Our conversions are more often than not emotional experiences as it is the heart that is spoken to; a meeting with the Creator of all things can certainly be emotional! But to deepen and grow, we need to learn and understand and meditate on God’s word, and this involves both the will and the intellect. The heart and the head work together to create one whole.

The trick is to move our faith from the abstract, from mental assent, to the world of the heart; to trust not in a principal or code but in a Person, with all the risk and reward inherent in any relationship. This is perhaps more difficult for those who (like myself) like to reason things out, and I think this is why meditating on the Bible is so important. It both sharpens the mind and trains the heart.

“The goal of meditation is to drive the mind into the heart” – Timothy Keller

There needs to be a revelation of sorts. We need God to speak to our hearts – and surely meditation on scripture is part of this.

…and going through life with Him. Life’s experiences, submitted to Him, draw one closer. You get to know God better when you’ve gone through some valleys with Him.

The heart is the will that directs our actions and intellect. Emotions are largely responses to events in our lives, and different people experience them at varying levels because of how they were raised, their inherited emotional tendencies and so on.

As such, they’re neither good or bad: it’s the action we take to manage our emotions that reveals where our heart really is. Part of the disciple’s work is to control the emotions by submitting them to God and His Word, and never letting them be the prime director of one’s actions.

Likewise the disciple submits his mind to God. In Romans 12 we read about the “renewing of our minds”. I think this means the conscious decision to learn and promote God’s perspective in our thinking, and I know of no other way than to read God’s word regularly and get together with other believers on a regular basis.

The desire (heart) to please God plus action directed by His Word brings balance and maturity to our own turbulent lives. Just like working on a marriage, if we choose not to act to promote and develop our relationship with Christ we must ask ourselves if He’s really our Lord or just a phase we’re going through.