Journal entry 1 - The heart of a man
Are you aware that you have a heart?
It is the most important item in your pack for this pilgrimage you find yourself on. It's more vital than a compass for helping you navigate. It's the fuel that sustains you, your shelter when the sky is falling, and it's your hiding place for joy.
God himself singles out the importance of it by telling us, "Above all else, guard your heart." (Proverbs 4:23) There are many forces men use to try and power through life, like ambition, talent, the quest for security, and fear, but ignore your heart and you will eventually meet the same fate as a rat in a box with a python. The man who disregards his heart is like a cheetah with no legs, a tree with no roots, or a bird with no wings.
All your God’s joy, strength and unique offering to the world through you will remain elusive until you treat your heart as central.
With the best of intentions we busy ourselves, perfecting our craft, managing our sin and "sciencing the shit" out of life, while oblivious to the real problem: We have lost our truest, God-revealing heart, every one of us. That's why "the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost."
While we waste effort trying to make life work with small changes to our behavior and improvements to our theology, God's sites are zeroed in on the source of the cancer. The Heroic Fellowship understands far better than we do what is required for us to rediscover our innocence, find joy, begin dreaming again and start becoming the man we gave up on becoming somewhere along the way. We must trust that God is, as the first step in our total restoration, starting with the recovery of our heart.
Will you trust God with something so precious, powerful and vulnerable?
Brother, whatever you believe about God and about yourself, do you believe this to be most true?
"God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. " (Eph 3:20 MES)
Man of God, you are being invited into a pilgrimage of sonship. It is a long and beautiful journey taken one step at a time.
Your heart must take the first step. Trust God to be there for you.
Alamo Band of Brothers
Homework you will enjoy:
1. Watch a movie about a rescue and invite God to watch it with you. Jesus is speaking to us in modern parables to awaken us to both our situation and His mission. Watch some good trailers for a few options here: Saving Private Ryan, The Martian, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Permit yourself to be reminded that you are longing for one thing more than anything else: For someone to love you enough to come and rescue you.
2. Ride a bicycle, not for exercise, but for Joy. Become a kid again for a few minutes. Go fast downhill. Playfully consider where that joy comes from and how it is always available to you. Joy and hope and restoration are the major themes of your story. Not pain. Can you feel God's invitation to you?
1. God, what parts of my heart were lost, stolen, or surrendered somewhere in my story?
2. God, apart from my heart, what am I trusting to help me power through life?
3. God, how are you working for my restoration right now? Will you show me how you have been pursuing me?
4. God, what do you think about my heart? Do you like it?
Resources for you
1. The best resource we can possibly recommend is the Daily Prayer. Hands Down! By Far! You need truth in the innermost parts. Get it in there every single day. Here is a different version than the one handed out at BASIC. This one will help you include your entire family in embracing the full work of Christ.
2. Donald Miller's book called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years". This is a great read even for those who don't read.
3. The book "Journey of Desire" by John Eldredge. Excellent.