From the didactic to the personal

By Dave Henning / June 9, 2024

“If we talk to God through His Word and from our pain over our limitations, the Word moves from the didactic, which can shift the mind for a bit but rarely changes the heart, to the personal. . . .  This interchange. . . often . . . starts very small . . . with one minute.”- Sara Hagerty

“Spiritual formation in Christ . . . [is a] total interchange of our ideas and images for his.”- Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart

“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.  For you have delivered my soul from death, my eye from tears, my feet from stumbling.”- Psalm 116:7-8 (ESV)

Sara Hagerty continues Chapter 10 of The Gift of Limitations as she notes what happens when we lack the ongoing, daily experiences of God’s Word changing our thoughts.  As a result, Sara observes, we distance ourselves from the Word emotionally.  Consequently, we act like visitors to a museum or art exhibit.

Therefore, Sara exhorts, we need to notice the historical hurdles that prevent us from jumping into the painting.  From experiencing the light as it dances on what once was still.  As we notice we can dialogue with God through it.

However, Sara stresses, the inertia of live pulls us toward flurry, reactivity, and busyness.  But with a calloused hand on your shoulder and a whisper in the back of your mind, Jesus reminds you of another way to live.  Even with the same schedule, amount of laundry, and responsibilities.

In conclusion, Sara explains this one needed choice:

“It’s the daily practice of adoration, talking to God from His Word, right where I am.  I’ve written about it and lived it for a decade, and yet I still need to be reminded: Choose to adore and you will see fruit. . . .

I . . . know that what feels good for a moment — nurturing resentment and a chilled heart, or avoiding it all and giving in to numbness — doesn’t compare to when my heart gets lifted by His Word.”

Today’s question: What most helps you take God’s Word from the didactic to the personal?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The best sermon, book, or podcast”

About the author

Dave Henning

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