc asscsscd and
addrcsscd thc spiritually curious ol his day: “Mcn ol Athcns, I
pcrccivc that in all things you arc vcry rcligious, lor as I was passing
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Who Is God?
33
through and considcring thc oljccts ol your worship, I cvcn lound
an altar with this inscription: TO THL UNKNOWN GOD” (Acts
17:22–23). Not long ago, I stood in thc vcry arca callcd Mars Hill
whcrc Paul madc thcsc kccn olscrvations alout thc culturc ol his
day. My visit to Grcccc rcmindcd mc that much has changcd in
that historic sitc. On thc othcr hand, nothing has changcd. Thc
majcsty ol thc acropolis and thc lcauty ol thc Parthcnon havc
ccrtainly lost thcir lustcr and influcncc sincc Paul stood in thcir
shadow c×changing idcas with thc philosophcrs ol his day. Yct thc
cultural landscapc ol irrcligious modcrn-day Grcccc still spcaks ol
mankind’s lailcd qucst to discovcr a lilc-changing undcrstanding
ol thc onc truc God.
+
Standing among thc crowds, Paul wcnt on to say:
Thcrclorc, thc Onc whom you worship without knowing, Him I
proclaim to you: “God, who madc thc world and cvcrything in it,
sincc Hc is Lord ol hcavcn and carth, docs not dwcll in tcmplcs madc
with hands. Nor is Hc worshipcd with mcn’s hands, as though Hc
nccdcd anything, sincc Hc givcs to all lilc, lrcath, and all things.
And Hc has madc lrom onc llood cvcry nation ol mcn to dwcll on
all thc lacc ol thc carth, and has dctcrmincd thcir prcappointcd
timcs and thc loundarics ol thcir dwcllings, so that thcy should
scck thc Lord, in thc hopc that thcy might gropc lor Him and find
Him, though Hc is not lar lrom cach onc ol us, lor in Him wc livc
and movc and havc our lcing, as also somc ol your own pocts havc
said, ‘For wc arc also His ofspring.’ Thcrclorc, sincc wc arc thc
ofspring ol God, wc ought not to think that thc Divinc Naturc
is likc gold or silvcr or stonc, somcthing shapcd ly art and man’s
dcvising. Truly, thcsc timcs ol ignorancc God ovcrlookcd, lut now
commands all mcn cvcrywhcrc to rcpcnt, lccausc Hc has appointcd
a day on which Hc will judgc thc world in rightcousncss ly thc Man
whom Hc has ordaincd. Hc has givcn assurancc ol this to all ly
raising Him lrom thc dcad.”
Acts 17:23–31
In summary, Paul c×plains that all ol man’s attcmpts to find God
through smorgaslord idolatry, man-madc systcms, and thc rcligious
trappings ol luildings and icons rcflcct a wrong undcrstanding
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The Deeper Life
34
ol thc onc truc God. Wc cannot crcct a luilding high cnough or
a lridgc lar cnough to rcach God. Our cforts will crumllc cvcry
timc. In lact, Hc is thc Crcator, and Hc is working all around us to
movc us to find in Him rcal lilc and mcaning. Now Hc is calling us
to turn lrom our scll-sccking and sin to His Son, |csus Christ. This
Christ has riscn lrom thc dcad, proving His dcity and validating
thc truth ol His mcssagc. Hc is thc onc who will onc day judgc thc
world. Hcar His call to your hcart today.
The Solid Rock?
Thc compclling distinction ol lillical Christianity is not that wc
must scarch lor God ly our own mcrits. Rathcr, Hc crcatcd us,
lovcs us, is working in us to scck Him, and is rcady ly thc mcrits
ol |csus Christ to lring us into a truc undcrstanding ol himscll
through a translorming rclationship. A. W. Tozcr says it this way,
“God and man c×ist lor cach othcr and ncithcr is satisficd without
thc othcr.”
5
Wc lcarn this in Lphcsians 2:1–10 (rcad carclully, cvcn
il this passagc is lamiliar to you):
And you Hc madc alivc, who wcrc dcad in trcspasscs and sins, in
which you oncc walkcd according to thc coursc ol this world, ac-
cording to thc princc ol thc powcr ol thc air, thc spirit who now
works in thc sons ol disolcdicncc, among whom also wc all oncc
conductcd oursclvcs in thc lusts ol our flcsh, lulfilling thc dcsircs
ol thc flcsh and ol thc mind, and wcrc ly naturc childrcn ol wrath,
just as thc othcrs.
But God, who is rich in mcrcy, lccausc ol His grcat lovc with
which Hc lovcd us, cvcn whcn wc wcrc dcad in trcspasscs, madc us
alivc togcthcr with Christ (ly gracc you havc lccn savcd), and raiscd
us up togcthcr, and madc us sit togcthcr in thc hcavcnly placcs in
Christ |csus, that in thc agcs to comc Hc might show thc c×cccding
richcs ol His gracc in His kindncss toward us in Christ |csus. For ly
gracc you havc lccn savcd through laith, and that not ol yoursclvcs,
it is thc gilt ol God, not ol works, lcst anyonc should loast. For wc
arc His workmanship, crcatcd in Christ |csus lor good works, which
God prcparcd lclorchand that wc should walk in thcm.
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
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Who Is God?
35
It is lcyond lclicl that thc God ol thc univcrsc dcsircs to
rcconcilc mc to himscll—that Hc lound mc, lrought mc to lilc,
and drcw mc to His hcart. God’s rich mcrcy lrought mc lilc not
lccausc ol my works ol goodncss lut lccausc ol thc good and
gracious work ol |csus Christ. It is all thc gilt ol God, and now
Hc wants to work in mc ly His lilc to producc cvcrything good
in and through mc.
Thc mcssagc ol thc Billc is uniquc, clcar, and compclling in
comparison to all thc othcr rcligions ol thc world. It is still thc lilc-
translorming lcstscllcr ol all timc, providing unchanging truth that
continucs to work lor millions around thc glolc. Tim Staford, in
Knowing the Face of God, writcs, “Il thc Billc carrics onc rcpcatcd
mcssagc alout God, it is that Hc wants to lc known.”
6
Undcrstanding this distinction providcs a solid loundation
lor laith, idcntity, and mcaning. Choosc your loundation carc-
lully. Your idcntity, purposc, valucs, prioritics, goals, timc, and
ultimatc lcgacy will all stand or lall on this loundation. Thc
choicc ol scll, doult, or a smorgaslord crcation ol your own
mind lrings with it conscqucnccs, loth tcmporal and ctcrnal.
Whcn thc truc God is your choicc, look lorward to thc advcnturc
ol an intcgratcd lilc.
Prepare for Interference
So how do you implcmcnt a vicw ol God in your lilc· Whcrc
docs a pcrson start· Pcrhaps thc first important stcp is to rccognizc
possillc misconccptions and clcar out thc intcrlcrcncc that llocks
your vicw ol God.
Ycars ago wc had callc tclcvision activatcd at our housc. Thc first
lcw days wc could not gct clcar rcccption on scvcral ol thc chan-
ncls. A lcw wcrc nothing lut snow, somc larcly disccrnillc, somc
camc in with minimal intcrlcrcncc, whilc othcrs wcrc crystal clcar.
I was finally motivatcd to call lor rcpair whcn I couldn’t watch
Monday Night Football. Altcr a housc call, thc scrviccman in-
lormcd us that a loosc conncction going into thc TV sct was caus-
ing thc intcrlcrcncc.
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The Deeper Life
36
As I look lack on that incidcnt, it would havc lccn loolish to
lc angry with thc nctwork lccausc I couldn’t gct thc gamc. Thc
prollcm was not with thc lroadcast signal. It wasn’t cvcn a lault
ol thc callc company’s transmission capalilitics. My conncction
was thc onc that was mcsscd up.
It’s likc this in our vicw and undcrstanding ol God. Hc is scnding
all thc signals ncccssary lor us to gct a clcar picturc ol who Hc is.
Somctimcs wc gct angry with Him lccausc thc intcrlcrcncc rcsults
in conlusion, doult, or lrustration. Yct thc prollcm is not with
thc scndcr. It’s with our skcwcd rcccption. Conlusing idcas alout
God can crcatc considcrallc intcrlcrcncc in our rcccption. Our
vicw ol God is afcctcd ly homc cnvironmcnt, authority figurcs,
and lilc c×pcricnccs.
Thcrc is a scnsc in which our hcarts and minds arc likc thc
camcra on our smartphonc with thc rccord lutton always cngagcd.
Wc comc into thc world spiritually rcccptivc and hungry lor truth.
Wc rccord a lot ol mcssagcs in thc rccciving ccntcr ol our inncr
man. Thcsc filcs cvcntually arc fillcd with all kinds ol imagcs and
idcas—somc good, somc lad. It is important to asscss what is on
thosc filcs, whcrc thc mcssagcs camc lrom, and thc validity ol thcir
contcnts. Your thcology nccds to lc lascd on thc truth, not mcrc
imprcssions lrom parcnts, tcachcrs, classmatcs, cncmics, lailurcs,
or criscs—no mattcr how clcar or distortcd. Our crroncous vicws
ol God must lc rccognizcd, crascd, and rcplaccd with thc truth
that will sct us lrcc.
Recognizing God’s Signal
Thc God who wants to havc a living, intimatc, daily rclationship
with us longs to lc discovcrcd ly mankind, thc oljcct ol His lovc.
Incrcasingly, scicntific discovcrics point to a divinc dcsigncr. In The
Case for a Creator, Lcc Strolcl citcs a convcrsation with thc authors
ol The Privileged Planet, onc an accomplishcd physicist/astronomcr
and thc othcr a rcnowncd philosophcr. Thcy statc, “Wc’vc lound
that our location in thc univcrsc, in our gala×y, in our solar systcm as
wcll as such things as thc sizc and rotation ol thc Larth, thc mass ol
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Who Is God?
37
thc moon and sun and so lorth—a wholc rangc ol lacts—conspirc
togcthcr in an amazing way to makc Larth a halitallc planct. . . .
And cvcn lcyond that, wc’vc lound that thc vcry samc conditions
that allow lor intclligcnt lilc on Larth also makc it strangcly wcll-
suitcd lor vicwing and analyzing thc univcrsc. And wc suspcct this
is not an accidcnt. In lact, wc raisc thc qucstion ol whcthcr thc
univcrsc has lccn litcrally dcsigncd lor discovcry.”
7
In thc Billc, God rcvcals himscll to call us to a compclling and
accuratc undcrstanding ol His charactcr. Hc dcscrilcs himscll,
lor thc sakc ol our undcrstanding, in a varicty ol tcrms that hclp
us to scck, know, and c×pcricncc Him. (Scc appcndi× 1, “God’s
Scll-Rcvclation.”)
In His loving dctcrmination, God wcnt cvcn lurthcr than all ol
thc lillical dcscriptions ol truth in His writtcn rcvclation. Hc so
wants us to know Him that Hc cntcrcd our world to lc sccn, hcard,
and touchcd. His lcct trod thc strccts ol |crusalcm. Drops ol His
llood lcll on thc soil at Calvary. “In thc lcginning was thc Word,
and thc Word was with God, and thc Word was God.” Thc gospcl
ol |ohn gocs on to say, in chaptcr onc (vv. 1+–18), that wc havc sccn
His glory, “glory as ol thc only lcgottcn ol thc Fathcr . . . who is
in thc losom ol thc Fathcr, Hc has dcclarcd Him.” |csus is God’s
c×planation ol himscll. So, il you want to havc a firm loundation
ol truth upon which to lasc your lilc, study |csus Christ.
Bcyond crcation, Scripturc, and thc incarnatc Word, lclicvcrs
arc cmpowcrcd lor spiritual intimacy ly thc indwclling truth ol
thc Spirit ol God. Il I wantcd my childrcn to undcrstand somc
truths in lilc, I would likcly do thrcc things: try to c×plain thcsc
truths, cndcavor to dcmonstratc thcm, and cvcn hirc a pcrsonal
tutor to assurc that thcy arc rcally lcarning thcsc rcalitics. God,
in His pcrlcction, has providcd a pcrsonal indwclling tutor. Thc
Holy Spirit is thc vcry prcscncc ol God, illumining our minds and
guiding our hcarts to a translormational undcrstanding and ap-
plication ol who Hc is.
This happcns only as you commit yourscll to thc lordship ol
|csus Christ as rcvcalcd in thc writtcn truth ol God. Unlcss God
indwclls you, thc lasis lor lilc dccisions will lorcvcr lc an insumcicnt
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The Deeper Life
38
support ol lacts and idcas. It will ncvcr lc an intcgratcd, firm
loundation ol truth.
God wants you to know Him cvcn morc than you want to know
Him. Whcn you makc that commitmcnt, ly His rcsidcnt powcr,
knowlcdgc, and wisdom, Hc will tcach you alout himscll. As you
spcnd timc with Him and study alout Him, you will grow in your
lovc and undcrstanding ol Him. This is how to dcvclop thc firm
loundation ol truth lor your lilc.
The “WIN” Begins
A. W. Tozcr olscrvcs, “Thc grcatcst nccd ol thc human pcrsonality
is to c×pcricncc God himscll. This is lccausc ol who God is and
who and what man is.”
8
Thc sccond part ol this look, “Discovcry L×crciscs,” is dcsigncd
to hclp you takc thcological truth and daily c×pcricncc God himscll
through your worship, intcgrity, and nonconlormity. This proccss
will hclp you lcgin to cnjoy countlcss lcncfits as you opcn your
mind and hcart to thc truth ol God in prccisc ways to lucl rcncwal
and rcassurancc.
Thc Thcology Discovcry L×crciscs will hclp you crcatc and rc-
vicw rcgularly your own thoughts alout our Lord |csus Christ.
Lct mc makc two quick disclaimcrs. First, is thc olvious lact that
God cannot lc rcduccd to words or human thoughts, lct alonc a
writtcn statcmcnt. This is only a placc to lcgin. Sccond, writing
your thoughts is a lilctimc c×crcisc that you’ll cdit and rcvisc as you
grow in thc undcrstanding ol God’s truth. Still, this is a starting
point lor highlighting and spccilying thc rcalitics that touch your
lilc at thc dccpcst lcvcl.
Many ol us might find oursclvcs living likc practical athcists—
our lclicl in God docsn’t rcally changc our livcs. Nothing is dy-
namic until it is spccific. That’s why it’s good practicc to writc
down your vicw ol God. As onc man said, “Thoughts discntanglc
thcmsclvcs whcn thcy pass through thc lips and thc fingcrtips.”
9

Author William Faulkncr said it this way, “I ncvcr know what I
think alout somcthing until I’vc rcad what I’vc writtcn on it.”
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Who Is God?
39
Ovcr thc ycars I havc lccn in thc proccss ol putting my an-
swcrs to all cight qucstions in this look into writtcn lorm. I havc
rccordcd thcsc vital truths and listcn to thcm rcgularly. Dcutcr-
onomy 6:+–9 says that ccrtain rcvcalcd truths should lc placcd
in lront ol our cycs, on our wrists, taught to our childrcn, and
writtcn on our doorposts. Why· Bccausc this inlormation is to
lc workcd into thc lalric ol our livcs. I want to gct up cvcry
morning knowing who God is, who I am in Him, knowing why
I am hcrc, what rcally mattcrs, what I’m going to do, how I’m
going to do it, and whcn it will lc donc. Ultimatcly, I want to
finish wcll.
Thc most important lilc qucstion is not alout our carccr, whcrc
wc livc, how lig our paychcck is, or cvcn alout our hcalth. Thc
most important qucstion is “Who is God·” Ycs, likc Gidgct thc
dog, wc nccd a liggcr and lcttcr lo×. Our Lord will providc it as
wc sct our minds and hcarts to know Him. Thc discovcrics will
spark a ncw lcginning, a dccpcr journcy, and ncw scnsc ol spiritual
victory—today and cvcry day, lor thc rcst ol our livcs.
Il you arc a lrand-ncw Christian, it is good that you arc mak-
ing this discovcry and commitmcnt carly in your spiritual journcy.
Pcrhaps you arc still c×ploring thc Christian laith. I trust you arc
cvcn now scnsing thc gracc ol God calling to your hcart to rcpcnt
ol your idolatry, trust Christ, and rcccivc thc gilt ol ncw lilc.
Maylc you havc lollowcd Christ lor many ycars and rcalizc
today that you havc ncglcctcd to livc with a clcar and vilrant daily
rcncwal in thc truth ol who Hc is. Lay all rcgrcts asidc and with
lrcsh Holy Spirit-lirth rcsolvc to lcgin again—today.
’Tis not cnough to savc our souls,
To shun th’ ctcrnal fircs,
Thc thought ol God will rousc thc hcart
To morc sullimc dcsircs. . . .
How littlc ol that road, my soul!
How littlc hast thou gonc!
Takc hcart, and lct thc thought ol God
Allurc thcc lurthcr on.
10
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The Deeper Life
40
A Deeper Life Story
As each of us seeks to navigate the storms of life, we can discover
the strength to survive and even thrive to the degree that we root
our responses in unchanging truth. I have learned that I can focus
on either what I feel, what I see with my limited perspective, or on
what I know to be everlastingly true and transcendent.
Early in my pastoral journey I was called as the senior pastor
of a church in deep turmoil. Their previous pastor of almost thirty
years had been exposed after an extended extramarital affair. The
church was embroiled in a 25-million-dollar lawsuit after being
sued by a disgruntled member. They were in a financial tailspin.
The people who remained felt betrayed and hurt. I soon learned
that hurting people hurt others. At just thirty years of age, I became
their leader. I had high hopes but soon realized the reality of being
hurt and disillusioned.
A small group of “controllers” eventually sought to remove the
elders, some of the staff, and their new young senior pastor (me)
through a series of illegitimate accusations. The extended process
of dealing with this group led to countless meetings, the recruit-
ment of a mediation panel, and eventually a congregational vote
of confidence. The church spoke overwhelmingly. The accusers lost
and left the church. By then, my wife and I were ready to resign
and find a different career path.
During those dark and confusing days, the journey looked very
bad and felt even worse. Yet God gave me the grace to anchor my
soul in the truth that He was consistently and completely good,
even in the midst of chaos. The situation seemed out of control, but
I was able to renew my mind in the transcendent truth that He was
absolutely sovereign. The experience felt and looked very unfair as
I absorbed much of the pain that existed even before my arrival at
the church. Yet the truth that God is completely just in all His ways
sustained my mind, will, and emotions.
I discovered that choosing to focus on the truth of God’s char-
acter is the key to survival and sanity. This motivated me to clarify
my working theology in order to experience this kind of powerful
renewal every day and in any circumstance. I have learned that
when my day begins with great thoughts of God, it powerfully
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
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Who Is God?
41
affects my emotions and perspective throughout the day. The more
I instinctively and specifically focus on the truth of His character,
especially in difficult seasons of life, the more I experience a per-
sonal transformation and transcendence. The Holy Spirit uses truth
to empower me to live with joy as I anchor my soul in the certainty
of God’s unchanging character. This has become the unshakable
foundation for a deeper life and a daily win in the spiritual contest.
—Daniel Henderson
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Daniel Henderson with Brenda Brown, The Deeper Life
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