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God knows how strong and driving your need is—He designed it that way. You can be confident that by turning and drawing near to God He can and will meet that need!
Home of: Taste Heaven Ministries!
An Introduction to
Why Understand Yourself Better?
We are caught in a cycle. The result of filling our desire for God—apart from Him—is a complicated mix of pride, insecurity, shame, fear, unwanted behaviors, damaging reactions, and deeply painful memories of being hurt by earthly disappointments.
The better we understand ourselves and our need for God, the more effectively we can deal with the obstacles that keep us from Him. It is time to break out of the cycle! It is time to turn and feast on God!
"Understanding Yourself" is practical evidence why you should believe God will draw near to you intensely enough that earthly sources are no longer nearly as much of a distraction. The problems in the paragraph above don't have to be issues because you can taste heaven now!
Understanding the principles you find here will help you to look at your behaviors and longings and see evidence in them of your never ending desire for God. Doing so is an important step toward greater freedom and effectiveness at directing your heart toward God and experiencing His presence more fully.
The Bible says, "...the heart of man reflects man." (Pro. 27:19). When you understand what drives your behavior you will also understand your heart. When you understand your heart better, you will understand something vital to being able to cooperate with God and help yourself grow spiritually.
"Understanding Yourself" will help you learn why your need for God reveals itself as a sometimes desperate and needy desires that are often misdirected toward earthly dependencies. It is for helping you to understand your desire for God in relation to struggles with obvious sins as well as the more hidden idolatries of the heart.
A Model for Christians Who Help Christians
First and foremost, "Understanding Yourself" is intended to help the reader personally. But there is more.
Many in churches today understand the need for a well developed "philosophy of ministry." A philosophy is important because it provides direction and a guidelines for what you do. Just as important, or even more, is that we need a philosophy for helping Christians grow in Christ!
"Understanding Yourself" is intended as a model for Christians who want to help other Christians grow in their relationship with God, professional ministers and Christian counselors included.
"Understanding Yourself" is a model for understanding people that is intended for use in helping others by any Christian who believes that much more is possible now.
Even though our needy desire for God won't be fully met until heaven. God is ready and willing to lavish His presence on His people here and now. The obstacles in us must be understood and removed. That is what will help us grow in Christ!
Think of "Understanding Yourself" as a model for helping people that is based on a belief that radical change is possible because our unmet need for God's presence is what drives all our unwanted behaviors and sin. We want God and we can taste enough of heaven now to make deep change realistic and fun!
Necessary to Assure a Repentance that is Effective!
Not so obvious is that "Understanding Yourself" represents much of what I felt I had to do in order to insure an accurate understanding of what we would need to do in order to repent.
In the early days of my pilgrimage, I was reminded over and over that the gospel is for the poor, the weak, and the downtrodden. One example is the woman at the well. Because of this, I felt we needed to understand ourselves and our relationship with God in ways that made growth not so dependent on pure self-discipline.
The "poor and needy" are often people who, like myself at that time, are so weakened by sin that self-discipline has become very difficult. Like many Christians today, I wanted to do the right thing, but most of the time it seemed like I could not. I knew God had made a way of escape, but I couldn't find it.
Spiritual disciplines are of vital importance to our growth as Christians. But consistent Bible study, prayer, and enjoying God's presence are things that people have to grow into. In my weakened state, I felt that a better understanding of our need for God would help make growth more fun, desirable enough to pull us along toward the Lord. God had to become more attractive and sin had to become less.
I longed to understand how to repent. It seemed that a more practical understanding of how much we need God would make the solution to our independence from God much more obvious.
But I was also very much afraid that I might only find a repentance that would only work for me. I didn't want that. So I set out to answer the question, "Why do we do what we do," in order to be absolutely sure that I would hit the mark on understanding repentance that would work for the masses.
It made sense to me that if I didn't understand and couldn't explain to people the more difficult areas of behavior our repentance wouldn't work well enough. I knew then that if what I had to say about repentance was ineffective at any level, I wouldn't say it at all. Integrity is of utmost importance to me.
I am pleased to say that while I believe I will always be learning more in this area, I am confident that what you find here will be helpful.
Our repentance has to be able to change us in difficult areas or it doesn't work. We have to start out with a solid enough understanding of why we do what we do, or we will never arrive at the goal of understanding how to repent.
The purpose of "Understanding Yourself" is to give practical evidence for you to believe that you want God's presence intensely and 24 hours-a-day. Anything less won't be enough. God designed you that way and He is waiting and wanting to meet your need now.
(I give a lot of information away free on this web. As of 10/2000 -- The model spoken of here is Part One of "Understanding Your Thirst for God." It is only available in the eBook by this title available on the Books and Materials page).
In book one of this series you get the information you get here plus you also get chapters in the book by these titles:
A Longing for Glory
Understanding Your Thirst for God
Understanding the Power and Attractiveness of Sin
Relating the Nature of God to Our Earthly Pursuits
These chapters form the foundation of the entire Taste Heaven Now series of books -- they are especially important for those who want to help other Christians to grow in Christ.
More prayer, more weeping to God, and more pain went into these chapters than any others in this series. Without this foundation of understanding I wouldn't have been able to do any of the rest of this series. I offer these principles as part of the book and not the web because several years of my life and many thousands of hours went into the development of these chapters. Maybe it is selfish of me but I find it difficult to just give this much effort away. I am confident that you will be glad if you buy it. Read my guarantee on the books and materials page.
Would you like me to teach at your church or gathering? Contact me by email. I would like to speak to your group about "How to Love God More." email@example.com
Email me if you want the ebooks and can't pay for them, or especially if you are outside the USA - I would be happy to give them to you.
4 / 2011, a new version of the Heart-training ebook is now available!
I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
If you want to make a donation please use paypal and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
Understanding Yourself — Home
(C) Barry Hall 1999
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