I long for a deeper spiritual life. Perhaps you do to. It can be so easy to just go through the motions and take things as the come without delving below the surface, but when we are able to tap into something deeper–to connect with God at our core and live out of that center–we sense we were created for more. A new resource for Bethany House Publishers and author Daniel Henderson, helps us dig a little deeper and become who were were meant to be in Christ. The Deeper Life is designed to lead people into self reflection and renewal.
Henderson Identifies ‘eight vital longings’ in each of us and helps us press into each for spiritual renewal. These longings are: (1) to know God, (2) to know yourself, (3) to know your purpose, (4) to clarify your values, (5) to set priorities, (6) to have goals, (7) to manage time, (8) to manage time. Admittedly I have difficulty in seeing some of these as ‘deep longings.’ I remember Larry Crabb saying in Inside Out that we have to two deep longings: to be loved and accepted, and we long for significance. Henderson’s longings are really just an explication of that. What he says about God and self discovery (longing one and two) lead us to reflect on our identity and acceptance in Christ. The rest of the book (longings three to eight) helps us press into producing something of significance.
I appreciate many of the things Henderson says here, but the value of this book is the ‘part two’ of the book. Henderson has a section titled ‘Discovery exercises’ which reflect on each of these deep longings. Walking through these exercises are valuable and helpful for clarifying direction and discovering what really matters for your life. There are also thirteen appendixes which reflect on deep longings. At the end of the book is a ‘Deep Life Summary’ which is a worksheet for the reader to fill out after completing the exercises.
These exercises and reflections are valuable. New Christians and college students will find this helpful. But this is also a self-help type book which would be helpful for those in a vocational crisis. I took the time to reflect on each section and it led to a deeper understanding of myself and my life as well as provided some strategies for living. I give this book four stars: ★★★★.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.