Waking the Dead
"To find God, you must look with all your heart. To remain present to God, you must remain present to your heart. To hear his voice, you must listen with all your heart. To love him, you must love with all your heart. You cannot be the person God meant you to be, and you cannot live the life he meant you to live, unless you live from the heart."
"[The Enemy's] plan from the beginning was to assault the heart... Make them so busy, they ignore the heart. Wound them so deeply, they don't want a heart. Twist their theology, so they despise the heart. Take away their courage. Destroy their creativity. Make intimacy with God impossible for them."
-- John Eldredge in "Waking the Dead", p 49, 51
"The tabernacle itself was a picture of something... amazing. It is a kind of mythic symbol, given to us to help us understand a deeper eternal reality. Each person knows that now his body is the temple of God: 'Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?' (1 Cor. 6:19). Indeed it is. 'Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?' (1 Cor. 3:16). Okay -- each of us is now the temple of God. So where, then, is the Holy of Holies?"
"That's right -- your heart. Paul teaches in Ephesians that 'Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith' (3:17). God comes down to dwell in us, in our hearts. Now, we know this: God cannot dwell where there is eveil. 'You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell' (Ps. 5:4). Something pretty dramatic must have happened in our hearts, then, to make them fit to be the dwelling place of God."
"Of course, none of this can happen for us until we give our lives back to God. We cannot know the joy or the life or the freedom of heart I've described until we surrender our lives to Jesus and surrender them totally... We turn, and give ourselves body, soul, and spirit back to God, asking him to cleanse our hearts and make them new. And he does. He gives us a new heart. And he comes to dwell there, in our hearts."
-- John Eldredge in "Waking the Dead", p 68
"I was trying to make the case that the new covenant means nothing less than this: the heart is good... Your heart is good.
"What would happen if you believed it, if you came to the place where you knew it was true? Your life would never be the same... 'If we believed that... we could do anything. We would follow him anywhere!"
"You probably can't imagine there being a glory in your life, let alone one that the Enemy fears. But remember -- things are not what they seem. We are not what we seem. You probably believed that your heart was bad too. I pray that fog of poison gas from the pit of hell is fading away in the wind of God's truth. And there is more. Not only does Christ say to you that your heart is good, he invites you now out of the shadows to unveil your glory. You have a role you never dreamed of having..."
"We are in the process of being unveiled. We were created to reflect God's glory, born to bear his image, and he ransomed us to reflect that glory again. Every heart was given a mythic glory, and that glory is being restored..."
"Does the Bible teach that Christians are nothing but sinners -- that there is nothing good in us? The answer is no! You have a new heart. Your heart is good. That sinful nature you battle is not who you are..."
"We have no idea who we really are. Whatever glory bestowed, whatever glory is being restored, we thought the whole Christian thing was about... something else. Trying not to sin. Going to church. Being nice. Jesus says it is about healing your heart, setting it free, restoring your glory. A religious fog has tried to veil all that, put us under some sort of spell or amnesia, to keeup us from coming alive."
-- John Eldredge in "Waking the Dead", pp 69-70, 72-73, 75, 76, 80
"The deeper reason we fear our own glory is that once we let others see it, they will have seen the truest us, and that is nakedness indeed. We can repent of our sin. We can work on our "issues." But there is nothing to be "done" about our glory. It's so naked. It's just there -- the truest us. It is an awkward thing to shimmer when everyone else around you is not, to walk in your glory with an unveiled face when everyone else is veiling his. For a woman to be truly feminine and beautiful is to invite suspicion, jealousy, misunderstanding. A friend confided in me, "When you walk into a room, every woman looks at you to see -- are you prettier than they are? Are you a threat?"
And that is why living from your glory is the only loving thing to do. You cannot love another person from a false self. You cannot love another while you are still hiding. You cannot love another unless you offer her your heart. It takes courage to live from your heart. My friend Jenny said just the other day, "I desperately want to be who I am. I don't want the glory that I marvel at in others anymore. I want to be that glory which God set in me."
"Finally, our deepest fear of all . . . we will need to live from it. To admit we do have a new heart and a glory from God, to begin to let it be unveiled and embrace it as true -- that means the next thing God will do is ask us to live from it. Come out of the boat. Take the throne. Be what he meant us to be. And that feels risky . . . really risky. But it is also exciting. It is coming fully alive. My friend Morgan declared, "It's a risk worth taking."
-- John Eldredge in "Waking the Dead", pp 87-88
"My heart matters to God. My heart has always mattered to him..."
"'Above all else, guard your heart' (Prov. 4:23)... It doesn't say guard your heart because it's criminal; it says guard yur heart because it is the wellspring of your life, because it is a treasure, because everything else depends on it. How kind of God to give us this warning, like someone's entrusting to a friend something precious to him, with the words: 'Be careful with this -- it means a lot to me.'"
"Above all else? Good grief -- we don't even do it once in a while. We might as well leave our life savings on the seat of the car with the windows rolled down -- we're that careless with our hearts..."
"God intends that we treat our hearts as treasures of the kingdom, ransomed at tremendous cost, as if they really do matter, and matter deeply... We are called to live in a way that we store up reserves in our hearts and then offer from a place of abundance..."
"Has it ever occurred to you that God is such a loving and gentle person because his heart is filled, like a reservoir, with joy? Caring for our own hearts isn't selfishness; it's how we begin to love... What will you bring to others if your heart is empty, dried up, pinned down? Love is the point. And you can't love without your heart, and you can't love well unless your heart is well... How you handle your own heart is how you will handle theirs."
"Caring for your heart is also how you protect your relationship with God... [The heart] is where we commune with him. It is where we hear his voice. Most of the folks I know who have never heard God speak to them are the same folks who live far from their hearts."
-- John Eldredge in "Waking the Dead", pp 207-209, 211, 213