Do you ever feel a disconnect between knowing Biblical truth and actually experiencing it in your life? Do you wrestle with feelings of failure because you know what the Bible says but you don’t see fruit in your own thoughts and actions? I want to help you begin to learn how to move the truth from your mind to your heart.
Growing up in a Christian home, it was only natural that I became a Christian at a young age. I attended a small Baptist college and attended church all my life. I was familiar with the Bible.
Experiencing a few crises of faith in my adult years, I diligently studied the Bible. The need to understand theology was intense. Truth became a standard to mark my way.
But something was very wrong. My bouts with depression and anxiety kept intensifying, the lies in my head were just chaotic, and I felt no peace and joy, just shame and confusion.
I’m thankful to say I found help. Learning to know God and not just know about Him was life-changing to me. He truly changed me from the inside out.
I learned that what we believe in our hearts is what really motivates and shapes our actions. We might not even be aware of the beliefs that lie deep within us, beliefs that might be quite different from what we think we hold.
But if what we believe in the deepest part of ourselves does not line up with what we believe in our rational conscious mind, we will have a disconnect.
Let me share with you some things I tried that helped me. I’ll give you 3 ways to help you move the truth from your head to your heart. But first, let’s look for just a bit at this process of bringing the beliefs of our heart and mind into alignment.
Traditional Study May Not Be Enough
My guess is that you are probably a good student of the Bible. You’ve probably done numerous Bible studies in your life. Studying the Bible, while so very important, has the potential to leave us with knowledge only in our heads.
Please hear me – I love the Bible. (You can see here some of the reasons why.) But Jesus reprimanded some by saying they searched the Scriptures for life (John 5:39) when eternal life is actually found in knowing Him (John 17:3).
Our Father wants us to know Him. This is His heart. He’s given us the Bible so we can know Him – we can know God’s words and His ways and His will.
You’re probably familiar with Prov. 7:3b that tells us to write God’s words and commands on the tablet of our hearts. Have you ever wondered what that meant? Does it mean to study or something more?
Writing on the heart is actually the process of truly absorbing and believing truth in the deepest part of who you are. Dr. James Richards, pastor and author of Breaking the Cycle: The Ultimate Solution to Destructive Patterns, explains it this way:
What we believe on a conscious, deliberate level is not what will dictate our life. It is what we believe at the heart level. The heart is that place of “other than consciousness”. It is the abode of the deep beliefs. The beliefs of the heart are directly linked to our sense of self. It is the beliefs of the heart that determine our view of God and the world. It is the seat of faith, fear, love, and every other emotion. No matter what you decide on a conscious level, you will always revert to the beliefs of the heart…unless you know how to influence your heart.”
And I am so happy to tell you that we have the ability to influence our heart!!! God has given us this ability – you don’t need to despair!
Transformation is What We’re Longing For
Let’s be clear that we are not talking about behavior modification. I’m sure you’ve tried enough of that already and may not have seen great results. This is all about transformation.
Again, listen to how pastor and author Dr. James Richards explains it in his book, Becoming the Person You Want to Be: Discovering Your Dignity and Worth:
Although this concept of transformation versus change is subtle, it is essential to emotional and spiritual health. Change says, “I am not, and I must become.” Transformation says, “I am, and I am yielding to a process.” One contributes to faith and self-worth. The other tends toward unbelief and works-centered righteousness! One takes you to the place of rest. The other takes you to the place of continual effort and dead works.”
Do you get this? If we focus on trying to change ourselves, we will almost always be focused on what we are not. Letting God transform us from the inside out comes from focusing on who He says we already are.
Yielding to this process of transformation is basically seeing who you really are in Jesus. You see yourself as righteous, in Christ, and you hold this image in your heart. And you yield to the power of the Holy Spirit and His nature in you to do the needed work of transformation.
So how do you write God’s truth, His reality, on your hearts so that you experience this transformation? I mentioned earlier in the post 3 practical ways you move the truth from your head into your heart. Let’s look at those now.
Use Your Voice
Okay, so have I confused you already? We’re talking about writing on your heart, an internal thing, and now I’m asking you to speak out loud, an external thing? Yes!
Romans 10 helps us see a connection between our heart and our mouth.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
We’re all familiar with that verse. But the very next verse tells us that it is with the heart, not the mind, that we believe, and it is with the mouth that we confess.
If you look up the Greek meaning of the word “confess”, it means to say the same things as another. Your heart needs to hear your mouth confessing the same thing that God does! After all, Romans 10 goes on to tell us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Look at this in the new Passion Translation:
Faith, then, is birthed in a heart that responds to God’s anointed utterance of the Anointed One. Romans 10: 17 TPT
Our spirit needs to hear the truth of God, and I think it’s even better if it comes from our own voice. So what does this look like? Here are some suggestions:
- Read Scripture out loud. (I know, I know – I hated to hear my voice, too. But it gets easier to listen with practice.) Notice when a verse jumps out at you. That’s your spirit responding and may be what God wants you to hear.
- Pray out loud. Something happens when I pray out loud. I just feel God’s presence more. And I feel my spirit respond, much more than when I try to “think” my prayers. Praying out loud keeps me focused and helps me preach the gospel to myself. (You can read more about that here.)
- Declare His promises out loud. Use the verses that mean so much to you. Speak them back to Him and let your heart hear them to affirm they are really true. Put your name in those promises and make them personal. This also will register more in your heart.
Use your Imagination
Think about the first time you were in love. Didn’t you spend a lot of time thinking about that boy? I bet you even allowed yourself to daydream about him – what you would say to him and what he would say back.
Why not do that with Jesus?
It’s quite good to imagine, and it’s really okay to do so. In fact, Moses tells Joshua to meditate on the Law day and night in Joshua 1:8, and one of the many meanings of “meditate” is to imagine.
How do you literally fix your eyes on Jesus? You can’t, but you can do it in your imagination.
The first time I tried, I saw Jesus come to me in a ballroom. He chose me to be His partner, and we glided gracefully across the dance floor. I have used that image so many times to remind me of His love for me.
For some of you this will come easy because you have a vivid imagination already. But for others, this may take some practice. And that’s okay. Practice is good.
Try this during worship, whether at church or at home. Imagining Jesus as you worship Him gives worship so much more meaning. You can imagine seeing Him as you pray. This makes prayer seem much more like a conversation with Him rather than just feeling like you’re talking to yourself.
I believe when you picture things with your imagination that it affects your heart in ways that studying facts just can’t do. Having these “pictures” helps give your heart the opportunity to experience truth and not just learn it.
Access Your Spirit
This is just me, but I believe your spirit is actually what the Bible calls “the secret place”, where deep calls to deep, where you actually connect with the Holy Spirit. Your spirit is the part of you that is meant to be in the lead, working together but in control of your soul and your body.
Accessing your spirit will also take some practice. I’ve been trying for several years now, and I’ll be honest – I can’t always do it every time I try. But when I do, it is incredible!
Soaking music may help you relax a little easier. What you want is music with no words and preferably with tunes you don’t recognize so your mind doesn’t get engaged trying to sing the words. You don’t have to use music at all, but it can really help. Here is an example of soaking music you could use:
Now here’s what I do. Get in a quiet place and do your very best to physically relax. Close your eyes and just tell the Lord you want to meet Him in the secret place.
It may take a few minutes to still your mind. You can acknowledge any random thoughts that pop in your mind and then let them go. The less you think, the better.
It’s really like the state you find yourself in right before you go to sleep – where you’re half awake and yet you’re starting to dream? That’s where you want to be.
Picture being in a safe place. This can be an actual place you’ve been or somewhere you just feel would be safe. Then see Jesus coming toward you. Express your love and gratitude for Him. Be genuine. You may want to fall at his feet or you may want to throw yourself at Him with a big hug or you may just feel like you need to stand still at a distance.
Imagine what He might say to you. Listen for Him to speak. It’s okay to make up the dialogue when you begin. You can use Scripture if you want, but I think it may flow better if you just speak from your heart. Just remember – there can be no words of condemnation in your dialogue!! Even if you think Jesus needs to convict you, He will say it only in positive, loving terms.
Watch for It to Change!
Once you begin, you may be surprised to have the scene or the dialogue change without your direction. You don’t have to think of the next part of the dialogue or what will happen next. It just happens!
Listen for the Holy Spirit to speak. He may speak in a word or a phrase. He may give you an image or you might see a little “movie” take place that’s not your own doing. Don’t dismiss anything!
When it’s over, write down as much as you remember. Even if you don’t understand it. Write what you saw and what you heard. See how it lines up with Scripture to make sure it’s really from God.
I can’t tell you how this has changed my view of Jesus and how He looks at me! It has been truly life-changing. I go back and look at my notebook often where I write these things down. Sometimes what doesn’t make sense becomes more clear down the road. And always it encourages me and inspires me.
The truth I encounter there becomes written on my heart in a way that nothing else can do. I highly encourage you to try!
My dear friend, you don’t need to live in conflict anymore! There doesn’t have to be a disconnect between what you think you believe and how you act. God is all about alignment and He wants you to sync your beliefs so that true transformation can happen.
Keep studying the Scripture. It’s vital to know His words and His ways. But also try these methods of using your voice, using your imagination, and going to the secret place to move the truth of the Scripture from your head to your heart. See what a difference it can make!
Getting to the heart of it all with you,
In the comments below, please share a truth that God has used to transform your life. We need to hear each other’s testimonies, not just from salvation, but of how He’s changing us day by day. Hearing our testimonies can build our faith, right? Thanks for sharing!
Scripture quotations marked TPT are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright ©2017 by BroadStreet Publishing ® Group, LLC. Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com
“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.”
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