Calibration of your internal compass - the heart.
Many of us have become fans of the TV series CSI – Crime Scene Investigation. We are intrigued by the compelling stories of injustices put right by the application of science and knowledge used to solve complex cases. What gives a CSI agent the ability to visit a crime scene, see evidence that is there to be seen but missed by casual observers? When I’ve asked this question to others in the past they quickly come to the right answer—training. You simply don’t get up one morning and decide to become a CSI agent. Arduous training is needed in a variety of disciplines associated with forensic science such as evidence collecting, crime scene photography, forensic toxicology serology, DNA, connecting evidence to a crime, fire and firearms, physical evidence, organic and inorganic analysis, etc. Once you are thoroughly trained in forensic science how do you maintain your expertise in addition to continued studies in forensic science? You visit crime sites. Your powers of observation become finely tuned over time.
Phase I: Heart of a Warrior is not a Bible study although the Bible is used extensively? Heart of a Warrior is CSI training for those desiring to understand the ‘crime scene’ of their lives, uncover the evidence that has led to their sin and dysfunctionality, connect the dots that help make sense of one’s behavior and life, draw accurate conclusions that will help solve the mystery, and adopt changes under the authority of God’s word and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so that ‘crimes’ leading to behavior that brings dishonor to the Lord will not be repeated. The journey will help men live lives in bold relief, lives that will bring honor to the Lord and meaning to their lives.
The journey will help you find answers to questions like these. Why do we do what we do? Why do we do the very things we hate to do? Why is our behavior inconsistent or even opposed to what we say we believe? This training will help us become men of honor and integrity by aligning our hearts with God's heart. Our behavior, good or bad, is reflective of what's in our hearts. Let's let the scalpel of God's word perform surgery on our hearts so that our lives bring glory instead of shame to the Father. The twelve lessons comprising the journey will help you become a man after God's heart.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us where the focus of transformational and spiritual change resides. "Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." Our hearts are comprised of central beliefs, core values, worldview, and motives. Our central beliefs establish our values, our values inform our worldview, our worldview conditions our motives, and our motives energize our behavior. If we want our behavior to bring glory and honor to the Father, then our beliefs must be biblically centered, our values biblically informed, our worldview reflective of God's perspective, and our motives biblically focused.
Phase I is not for the weak-kneed. If you are not fearful of the journey you probably shouldn’t take it. It is hard core discipleship. It will require full commitment. It will hold you accountable for results. It is action oriented. What happens in between meetings is as important, or more so, than the meetings themselves. As Hebrew scholars stress, “A belief is not a belief unless you act on it.” You will join other men in a group led be a trained leader. The journey will average approximately 12 to 18 months. You will meet for two hours every other week until the training is completed. Once you finish the journey really begins. Remember, this training presents a new way of living life in bold relief, a life dedicated to godliness in demonstrated ways beginning with your personal walk, extending to your family, and expanding to your community
Lesson 1: Introduction: The Heart of A Warrior
This lesson provides an introduction to the series. Two characteristics of a man after God’s heart, integrity and authenticity are described. The fact that we do the very things we hate to do is explored. Two examples of God’s stirring the hearts of men are explained. This lesson sets the stage for the lessons that follow.
The goal of this lesson is to establish the need for fundamental transformational change of our hearts.
Lesson 2: Situational Lifestyle Strategies
Life is a battle. Bad habits, predispositions, and sin work together to form lifestyle choices that produce unhealthy patterns of behavior. These patterns and their results are described in detail. Apart from a vibrant and life-giving relationship with Christ, these patterns are adopted to navigate life’s decisions, deal with life’s problems and respond to life’s crises.
The goal of this lesson is to acknowledge the unhealthy patterns of behavior we use to ‘get through life.’
Lesson 3: God's Preferred Lifestyle Strategy
In order to fight the ‘good fight’ God encourages us to adopt His preferred lifestyle strategy. This lesson addresses His provision, plan, purpose, product, principle, process, and pattern that will help us make our way through life’s circumstances in a manner that will bring honor to our lives and glory to the Father from a biblical point of view.
The goal of this lesson is to calibrate our internal heart compass so that it will always point to true North – God’s pattern for godly behavior.
Lesson 4: The Bible and the Heart
The biblical term of ‘heart’ is found over 820 times in the Bible. This lesson explores the concept of heart, what God means regarding the heart and what the Bible has to stay about the heart. Our enemy, Satan, focuses his efforts on corrupting our hearts. God desires a pure heart transformed for His purposes. In the Bible the heart is more than an organ, it is the center of our being.
The goal of this lesson is to understand what the Bible has to say about the heart by examining pertinent biblical passages on the subject.
Lesson 5: Open Heart Surgery
This lesson examines the concept of heart more closely. Four components of the heart are defined and illustrated. The inter-relatedness of the components is explained. The relationship between behavior and what is stored in our hearts is discussed. The question, “Does behavior determine what is in our hearts or does what’s in our hearts determine behavior?” is examined.
The goal of this lesson is to understand what generates our behaviors and the role each component plays.
Lesson 6: Our Central Beliefs Explained
This lesson stresses the importance of central beliefs and their relationship to behavior. We don’t always act in accordance with what we say we believe. In many instances, what we say we believe has little correlation with our actions. However, what we truly believe--trust in, rely upon, and cling to—is directly correlated with our behavior even if we can’t articulate those beliefs. The goal of this lesson is to understand the correlation of what we truly believe and the behavior that arises from those beliefs.
Lesson 7: Our Central Beliefs Applied
This lesson helps the reader identify clear steps to replacing corrupted beliefs with biblically informed beliefs. The reader is told about the importance of operating in a tandem with the Holy Spirit. The fact that a belief isn’t a belief until you act upon it is stressed. A five-step process is presented to facilitate the replacement of corrupted beliefs with godly beliefs.
The goal of this lesson is to provide help for the reader in replacing corrupted beliefs with godly beliefs.
Lesson 8: Our Core Values
This lesson addresses cores values—the filter through which we process life’s decisions--and their influence on our behavior. In this lesson the reader is introduced to importance and functionality values and virtues in the lives of believers. In this lesson I will focus on changing one’s core value system to reflect a more biblically centered set of values. The goal of this lesson is to facilitate the transformation of corrupted values into biblically centered values.
Lesson 9: Our Perceptual Attitudes
This lesson focuses on our perceptual attitudes that provide a framework for making judgments about our observations. Insight into the conclusions we draw about what we hear, see and feel regarding the issues we face, the problems we encounter today, and the underlying philosophies that see life in different ways is examined.
The goal of this lesson is to identify and adopt a biblically centered worldview that sees life as God sees it.
Lesson 10: Our Real Motives
This lesson deals with the underlying motives that give rise to our behavior. The Bible says that when the Lord comes He will “bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” Satan’s preferences will be compared to God’s preferred motives. Our personal motives will be evaluated. The goal of this lesson is to uncover our real motives, lay them before God’s throne, and embrace His motives instead.
Lesson 11: Getting Our Act Together
This lesson attempts to ‘put it together’ by examining the situational lifestyles discussed in lesson 2 in terms of central beliefs, core values, perceptual attitudes, and personal motives that produce these patterns of behavior. Additional behaviors will be examined using this framework.
The goal of this lesson is to develop an ability to observe behavior and identify the possible reasons why we behave in such ways. Knowing the underlying influences will help us defend against the corruption of our hearts.
Lesson 12: Developing a Plan
This final lesson will help develop a workable plan to ensure we become men and women after God’s own heart. This plan will provide recommended actions to take to transform our hearts so that people will know we bear in our person the imprint of Christ in what we think, say and do.
The goal of the lesson is to examine what or who is feeding our heart, develop a personal battle plan to conform our hearts in light of God’s word, and commit to living lives of integrity and authenticity.
These twelve lessons will be augmented by other resources as needed that will help men understand and apply the findings to our lives in ways that will calibrate their hearts in alignment with God’s heart. The calibration will help men find their way in an ever darkening world. They will learn how to find true north in the midst of the storms they will surely face throughout their lives. The ultimate goal is to finish the race will, to live a legacy worth leaving in the lives of others once we are called home.
There are three requirements of every participant …
1. Dedicated Commitment
2. Full Participation
3. Honest Accountability