Rewire Your Heart by David Bowden
3 Bullet Book: 2020, book #54: “The enemy wants you to believe that if you win the fight against temptation you’ll win the fight against sin. There is a deeper battle going on.” — David Bowden
Finished on July 23, 2020
This book popped in the recommended area on Audible I believe — or maybe it was referenced in another book I was reading. However it was that I found this book, it became a favorite. It was insightful and enlightening in many areas. There are few books that drive accountability home as well as this one. It’s a book that will make you pause and look around at your life while also reminding you that you are not stuck there and reminding you that you are not a failure — God has made a way. Interestingly enough, as I write this in September 2021, I just went through this book a second time less than a week ago. It’s fresh in my mind. The first time through this book (notes below) was great, but the second time through was even better. I had built the foundation from the first pass and then built it deeper when I revisited everything.
The 3 Bullets
1. The author emphasized that often we doubt that God is enough. He writes, “If we can’t trust God, who can we trust? Ourselves.” We cannot follow God and ourselves. By doing so, we make ourselves a god. Self-reliance is one of the most dangerous things that we can do. He also writes, “As Jesus pointed out at the Sermon on the Mount, the sin of worry reveals the underlying unbelief in God’s provision.” So what do we really trust in? That’s the focus of this book, rewiring our heart to focus on what actually matters.
2. “We often try to abide in God by doing good things but that is precisely backward. We can only do good things by abiding in Him.” What does faithfulness mean to you? What does obedience mean to you? What is our focus in life? Many people who are not Christian have said that they would not want to be a Christian because it is restrictive. The author communicates in this segment of the book, “we can only do good things by abiding in God.” Abiding is FIRST. And then, only then, do we experience God’s version of good. We cannot even fathom what good is. We don’t know what good is, not as God does.
3. Finally, as in 1 Corinthians 13:12, the author emphasizes that we are never going to be perfect on earth. David Bowden reiterates that we cannot be perfect because we have NOT seen perfection. How do we know what perfect is if we’ve never experienced it? We were born into a world of sin, we lived a life of sin, and those around us live a life of sin. There is sometimes a stigma out there that as a Christian, you should never sin again. But that’s tough, especially when looked at biblically. Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. Only He remained perfect — none of us ever will be perfect on earth.
We cannot modify our behavior without mortifying the sin behind that behavior.
We should not want to just do a holy thing, we should want to be a holy thing.
You cannot fight against sin by fighting its fruits. The only way to stop sinning is to stop wanting to sin. You must let the gospel change the will by changing the heart. Only Jesus can capture your heart so fully that your hands will inevitably follow.
Properly ordered affections love what is most lovely and hate what is detestable, not in our eyes but in God’s eyes.
We want to play some role in our destiny turning out for the better — however major or minor. It’s why we struggle with inadequacy and why we have such a hard time accepting the high of salvation as a truly free gift — we want to earn it. The reason we sin is not because we aren’t focused enough on doing good and avoiding bad but rather we aren’t focused fully enough on how Jesus did all the good and avoided all the bad for us. We sin because our affections for the gospel are weak while our affections for our own provision is strong.
The enemy wants you to believe that if you win the fight against temptation you’ll win the fight against sin. There is a deeper battle going on.
We think the things that are lacking in life validate our unbelief in God yet we see that unbelief always comes before a lack of trust. As Jesus pointed out at the Sermon on the Mount, the sin of worry reveals the underlying unbelief in God’s provision.
We doubt God is enough. If we can’t trust God, who can we trust? Ourselves. When we try to fulfill our wants by ourselves, the only solution we will ever contrive is sin.
A biblical definition of freedom could be: The ability to only want and do what God wants you to do. This is drawn from: The freedom of God, the freedom from sin, and the freedom of heaven.
God is free to do whatever He pleases yet He cannot lie of sin — that is the freedom God has for us — it runs contrary to the secular definition.
True freedom is not the ability to do whatever we want but is the ability to never do wrong again and only do right. This is the truest and best form of freedom because it’s the form of freedom that God has.
Everyone is trying to live up to an invisible moral code. “(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)” — Romans 2:14–15 NIV
Every single person is trying to justify himself or herself by their own individual standards and is then condemned by his or her own conscience.
We often try to abide in God by doing good things but that is precisely backward. We can only do good things by abiding in Him.
Guardrails are good but they’re not the end. Just because you cannot do something does not mean you no longer want to sin. Guardrails fight sin without harming sin — they prohibit you from doing something without changing your desire to do it.
You will never resist the devil if you do not have God to whom you can draw near. Vivid positive images will drown out the negative command of sin.
We are never going to be perfect on earth. We need to be remade before we can enter heaven. We cannot be perfect as we have not yet seen perfection. 1 Corinthians 13:12.
God’s commands are an expression of who He is.
What can we give God in return for all He has done for us? Nothing. What can we do to pay Him back? Nothing. So what are we to do then? Worship Him. State His name in praise. Revel in the reality of your salvation. We cannot add anything to that which is perfect and sufficient.