When we enter the life of God, we begin the process of loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). This means a couple of things. It means bringing ourselves to his ways so that we will be on his path; it means dedicating ourselves to him: ‘Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this‘ (Psalm 37:5). When we begin to fully love him, we start down the path of living life the way we were designed to live, which is the way that works best in this life.
It also means we allow God to be God in all of our life. Most of us have specific and disconnected parts of our heart and life that we compartmentalize as if they have nothing to do with our life with God. We may have an underlying internal struggle such as an unreconciled relationship, an addictive habit, a secret sin, or an unconfessed hurt that we have not integrated into our life with God. These parts of ourselves exist in darkness; they have no connection to God’s warmth, love, grace, or protection. They live in a sort of suspended state without love and hope, and they often manifest themselves in alcohol, drugs, over eating, or other addictive behaviors. As has been said, ‘Sometimes it’s not what you are eating; it’s what’s eating you.‘
Many people find that their destructive behavior patterns are closely related to one or more of these specific disconnected areas. It’s important that we search our hearts to see if anything is preventing us from allowing God to be God of even the darkest parts of our life.
If we suspect this to be true, we can pray for God to reveal those to us – perhaps it’s our sadness, our anger, our past, or even our dreams that are disconnecting us from God. We need to also become vulnerable, not only to the Lord, but also to people who can help us get connected to ourselves through safe and intimate relationships – as relationships connect us to others and to ourselves.
When we begin to fully love him and allow him to be God in all of our life, we begin to experience growth and healing in the disconnected parts of our heart. As Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6: ‘He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’
by Dr. John Townsend