It is easy to enter into faith. It is not easy to sustain a life of growth. Likewise, it is easy to talk about spiritual renewal, but it is not as easy to demonstrate what exactly that means. Using eight measurables, senior pastor Daniel Henderson brings together his wealth of experience with churches and believers, and produces a resource book for anyone seeking spiritual direction and wanting to be more intentional in their spiritual growth. Knowing how easy it is for anyone to be distracted, hurried, and needing more intentional guidance, Henderson proposes the following in spiritual warfare:
Worship + Integrity + Nonconformity = WIN.
Worship is essentially about who we live for, and the "FUEL for a deeper life." Henderson defines it as "the response of all I am to the revelation of all God is." Nice.
Integrity is defined as "the fiber of a deeper life." The more we clarify and apply the biblical truths of "identity, purpose, values, priorities, goals, and others," the more integrated we become.
Nonconformity is about the FRUIT of a deeper life, that as we resist the wiles of the evil one, and the temptations that often attack us, we will be more prepared to conform ourselves to Christ. The eight longings in this book are targeted to meeting the above three goals of worship, integrity, and nonconformity.
The eight longings are described as follows:
#1 - Who Is God? Knowing God Fully (Theology)
#2 - Who am I? Knowing Self Truthfully (Identity)
#3 - Why Am I Here? Knowing Our Role on Earth (Purpose)
#4 - What Really Matters? Knowing Our Values (Value)
#5 - What Shall I Do? Knowing Our Activity Order (Priorities)
#6 - How Shall I Do It? Knowing Our Goals (Goals)
#7 - When Shall I Do It? Knowing Stewardship (Time)
#8 - How Will I Finish? Knowing how to Finish (Legacy)
For each longing, Henderson begins with a thought provoking quote followed by a contemporary illustration. He brings in his own stories, highlights the advantages for exercising these longings, and provides easy to understand tests and practical tips to cultivate growth in that longing. This is supplemented by discovery exercises that readers can use for their own benefit, or for teachers to adopt in their Christian Education classes. The Appendices are valuable resources too. With many creative acronyms, clear frameworks, and supported by real life experiences, Henderson is a gentle guide and a wise teacher.
I think Bethany House Publishers have hit on a winner. For anyone who feels lethargic or lacking some spiritual direction, this book may very well be the spark to ignite your spiritual flame. I recommend this book highly.
Rating: 5 stars of 5.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I received this book to review, "The Deeper Life" by Daniel Henderson , from the publisher Bethany House. It is not just a "review" that I accomplished, It is changing my life spiritually! It is well written and I have read it slowly to digest it properly, like a good Prime Rib steak. I am in the middle of re-reading it. I would highly recommend it. In this age we live in with all the stresses and troubles and heartaches and trials, never knowing what could be around the corner, this book is interactive with references in the back, to allow the reader to build a firm foundation on who God really is, and to implement this into the fiber of their life to stand strong in adversity. I repeat, I highly recommend it.
"The Deeper Life" by Daniel Henderson is a Very thought provoking book, as well as a "go to guide" for developing a deeper relationship and successful walk with God.
It deals with eight very deep and important questions that we should ask ourselves when encountering this endeavor. "Who is God?, Why am I here?, What Really Matters?, What Shall I Do?, How Shall I Do It?, When Shall I Do It?, and How Will I Finish?".
These questions are all so very important when it comes to developing our daily walk with God! In thinking about these questions and delving into our souls to answer them, we become closer to Him. We develop a deeper level of understanding of ourselves and of Him.
I enjoyed it as well because it not only was great as far as the reading and learning material, but it also had exercises at the end to help me to retain what I had learned.
This is an excellent book. I would recommend it to all who want to get to a closer place with Him.
How long has it been since you've thought deeply about who God is, who you are, your purpose in life, your priorities, and the legacy you will leave? If it has been a while, or never, you need this book.
Henderson says you have been created to think deeply and that is what he asks you to do in this book. In the process you will write your personal theology statement, a biblical identity statement and a life purpose statement. He has created a process where you think seriously about the deep longings of the soul, helping you clarify truths about yourself, your purpose, values, etc. The longings he has identified are:
Who is God? (my theology)
Who am I? (my identity)
Why am I here? (my purpose)
What really matters? (my values)
What shall I do? (my priorities)
How shall I do it? (my goals)
When shall I do it? (my time)
How will I finish? (my legacy)
The book is divided into two parts. The first 166 pages are teaching on the longings with some directed questions and ideas for thinking deeply. The second half of the book contains the Discovery Exercises, taking you through the actual process of writing out your statements of theology, identity, purpose, values, priorities, goals, time, and legacy. Once written, he suggests you memorize it so you have it within you when you face a crucial event. Having strong convictions of who God is, who you are, your purpose, etc., helps you make hard decisions.
I am really impressed with this book. I remember going through this kind of intense thinking when I was in college. But that's been decades ago. As Henderson says, one should go through this thinking process periodically. God doesn't change nor would the personal theology statement, but our life situations do change. We need to think deeply about our purpose, priorities, goals, etc. about once a year. Another great time to go through this process would be when facing a career change, anticipating marriage, retirement or other major change in life.
This is an excellent book for Christians willing to think deeply about who God is and who they are. This is not a book you just "read," however. The exercises will take time and effort. The idea is to read a chapter in the first half of the book and then do the corresponding exercise in the latter half of the book. You could do it alone or with a group. There are discussion questions at the end of the book for group use. Henderson has included samples of his own statements so you get an idea of the end result.
You have been created to think deeply, Henderson says. If you are willing to turn off the TV and do some serious life inventory exercises, this book just might be life changing.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this independent and honest review.
Daniel Henderson used to be my senior pastor back when I lived in California and I even had the pleasure of having his son in my youth group on Sunday morning. Pastor Henderson is a gifted speaker and a wonderful author whose heart and passion are for serving Christ's Kingdom.
His latest book, The Deeper Life is a journey into 8 core questions each of us have: Who is God? Who am I? Why am I here? What really matters? What am I going to do? How and when will I do it? And how will I finish once I begin?
Henderson's book helps the reader discover their own identity through the journey of theology in a way that helps recognize both their purpose and their value. As a pastor myself and as a person who is constantly looking for material and teaching curriculum I was happy to see 13 study appendixes as well as group study questions to take the conversation even "deeper."
Wonderfully written, "Deeper Life" certainly adds much to the growing conversation of Christian health and discipleship.
Thank you to Bethany house for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.